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MTRX1701: Introduction to Mechatronic Engineering (2020 - Semester 1)

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Unit: MTRX1701: Introduction to Mechatronic Engineering (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Junior
Faculty/School: School of Aerospace, Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: A/Prof Rye, David
Session options: Semester 1
Versions for this Unit:
Site(s) for this Unit: Canvas
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Prohibitions: MECH1560 OR ENGG1800 OR AERO1560 OR CIVL1900 OR CHNG1108 OR AMME1960 OR BMET1960 OR ENGG1960.
Brief Handbook Description: This unit of study aims to introduce students to the fundamental principles that underlie the study of mechatronic engineering. It lays the foundation for later studies, including advanced mechatronic engineering, computing, control and system design courses. The subject also provides students with the opportunity to develop an understanding of a range of machining and manufacturing processes required to make mechanical components.

Introduction to Mechatronic Engineering (60%): (a) Introduction to mechatronics and to the structure of the BE in Mechatronic Engineering. (b) Systems Modelling and Control - Fundamental concepts which underlie the modelling and control of dynamic systems. (c) Design Process - The process of design synthesis as an important part of engineering. (d) Actuators - Components that exert effort to accomplish a given task. (e) Sensors - Components that take measurements of the environment. (f) Computers - Hardware and software components that, when combined, allow a system to be controlled. (g) Advanced Topics - Case studies relating to the application of mechatronic engineering principles.

Manufacturing Technology (40%): An overview of a range of processes related to the design and manufacture of aerospace components is provided through hands-on experience. Manufacturing Technology practical work is undertaken in: (a) Hand tools, Machining, and Soldering - an introduction to basic manufacturing processes used to fabricate mechatronic engineering hardware. Safety requirements: All students are required to provide their own personal protective equipment (PPE) and comply with the workshop safety rules provided in class. Students who fail to do this will not be permitted to enter the workshops. In particular, approved industrial footwear must be worn, and long hair must be protected by a hair net. Safety glasses must be worn at all times. (b) Solid Modelling - the use of computer aided design (CAD) tools to model geometry and create engineering drawings of engineering components. (c) Microcontrollers - ubiquitous in modern engineered products - will be introduced through experiential learning with development kits.
Assumed Knowledge: None.
Lecturer/s: Dr Johnson, David
Tutor/s: Cindy Zhu, Jacob Mackay, James Forner, Weirong Ge
Timetable: MTRX1701 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 1.00 1 13
2 Tutorial 2.00 1 12
3 Manufacturing Technology 3.00 1 10
4 Independent Study 5.00
T&L Activities: Lectures: The function of the lectures is principally to impart quickly an overview of the ideas, theory and engineering principles of the subject material, in context and with perspective and balance.

Tutorials: Two-hour tutorials will be conducted weekly (weeks 2–13) to assist learning by providing a flexible and responsive learning environment where detailed questions can be discussed.

Manufacturing Technology: Thirty hours of experiential workshop practice sessions are timetabled to teach the basics of some common manufacturing processes - hand tool use, machining and soldering - together with the basics of computer-aided design, and working with an Arduino microcontroller.

Independent Study: Students are expected to commit to private study, including lab work, outside of the timetabled hours. It is expected that the appropriate reference books and web-based material will be read to supplement material presented during lectures.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 3)
1. Analyze and formulate requirements for a mechatronic system based on a specification
2. Undertake independent research and analysis and to think creatively about engineering problems.
(8) Professional Effectiveness and Ethical Conduct (Level 1)
3. Have a basic knowledge of the norms of professional practice and of common workshop skills - hand tool use, machining, hand soldering, CAD and microcontroller applications..
(4) Design (Level 2)
4. Apply a systematic approach to the design process for mechatronic systems
5. Think creatively and independently about new design problems
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 1)
6. Appreciate the fundamental components that make up typical mechatronic systems, including sensors, actuators, electronic and computing systems.
7. Understand the general principles involved in computer controlled machinery.
(1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 1)
8. Demonstrate a basic understanding of system modelling and approaches to control
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Assignment 1* No 10.00 Week 4 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8,
2 Assignment 2* No 12.00 Week 8 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,
3 Assignment 3* No 12.00 Week 11 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,
4 Assignment 4* Yes 16.00 Week 13 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,
5 In-Class Quizzes No 10.00 Multiple Weeks 6, 7,
6 Workshop Technology No 40.00 Multiple Weeks 3,
Assessment Description: * indicates an assessment task which must be repeated if a student misses it due to special consideration.

Assignment 1: System block diagrams

Assignment 2: Requirements capture and component selection

Assignment 3: Sensor signal processing

Assignment 4: Case study - an analysis and design exercise.

In-Class Quizzes: Short quizzes in class.

Manufacturing Technology: Practical sessions in hand tools, machining, soldering, CAD and microcontrollers.

Unit of Study Policies

Method of Submission of Assignments

All assignments are to be submitted electronically via Canvas.

Assignment Extensions and Deadlines

No extension of the published due dates and times will be given unless exceptional circumstances apply. In such cases, formal application for Special Consideration should be made using the form available at .

