Mechatronics Engineering to expand in 2014

Monday, December 23, 2013

Waterloo Engineering will accept an additional 45 students to its high demand Mechatronics Engineering program, beginning in Fall 2014!

The University of Waterloo introduced Canada's first full undergraduate degree program in Mechatronics Engineering in 2003. Mechatronics Engineering emphasizes the design of electro-mechanical devices ranging from large-scale automated manufacturing systems to micro-scale sensors and instrumentation.
Steve Waslander, mechanical and mechatronics professor, UWaterloo

Steve Waslander, mechanical and mechatronics professor, pictured with a quad rotor helicopter.

Today, the Mechatronics Engineering (MTE) program is unmatched in terms of content and integration. It is the program of choice for students seeking an interdisciplinary engineering education that is highly integrated and focused. Introduced with an initial cohort of 120 students, the program has been oversubscribed since its inception. Beginning in Fall 2014,  the program will accept an additional 45 studentsfor a total of 165.
Mechatronics exemplifies the “entrepreneurial trifecta” that Waterloo Engineering is renowned for, combining a rigorous multidisciplinary academic program with five mandatory work/study co-op terms, and a student team structure that supports thousands of hours of student initiated collaboration, where idea-driven students overcome all types of real-world challenges.
From its inception, the program has attracted entrepreneurially minded students – those interested in working on the frontier of new technology. 

Graduates discover global success

Since the first graduating class of 2008, the MTE program graduates are discovering global success in their entrepreneurial pursuits, and they credit Waterloo Engineering with giving them an edge in the emerging field of advanced hardware-software integration.
Matt Rendall, CEO Clearpath Robotics
Among the success stories of recent MTE graduates is Clearpath Robotics founded by Matt Rendall (BASc ’08, Mechatronics; MBET ’09, Ernst & Young, Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Ontario 2013), Ryan Gariepy (BASc ’09, Mechatronics; MASc ’11, Mechatronics), Patrick Martinson (BASc ’09, Mechatronics) and Bryan Webb (BASc ’09, Mechatronics). Clearpath Robotics works with leading robotics labs globally, focusing on industrial, military and academic research. 
Thalmic Labs, founded by Stephen Lake (BASc ’12, Mechatronics), Matthew Bailey (BASc ’12, Mechatronics) and Aaron Grant (BASc ’12, Mechatronics) is on its way to launching its flagship product, the Myo, a gesture control armband that attracted $14 million in venture capital. Bufferbox, Sentry Scientific, and Kik are among other successful enterprises founded by MTE students and alumni.
Many of these success stories started with innovative ideas that MTE graduates pursued as two-term Capstone Design projects involving the design and construction of a mechatronic system. The two-term Capstone Design project is a key component of the 4th year curriculum in the mechatronics program and is viewed as an area of strength where opportunities for prospective graduates to have entrepreneurial pursuits are often present.    

Departmental Collaboration

Since 2010, the Mechatronics Engineering program has been based in the impressive Engineering 5 building, shared by Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Systems Design Engineering, and the world-class SedraStudent Design Centre, promoting extensive collaboration between the three departments for the purposes of teaching, research, and providing support to Waterloo’s many award-winning student design teams.

Engineering 5 building

Engineering 5 building from indoor walkway


To apply, contact or Find Out More on the University of Waterloo website.

The real motivation behind starting Thalmic Labs was applying what we learned in Waterloo's mechatronics program to something that could change the face of computing. Mechatronics engineering combines electronics, mechanical design, software engineering and system integration. Myo, our first product, is a great example of a system like this. The interdisciplinary framework, co-op experience and project-emphasis in Waterloo are conducive to product development." - Stephen Lake, BASc 2012, Co-Founder, Thalmic Labs