New master’s programme for mechatronics
A new master's programme will soon see the light of day at KTH. With digitalization, mechatronics forms the basis for an increasing part of the technology areas in society. The master's program in mechatronics will now be tested in a pilot with an innovative study approach.
Mechatronics is what the word implies: the meeting of mechanics, electronics, software, and control theory. The subject has existed at KTH since 1977 but only now has its master's programme.
”There are several reasons why it turns into a programme. For those of us who work with engineering design, it is about society changing, where electronics, software, and control theory become more critical. Software, in particular, is crucial in more and more areas,” says Fredrik Asplund , who is responsible for the programme and gives examples of autonomous vehicles, medical technology, and industrial automation.
Previously, the mechatronics subject at KTH was part of "Engineering design," divided into two tracks: mechatronics and machine design. Over time, the tracks have grown apart, although Fredrik emphasizes that they are still connected.
”Today, it is often the software that stands out when selling a product. But if you design the software for submarines or combat vehicles at Saab, you must also understand how they work.”
He hopes that more students interested in mechatronics but do not necessarily have a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering will be attracted to the programme. Several courses in within the subject should suffice.
Fredrik Asplund and his colleagues have also noticed that international students have had difficulty finding the education in mechatronics at KTH. When they searched online, the subject has been hidden under 'Engineering design' – a problem now getting its solution.
The new master's programme will serve as a pilot within the 'Education of the Future' initiative. The original proposal (M-SPAN) aimed to modernize education, including creating more flexible study paths where students can take courses and labs multiple times and in slightly different forms.
”This approach to studying is not very common at KTH. Today, for example, students may accidentally choose the 'wrong' semester for their exchange studies. They may need to skip a semester if they cannot take specific replacement courses during the exchange. It made sense for us to try these more flexible methods in one of our own programmes. We want to kickstart this and then evaluate what works and doesn't,” concludes Asplund.
Students will be able to apply for the new programme in 2024-25.
Text: Anna Gullers