The word Mechatronics originally meant adding a microprocessor to a mechanical system to give it some intelligence. 40 years after the word was created (mechanical + electronics = mechatronics), it now means Multidisciplinary Systems Engineering as all real-world systems now have as essential elements sensors, actuators, electronics, and computer control integrated with the physical system from the start of the design process with no after-thought add-ons allowed.
As all systems need to be mechatronic systems today, the mechatronics engineer is what all mechanical engineers need to become, i.e., an engineer with mechanical engineering depth plus multidisciplinary engineering breath. Mechanical engineers need to be able create machines with integrated sensors, actuators, electronics, and computer control that work the first time.
The outdated design-build-test approach is too time consuming and too costly, and it does not lead to understanding of how a system works, how it fails, or how to improve it. A model-based mechatronic system approach to design leads to a virtual prototype that, if it works, will lead to a hardware prototype that will work the first time.
This online course is equivalent to a standard 3-credit university course in duration, content, and time commitment, i.e., 3 contact hours each week and 7 additional hours each week of study.
If you are a practicing engineer with several years of experience, you may not know anything about mechatronics. This course introduces you, in an integrated way, to all the elements of a modern multidisciplinary engineering system and sets you on a path to become a mechatronics engineer. If you are recent graduate, you may have had separate courses in electrodynamics, computer control, or electronics. This online course shows how all the elements of a mechatronic system are integrated to create an optimum design.
The cost of the 14-week online course is $450. A 3-credit course at a state university has an in-state cost of about $900 (i.e., $300 per credit hour). This course is priced at half that amount, as it is offered separate from a university program. This course at a private university would cost more than $5000, i.e., more than 10 times the cost of this course. The course is priced to serve as many engineers in the world as possible who desire to use the best approach possible – a model-based mechatronics approach – to solve the world’s problems in health, energy, poverty, water, climate, and education.
Kevin Craig graduated from West Point, served in the military, and has a Ph.D. from Columbia University. He worked as an engineer at Xerox, a professor at RPI for 18 years, an endowed chair professor in engineering design at Marquette University for 6 years, and now as a professor at Hofstra University for the last 6 years. Over the past 25 years he has conducted over 20 hands-on, customized, integrated mechatronics workshops for engineers at, for example, P&G, Rockwell Automation, Johnson Controls, and Xerox in the U.S., and at Tetra Pak in Italy.

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