I don’t have much to say that I haven’t already covered in the Mechanical Engineering post, so here’s a personal anecdote. (You can skip the next few paragraphs if you only want to look at my awesome badass robot and a Mechanical & Mechatronics course comparison table).

I really, really wanted to join the robotics team at my school. Like really. Sure, one of the reasons was because I’d get to miss classes and sit in an air-conditioned room all day. My memory is really hazy from that time (it’s been a long enough time such that all the cells in my body have already been replaced, so the person from that time is technically not me) but I vaguely remember somebody telling me I couldn’t join because I was a girl, but this might well be a fabricated memory or for something else entirely.

That wasn’t the reason it didn’t work out, though. When the day came to ‘sign up’, there were a bunch of clubs that were present and we were directed where to go. I accidentally followed the wrong group of people and ended up in another club, and was far too shy to get up and go to the right place… so that’s where I ended up. The Book club.

While I do feel I was actively discouraged from joining the robotics club, there wasn’t really anything stopping me. So I guess the moral of the story is make sure you’ve calibrated your sense of direction so you don’t end up in the wrong place.

At Auckland there’s a support network for females in Engineering, and they’re really good at, well, supporting. They host lots of events for female Part I and high school students to encourage females into Engineering, and I think it’s working. By my estimate 1 in 4 Engineering Part I students are female, which isn’t great but when you compare it with the rest of the world it’s really, really good.

By now you might be wondering why I titled this post the way I did, when it clearly has nothing to do with Mechatronics. Well, feast yer eyes on this:

This was for a lab I did for my Electrical course, and boy was it the most fun I’ve had in a lab thus far. (Sorry, the CHEMMAT labs are interesting as well but it’s mostly just sitting and watching). It’s a really interesting experience transitioning from purely theoretical experience then having to apply that knowledge practically. I think it’s essential for this course that we’re given an opportunity to fully internalise what this stuff looks life IRL, rather than learning everything from diagrams and pictures.

Also, if you’re wondering how the robot looks like in action:

I especially liked how it got stuck <3

Since everyone is so super busy right now I didn’t want to bother anyone, so no interview this week. Instead, here’s a course comparison chart between Mechanical and Mechatronics. Note that in second year the courses for both the specialisations are pretty much identical. Credit to nels0 for the table 🙂

Exclusive Courses



Part II

MECHENG 201 Electronics and Computing for Mechanical Engineers ELECTENG 208 Electric Circuit Analysis
MECHENG 236 Design and Manufacture 2 MECHENG 270 Software Design

Part III


Engineering Design 3M


Sensors and Actuators

MECHENG 340 Mechanics of Materials 2 MECHENG 370 Analog Circuit Design
MECHENG 311 Thermal Engineering MECHENG 313 Real Time Software Design
MECHENG 352 Manufacturing Systems MECHENG 371 Digital Circuit Design

Part IV

MECHENG 731 Engineering Design 4M MECHENG 705 Mechatronics Systems
MECHENG 706 Mechatronics Design

Part IV Electives

MECHENG 713 Energy Technology COMPSYS 726 Robotics and Intelligent Systems
MECHENG 709 Industrial Automation
MECHENG 735 Microelectromechanical Systems
MECHENG 736 Biomechatronic Systems