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Mechatronics Engineering Education
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Machine Design (Dept.), Machine Design (Div.).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3699-5049
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Since its emergence in the late 1960s, mechatronics has become well-established as an academic subject, and is now researched and taught at a large number of universities worldwide. The most widely-used definition of the subject today is centered on the synergistic integration of mechanical engineering, electronics, and intelligent computer control.

The aim of this thesis is to work between the disciplines of engineering education and mechatronics to address both the question of the identity of the subject of mechatronics and the ways in which this identity can be reflected in the practice of mechatronics education.

Empirical data from the literature is supplemented with further data from four case studies with approaches varying from exploratory case studies and ethnographic in-depth studies to explanatory studies with an action research based approach.

The process and results of the investigation can be divided into three aspects. Firstly, analysis of the subject of mechatronics shows that its identity is thematic and its legitimacy is functional, implying that the selection and communication of the subject ought to be exemplifying and interactive respectively. Secondly, and following this analysis, the concept of international collaboration is used as the implementation for the first two case studies. The results of these studies show a relationship between collaborative projects and enhanced disciplinary learning and skills, increased awareness of cultural differences, and improved motivation. Another potential implementation, experimental learning, is then tested in two action research based studies focusing on fast prototyping and individual access to laboratory equipment.

Mechatronics is a special subject, not easily understood or taught. To be mechatronic is to be synergistic, and to be synergistic generally demands expertise in all underlying subjects. The conclusion of this thesis is that this requires a non-traditional education where the focus is on training rather than studying, coaching rather than teaching, experimenting rather than reading, working together rather than apart, and being mechatronic rather than studying mechatronics.

Abstract [sv]

Mekatronik som ämne uppstod under 1960-talets senare del och har sedan dess etablerats som akademiskt ämne som beforskas och undervisas på ett stort antal universitet runt om i världen. Den idag mest utbredda definitionen av ämnet fokuserar på synergi och synergistisk integration av maskinteknik, elektronik och intelligent datorstyrning.

Målsättningen med denna avhandling är att bidra till forskning i området mellan de två fälten ingenjörsutbildning och mekatronik. Forskningsfrågan behandlar identiteten hos ämnet mekatronik och hur denna identitet kan återspeglas i undervisningens praktik.

Empiriskt material för denna avhandling har hämtats från litteraturen tillsammans med fyra fallstudier. Forskningsmetodiken i fallstudierna har varierats från utforskande fallstudier och etnografiska djuplodande studier till förklarande studier med en aktionsforskningsansats.

Studien och resultaten därutav kan delas in i tre delar. Den första delen behandlar ämnet mekatronik och visar att ämnets identitet är tematisk och att legitimiteten är funktionell. Detta innebär att ämnets selektion och kommunikation bör vara exemplifierande respektive interaktiv. I den andra delen används denna definition för studier av internationellt samarbete i mekatronik, vilket utgör basen för de två första fallstudierna. Resultaten från dessa studier visar på en relation mellan det internationella samarbetet och ett ökat disciplinärt lärande, ökad medvetenhet om kulturella skillnader samt en ökad motivation. Den tredje delen relateras till ytterligare en tänkbar implementation av definitionen, en idé om experimentellt lärande. Denna prövas i två studier baserade på aktionsforskning som behandlar snabb prototypframställning och individuell tillgång till avancerad laborationsutrustning.

Mekatronik är ett speciellt ämne, inte helt enkelt att förstå eller undervisa. Att vara mekatronisk innebär att vara synergistisk, och att vara synergistisk kräver vanligtvis expertkunskap i de underliggande områdena. Resultatet av denna avhandling är att detta kräver en icke-traditionell undervisning där fokus är på träning snarare än studerande, handledning och guidning snarare än undervisning, experimenterande snarare än läsning, arbete tillsammans snarare än individuellt och att vara mekatronisk snarare än att studera mekatronik.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2006.
Series
Trita-MMK, ISSN 1400-1179 ; 2006:01
Keyword [en]
mechatronics, thematic subject, synergy, engineering education, international collaboration, experimental learning, didactical analysis
Keyword [sv]
mekatronik, tematiskt ämne, synergi, ingenjörsutbildning, internationellt samarbete, experimentellt lärande, didaktisk analys
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-569ISBN: 91-7178-213-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-569DiVA: diva2:14463
Public defence
2006-01-13, Salongen, KTHB, Osquars backe 31, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100609Available from: 2005-12-21 Created: 2005-12-21 Last updated: 2010-06-09Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. What is Mechatronics?: Proposing a Didactical Approach to Mechatronics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>What is Mechatronics?: Proposing a Didactical Approach to Mechatronics
2001 (English)In: Proceedings of the 1st Baltic Sea Workshop on Education in Mechatronics, 2001Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8950 (URN)
Conference
1st Baltic Sea Workshop on Education in Mechatronics
Note
QC 20100609Available from: 2005-12-21 Created: 2005-12-21 Last updated: 2012-02-09Bibliographically approved
2. What is Embedded Systems and how should it be taught?: Results from a didactical analysis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>What is Embedded Systems and how should it be taught?: Results from a didactical analysis
2005 (English)In: ACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems, ISSN 1539-9087, E-ISSN 1558-3465, Vol. 4, no 3, 633-651 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8951 (URN)
Note
QC 20100609Available from: 2005-12-21 Created: 2005-12-21 Last updated: 2010-07-15Bibliographically approved
3. Mechatronics: the Evolution of an Academic Discipline in Engineering Education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mechatronics: the Evolution of an Academic Discipline in Engineering Education
2005 (English)In: Mechatronics (Oxford), ISSN 0957-4158, E-ISSN 1873-4006, Vol. 15, no 2, 179-192 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

