Six more weeks until I am halfway through my degree! – Mid-semester Mechatronics Update

I know I said my next blog was going to be up by the end of August, but the beginning of September is pretty close, right? It is currently the first week of the mid-semester break and there are six more weeks to go until the end of semester two, which means six more weeks until I am halfway through my degree! (I’m still looking for a summer internship, someone please hire me!)

This blog post will be shorter compared to my previous one (click here to read it) and I will “briefly” review the mechatronics courses for semester two. To see a full list of all the mechatronics courses offered at UoA, check out: http://bit.ly/mechatronics_courses, and to read more reviews from other students, check out http://bit.ly/studentcoursereview_mech.

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MECHENG 211 – I thought I wouldn’t enjoy this course because I didn’t enjoy ENGGEN 140 last year, but the content we are learning is really interesting and I am gaining an appreciation for thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer. The coursebook is a bit like CHEMMAT 121 from first year, where you have to fill in the blanks and make notes on the pages during class. I am a visual/kinesthetic learner, so this active learning process is really helpful and engaging for me. The class average for the mid-sem test was 89% which was pretty awesome because the test (15 marks total) was worth 15%.

MECHENG 222 – This course has the most aesthetic looking coursebook ever (thanks to Hazim and LaTeX) but also a ridiculous number of formulas (thankfully given to us on a formula sheet). To keep up with the course content, we have to complete weekly assignments on WileyPlus, worth a total of 5%. In order to motivate us to do these assignments, Hazim came up with CLAN WARS – basically a class competition to see which clan can accumulate the most points through participation and performance. I am the clan leader for “Hazim’s Hardworking (evil) Minions”, so I am responsible for motivating my clan to do their best through minion-themed words of encouragement.

MECHENG 270 – This mechatronics course is also shared with computer systems, electrical and some engineering science people! Mechanical students do MECHENG 236 instead. This WAS my favourite course so far, until mid-semester test (think 20% test with 20 multi-choice C++ coding and concept questions) happened. :(((( The lecturer (Nasser, aka Professor G) for the first half of the course was super engaging and funny and always came up with interesting analogies to help us understand concepts. The only other downsides to MECHENG 270 is that we have 2 hour lectures and having to spend ages downloading and setting up the required software on your computer.

ENGGEN 204 – Despite rumours from older students and what the majority of the people taking this course say, I actually kind of enjoy ENGGEN 204. Sure the course “content” is pretty much common sense and self-explanatory and the coursework is based around writing and communicating ideas, but this course forces us to practise our soft skills (writing, communicating and teamwork) and to be aware of professional ethics, sustainability and management. We also have to work in a group of 10 people (I got lucky and got an awesome bunch of 9 people) to write a team report.

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Finally, a summary of what I will be getting up to during this mid-semester break:

  • starting a 30% portfolio for GERMAN 314
  • researching and writing a 25% team report for ENGGEN 204
  • completing a 24% coding assignment for MECHENG 270
  • completing a 10% dynamics project for MECHENG 222
  • catching up on neglected tutorial sheets for MECHENG 211

Thanks for reading again and feel free to hit me up on Facebook if you have any questions. 🙂 Till the next blog,

~V

 

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