Semester One was a bit of a shock, to say the least. I definitely felt the step up, and at times it felt like it was more like a climb. The ‘Part II Blues” hit me really hard so here are some tips and course overviews for budding Part II Mechatronics Engineers to avoid that…
ENGSCI 211 – Mathematical Modelling 2. As someone who’s never been the best at maths, I was thoroughly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Yes, it is fast-paced and yes, I got Peng’d* in the exam yet I did feel like my understanding of maths deepened and overall, it wasn’t the worst course. A couple tips I have for this course: Stay on top of the work for both Peng and Colin’s sections (GO TO THE LECTURES) and to read the Data Analysis sections before the lecture and to read the case studies.
MECHENG 201 – Vex robots and an introduction to electrical components. I loved this course. It was such a good time and I’m very appreciative that the Mechanical Department finally let Mechatronics students take it. I’d definitely recommend staying on top of the workload for Minas’ section as it is super content heavy and it is not fun to be trying to learn about 500 slides before the exam. The labs (with Hazim) are super fun although super stressful at times. Make sure you always communicate with your lab partner and split the work evenly. Also, did I mention, Hazim?
MECHENG 242 – Statics from 121 with more realness added to it. This was the hardest course this semester, content-wise. While everything may be ΣF=0, everything is much more challenging. The lecturers are all lovely and they all do their best to help – I found their office hours very helpful too. Tip: Make sure you understand the content throughout the course because the last three weeks (Jonathan’s section) is everything that was taught beforehand, combined into some pretty lengthy and confusing questions.
MECHENG 235 – 115 with added creo, technicality and stress. This was the most stressful paper for me personally. There are two projects – one is a design project for the Warman Competition and the other is one that has infamously run for decades (the Automatic Window Washer project). The Window Washer project is worth 35% of your grade and the hand-in this year, was a mere four hours before the third 242. For your mental sake, stay on top of the lectures. It really isn’t fun learning a whole semester’s worth of content in one day because the content isn’t really connected to the coursework. I must say, while it was stressful, there were parts of it I did enjoy like the designing and the hand-ins!
Mechatronics shares all of these papers with Mechanical. These papers are all compulsory (unless you are doing a conjoint – you miss out on 201 unfortunately) and they gave me a better understanding of what Mechatronics was. I’ve also learnt that the Mech Department is adorable 10/10; from running sports days and BBQs to giving us a nice exam timetable. Overall, Semester One was a blast – you make new friends within your specialisation and you feel like you’re finally, almost, doing some ‘real’ engineering.
Also – sign up to MECHA (the Mechanical and Mechatronics Student Association)!
*Peng’d: adj, refers to the decimation of students due to difficult, almost impossible questions set by Peng Du, lecturer of MM2.