Next week our graduating Mechatronics Engineering students present the results of their fourth year design projects during their Mechatronics Engineering Design Symposium. There is a project list with links so that you can see examples of what senior-level students do as their “capstone” design experience. It is quite an interesting list, covering a variety of application areas such as biomedical (laparoscopic surgery and assistive devices), environmental (water treatment), agricultural (egg washing and sorting), and a rather intriguing 3D chocolate printer. There are quite a variety of other things too, well worth looking at if you’re wondering what mechatronics engineering students do at Waterloo.
All Waterloo Engineering programs have similar upper year group design projects, usually selected or initiated by the students, and sometimes in collaboration with company sponsors. The purpose is to provide an opportunity for “real world” design experience, with project management and communications included. In many cases these are projects that are inspired or initiated during co-op work terms, and sometimes they are ideas that the students hope to commercialize after graduation. For high school students trying to decide on a future path, looking at some of these projects can be very helpful in understanding what engineers do, so I’ll try to find more examples in the coming weeks.