Mechatronics engineering careers in aerospace
Mechatronics engineering careers are often associated with tasks involving automation, leading many to think associated jobs are only available in industrial settings, like automotive assembly lines and manufacturing plants. However, career fields for mechatronics engineers are almost endless – having a skillset that combines electrical, mechanical, computer, and control engineering means that jobs can be found in nearly every industry.
One industry with a need for mechatronics engineers is aerospace, especially as programs are in process to once again land humans on the moon by 2024. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and its affiliated agencies need mechatronics engineers to assist with their goal of landing on the moon, exploring Mars, and beyond.
A degree in mechatronics engineering provides graduates with a wide variety of engineering skills that other programs may not include. This means that there are a number of positions at NASA in the aerospace industry that are potential options for new grads, including:
- Mechanical Engineer: This position includes design, fabrication, testing, research, technology development, and creation of advanced mechanical, thermal, and propulsion systems.
- Electrical Engineer: This position includes working on payload electronics, avionics and flight subsystems, data-handling subsystems and motor control electronics and test equipment.
- Quality Assurance Engineer: This position provides technical and managerial support to programs and projects in the areas of mission assurance management, hardware and software quality assurance, reliability engineering, environmental assurance and component engineering.
As shown above, mechatronics engineers at NASA may work on a variety of tasks, with robotics often being at the forefront. Mechatronics engineers have developed automated rovers and robots that can conduct tasks in environments that would be dangerous for humans. Positions that would work on the development of robots include those above as well as Data Scientists, Program Analysts and Operations Specialists.
NASA values new engineering graduates and even has special programs, such as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory “new grad” program, which “provides recent college graduates with opportunities to utilize knowledge obtained through their studies and gain related work experiences in alignment with their professional goals.”
Capitol Tech students majoring in Mechatronics Engineering will find themselves well positioned for a career at NASA by taking University courses in fluid mechanics, mechatronic system design, automation systems design, microprocessors and microassembly, programmable logic control and networks, and physics.