Saturday, April 21, 2018 | ePaper

Robotics and mechatronics

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Joanna Hughes :
When Tetsuro Mori, a Japanese engineer, coined the term 'mechatronics' in the late 1960s, his combination of the terms 'mechanical' and 'electronics' became synonymous with engineering innovation.  Indeed, the field of mechatronics is a wide-ranging, multidisciplinary sector that combines engineering, computer science and technology to innovate, improve and simplify systems and processes.  Mechatronics have wide-ranging applications - from the manufacturing and mechanical engineering to education and healthcare technology. And studying mechatronics has never been more relevant - or rewarding.
One particularly hot subset of mechatronics? Robotics, which Pew Research Center predicts "will permeate wide segments of daily life by 2025, with huge implications for a range of industries, such as healthcare, transportation and logistics, customer service and home maintenance."  Given its vast potential, it's hardly surprising that robotics earned a spot on Computerworld's roundup of eight "future-proof" IT careers.
RWTH Aachen University Prof. Dr.-Ing. Tobias Meisen sees big changes in the 21st-century workplace. "An old bit of wisdom already says that nothing is as uncertain as the future. The fact is that the tasks of today's engineers are already extremely diverse and can hardly be described in an overall package. The classic "mechanical" engineer will not exist anymore. The production engineer must be multitalented and needs to have a profound production-technological understanding both in the fields of engineering and IT-related topics."
About RWTH International Academy
If you're ready to take a major step in the direction of a bright future in mechatronics and robotics, RWTH Aachen University offers three exciting avenues to develop your knowledge-and your career possibilities.
Germany's best university for Mechanical Engineering (according to QS World Ranking 2017), RWTH Aachen is highly respected worldwide for its consistent innovative answers to global challenges of the future.
RWTH Aachen's official affiliate for executive education, RWTH International Academy offers courses in Engineering in cooperation with RWTH Aachen. Participants are taught by professors of the University who have vast experience in both industry and academia.
Which RWTH International Academy program is right for you?            
Summer and Winter School Programs
For international Bachelor's and Master's degree students in search of opportunities to immerse themselves in a dynamic and world-class technical learning environment, RWTH International Academy delivers. In two, three or four weeks, RWTH's Summer and Winter Schools give aspiring engineers exclusive access to practical, state-of-the-art and internationally recognized education.
There's a reason why hundreds of international students come together to experience German engineering and student life in Aachen-and why 97 percent of Summer and Winter School alumni would recommend this experience to a friend. A recent participant from Japan described his time in Germany enthusiastically, stating that "RWTH International Academy Summer School was one of the most inspiring experiences in my life, both academically and socially. The lectures and hands-on sessions were elaborately designed, and the teachers were all happy to help us. The life in Aachen was quite comfortable and full of opportunities to meet wonderful friends."
Each year, two Summer Schools cover the fundamentals and challenges related to the engineering of mechatronic and robotic systems. The "Robotics for Future Industrial Applications" Summer School emphasizes the areas of communications, industrial robotics and multi-robot systems. Alternatively, with a focus on the mechatronic aspects of engineering and robotics, the "Mechatronic Systems Engineering and Product Innovation" Summer School explores core areas of mechanical engineering. Whichever Summer School appeals most to you, both programs invite motivated students to discover indispensable areas for future multitalented engineers.
Master's Degree Programs
M.Sc. Robotic Systems Engineering focuses on two main themes:
1) optimal application of robots
2) development and construction of new robotic systems.
Here is a quick overview of the main details:
· Awarded M.Sc. RWTH Aachen
· English-taught
· Four semesters (120 CPs) in total
· Covers mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer sciences
· Extracurricular courses: German language
· Impressive research facilities
· Intensive individual support, including personal career advice and company visits
· Two tracks: industrial (internship) or academic (research project)
Certificate Courses
Professional development is the key factor for advancing careers and even more so in the rapidly moving field of robotics. The implementation of intelligent robots into modern production facilities results in a growing demand for experts who know how to design, control and maintain these systems. Certificate courses at RWTH Aachen will help professionals bridge the knowledge gap in this fast-evolving field.
In less than a week professional engineers in mechatronics and robotics can learn from experts on specialized topics covering digital transformation, smart factories, cyber-physical systems and intelligent robotics, Big Data, machine learning etc. Course lecturers and speakers are experts from research and industry with extensive experience from projects with various industrial partners.
Professional education courses have more to offer than simple knowledge-transfer. The focus on practical application allows for the development of specific competencies. Moreover, practice-oriented examples increase participants' knowledge by applying theoretical content to actual business cases and individual case studies which reflect personal or company-related queries. Moreover, participants profit from excursions to industrial partners of the RWTH Aachen, visit test stands and experience the implementation of methods and concepts in practice. Courses are taught entirely in English and participants are awarded with an official RWTH Aachen certificate upon successful completion of the final examination.

(Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family).

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