Late Submission of Assignments

Unless Special Consideration is granted, late submission of an assignment shall be penalised 5% of the maximum mark for the assignment for each day or part thereof that the assignment is late.

Moderation of Group Work Marks

Marks for group work may be moderated on the basis of individual effort and understanding in tutorials and laboratory sessions as perceived by the Lecturers, Tutors and Demonstrators, and to compensate for demonstrated statistical variation between markers.

Must Pass Both Components

To pass this unit of study it is necessary to obtain a mark of not less than 45% in BOTH the Introduction to Mechatronic Engineering and Manufacturing Technology components.
Assessment Feedback: Students can expect feedback for this Unit of Study through discussion during lectures and tutorial/laboratory sessions, through assignment assessment, and through responses to questions posted on the unit of study discussion board (Ed) or posed via email . Students can provide feedback to the Lecturer and Tutors by discussion during lectures or tutorial/laboratory sessions, and by posting comments and questions on the Ed discussion forum or by email.
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: See the Student Policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding University policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Recommended Reference/s: Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books in the university library. Purchase is not required.
Online Course Content: Canvas
Note on Resources: Library Search for “mechatronic” in the Library catalogue:,contains,mechatronic&tab=Everything&search_scope=MyInst_and_CI&vid=61USYD_INST:sydney&lang=en&offset=0

Online Magazines

Journals Mechatronics is a mature scholarly discipline. The University library subscribes electronically to some of the leading journals in mechatronics and robotics. Although most of this research material is not immediately relevant to first-year mechatronics, you may be interested to have a look at some of the journals at
  • Mechatronics: Formal refereed papers on mechatronics. This is the leading international journal in the field.
  • IEEE Transactions on Robotics: Peer reviewed academic journal in the field of robotics, though it tends to emphasise mathematical and theoretical approaches.
  • International Journal of Robotics Research: The leading peer reviewed academic journal in robotics with a focus on formal experiments as well as theory. Its articles are detailed and provide extensive explanation of concepts and demonstrations.

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Lecture: Introduction to Mechatronic Systems
Tutorial: none this week.
Week 2 Tutorial: Assignment 1
Lecture: Diagrams and System Decomposition
Week 3 Tutorial: Assignment 1
Lecture: System Modelling and Informed Intuition
Week 4 Lecture: Simple Sensors - Sensor as Transfer Function
Tutorial: Assignment 1
Assessment Due: Assignment 1*
Week 5 Lecture: Advanced Sensors - Disturbances and Modelling
Tutorial: Assignment 2
Week 6 Tutorial: Assignment 2
Lecture: Simple Actuators - Electrical Actuators
Week 7 Lecture: Advanced Actuators - Beyond Electricity
Tutorial: Assignment 2
Week 8 Lecture: Control Toolbox: From PLC to Embedded Server
Tutorial: Assignment 3
Assessment Due: Assignment 2*
Week 9 Lecture: Implementing Control
Tutorial: Assignment 3 -
Week 10 Tutorial: Assignment 3 -
Lecture: Complete System Implementation
Week 11 Lecture: Case Study: Radar System Development
Tutorial: Assignment 4
Assessment Due: Assignment 3*
Week 12 Lecture: Control in the Real World
Tutorial: Assignment 4
Week 13 Lecture: ACFR Lab Tour
Tutorial: Assignment 4
Assessment Due: Assignment 4*

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Mechatronic Mid-Year 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Mechatronic/ Project Management 2019, 2020
Mechatronic 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Mechatronic / Arts 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020
Mechatronic / Commerce 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Mechatronic / Medical Science 2015, 2016, 2017
Mechatronic / Music Studies 2016, 2017
Mechatronic / Project Management 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Mechatronic / Science 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Mechatronic/Science (Health) 2018, 2019, 2020
Mechatronic / Law 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Mechatronic (Space) 2015
Mechatronic (Space) / Arts 2015
Mechatronic (Space) / Commerce 2015
Mechatronic (Space) / Medical Science 2015
Mechatronic (Space) / Project Management 2015
Mechatronic (Space) / Science 2015
Mechatronic (Space) / Law 2015
Mechatronic (till 2014) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Mechatronic Engineering / Arts 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Mechatronic Engineering / Commerce 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Mechatronic Engineering / Medical Science 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Mechatronic Engineering / Project Management 2012, 2013, 2014
Mechatronic Engineering / Science 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Mechatronic (Space) (till 2014) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Mechatronic Engineering (Space) / Arts 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Mechatronic Engineering (Space) / Commerce 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Mechatronic Engineering (Space) / Medical Science 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Mechatronic Engineering (Space) / Project Management 2012, 2013, 2014
Mechatronic Engineering (Space) / Science 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Mechatronic Engineering (Space) / Law 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Mechatronic/Science (Medical Science Stream) 2018, 2019, 2020
Biomedical Mid-Year 2016, 2017

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 3) No 14.77%
(8) Professional Effectiveness and Ethical Conduct (Level 1) No 40%
(5) Interdisciplinary, Inclusiveness, Influence (Level 2) No 0%
(4) Design (Level 2) No 14.77%
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 1) No 23.1%
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 2) No 0%
(1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 1) No 7.38%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.