 In a didactic approach to mechatronics, the academic subject can be defined according to four dimensions: identity, legitimacy, selection and communication. A result of defining the legitimacy of mechatronics as functional is that the ultimate identity can be viewed as thematic. Following this, a model is proposed to describe the evolution of mechatronics, from a disciplinary identity towards a thematic. The move from a disciplinary identity to a thematic is divided into six stages, each represented by a characteristic view and academic practice of the subject. To further illustrate this evolutional process examples from various universities in northern Europe are given. The universities analysed for this purpose presents examples for stages 3-5 in the model; stages represented by a change in courses (stage 3), a change in curricula (stage 4) and by a change in organization (stage 5).

Keyword
mechatronics evolution, education, didactical analysis
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8952 (URN)10.1016/j.mechatronics.2004.07.010 (DOI)000226871200003 ()2-s2.0-12244291933 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20100922

Available from: 2005-12-21 Created: 2005-12-21 Last updated: 2016-05-18Bibliographically approved
4. Collaborative Learning in Mechatronics with Globally Distributed Teams
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Collaborative Learning in Mechatronics with Globally Distributed Teams
2003 (English)In: International journal of engineering education, ISSN 0949-149X, Vol. 19, no 4, 569-574 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The subject of mechatronics has been taught at the Mechatronics Lab, Royal Institute Of Technology (KTH) since 1984. The educational model is based on the four didactical questions: the questions of identity, legitimacy, selection and communication; and as a result there are strong intentions of communicating the subject of mechatronics in an interactive fashion, with an exemplifying selection. Due to the emerging issue of globalisation an attempt has been made to internationalise the education in mechatronics, and this article aims at investigating the possibilities of expanding the questions of selection and communication to also enrol the added aspects of international collaborative learning in mechatronics. Among the conclusions are, besides enhanced motivation for the students, signs of improved disciplinary learning, improved communicational skills and an education which better prepares students for future careers and work in a global area.

Keyword
Information dissemination, Students, Teaching
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8953 (URN)000185821900012 ()
Note
QC 20100609Available from: 2005-12-21 Created: 2005-12-21 Last updated: 2010-09-03Bibliographically approved
5. The Challenge of Distance: Opportunity Learning in Transnational Collaborative Educational Settings
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Challenge of Distance: Opportunity Learning in Transnational Collaborative Educational Settings
2004 (English)In: International journal of engineering education, ISSN 0949-149X, Vol. 20, no 4, 619-627 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Engineering education has traditionally offered prohlem-based, project-organized courses with a view to preparing students for their future career. Several universities have engaged in collaborative projects that offer courses in an international educational setting. In this article we present the results of an exploratory study of one such program involving students enrolled in separate Masters programs in Mechatronics and Mechanical Engineering at KTH, Sweden, and Stanford University, USA. The empirical data collected indicate improved interdisciplinary learning and increased knowledge and skills in related areas. It is argued that the problems posed by differences in time and space present learning opportunities.

Keyword
Mechatronics, Teams
National Category
Mechanical Engineering Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8954 (URN)000223907000014 ()2-s2.0-4043052368 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100609Available from: 2005-12-21 Created: 2005-12-21 Last updated: 2011-11-01Bibliographically approved
6. International Collaboration in Mechatronics Education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>International Collaboration in Mechatronics Education
2004 (English)In: Proceedings of the 5th International Workshop on Research and Education in Mechatronics, 2004Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8955 (URN)
External cooperation:
Conference
REM2004
Note

QC 20100609

Available from: 2005-12-21 Created: 2005-12-21 Last updated: 2016-09-01Bibliographically approved
7. A modular approach to experimental learning and fast prototype design of mechatronic systems: Introducing the mechatronic learning concept
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A modular approach to experimental learning and fast prototype design of mechatronic systems: Introducing the mechatronic learning concept
2003 (English)In: Proceedings of The International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED03, Stockholm, Sweden, 2003Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8956 (URN)
Conference
ICED03
Note
QC 20100609Available from: 2005-12-21 Created: 2005-12-21 Last updated: 2012-02-09Bibliographically approved
8. Providing a framework for prototype design of Mechatronic systems: A field study of an international collaborative educational project using the Mechatronic Learning Concept
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Providing a framework for prototype design of Mechatronic systems: A field study of an international collaborative educational project using the Mechatronic Learning Concept
2002 (English)In: Proceedings of the 3rd European Workshop on Education in Mechatronics, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2002Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8957 (URN)
Conference
3rd European Workshop on Education in Mechatronics
Note
QC 20100609Available from: 2005-12-21 Created: 2005-12-21 Last updated: 2012-02-09Bibliographically approved
9. The Lab in Your Pocket: A modular approach to experimental learning in Mechatronics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Lab in Your Pocket: A modular approach to experimental learning in Mechatronics
2003 (English)In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Mechatronics 2003, Loughborough, UK, 2003Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8958 (URN)
Conference
ICOM03
Note
QC 20100609Available from: 2005-12-21 Created: 2005-12-21 Last updated: 2012-02-09Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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Output format
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