Mechatronics Part II, Sem Two

Welcome back to another blog! In this blog I will be going over the much anticipated course reviews – semester two edition of course.


Let me get this out of the way first, in terms of workload I don’t think semester two is significantly easier compared to semester one BUT it is definitely the more enjoyable semester for me. This semester like last semester we still share a lot of courses with the mechanical people but we do have our first difference in courses – mechatronics like I have mentioned in a previous blog with do MECHENG270 which I will go into more detail later but mechanical will continue with design and manufacturing with MECHENG236 and we share all other courses.

MECHENG222 – Dynamics

For anyone looking to doing mech or tron but did not enjoy the dynamics in ENGGEN121 oh boy it’s gonna get tough. To summarize this course in the lowest number of words its “ENGGEN121 on steroids”. Imagine this, you are walking out of your 121 class with a velocity of 2m/s and suddenly the lecture theatre started channeling its inner ice skater and started spinning with an angular velocity of 3rad/s and for good measure let’s throw in an angular acceleration of rad/s^2. Now Hazim is walking away with a velocity of 1m/s but for some odd reason he decides to walk with an angle of 56 degrees from your path, now find the absolute acceleration of you relative to Hazim, while the world(or at least the lecture theatre) is spinning out of control.

This course has a loooooot of derivations that literally goes in one ear and comes out the other but thank god they don’t test the derivations so if you can understand how to use the result of the derivations you’ll be just fine.

I sure do hope you miss ENGGEN 121 quizzes because they come back with vengeance, because in 222 there are biweekly quizzes and these aren’t some quizzes that you can do in a late Friday night while listening to chill music – on average these quizzes take anywhere between 7-10 hours to do. Yes, you read that right. Each attempt has a time limit of one and half hours but you probably won’t get the question right on the first attempt(or a few attempts) – but they provide you with the numerical answer and some hints to the question which becomes your favourite thing for the next two hours while you stare at the question and try to figure it out. However, the good part about this is that because the quizzes are hard they actually prepare you very well for the tests and also really encourages you to stay up to date with the content so I guess its a love hate relationship.

MECHENG211 – Thermofluids

In this course we get our first(and last) introduction to three topics which makes this broad subject we term thermofluids, the three topics that are covered in this course are: thermodynamics, heat transfer, and fluid mechanics which we will develop a further understanding of in third year. Compared to dynamics where most people walk in to the test with nothing on their cheat sheet(there is almost nothing to memorise) in contrast people fill the A4 page to the brim when it comes to thermofluids. This course has a good mixture of understanding the concepts and calculations but overall I find everything to be fairly logical.

One thing to note is that the exam is 60%. Yep 60%. This means that you really need to study for that exam and stay on top throughout the semester because of how much content there is in this course. Definitely do not recommend cramming this course. But other then that I would say it’s fairly chill, the labs are chill as well with just two labs and two lab reports across the entire semester.

MECHENG270 – Software Design

This course is very similar to SOFTENG281 except we use C++ instead of Java so for some additional views on this course you guys can check out the other blogs. This was probably my favourite course in the second semester, we start of by looking at linux and some basic terminal commands and reasons why you would use a linux subsystem and then move onto object oriented programming. The key part is actually the design of the program. Instead of focusing on just the functionality of the program we also pay very close attention to whether or not the solution we have implemented is an elegant solution, or in Nassers words “a piece of code that you can stare at and fan girl about”. But this definitely isn’t all just smooth sailing either, the initial transition from C to C++ is quite difficult especially when it comes to memory storage and the number of different ways you can do the same things in C++. But by the end of this course you’ll become a master at using pointers and managing memory which builds the foundation for programming microcontrollers(how exciting!) in the third year.

The second half of the course looks at abstract data types such as linked lists, stacks and where you might use these data types in problem solving. We will also cover algorithms later into the semester but overall great course with two amazing lecturers.

ENGGEN204 – Professional Skills and Communication

For this course you will learn about some basic communication skills as well as professional skills like writing a good technical report and giving presentations. I don’t really have much to say about this course besides when you do group work for this course make sure to do your part and carry your own weight. This course is shared by all specs so if you want to read more about it make sure to check out what the other bloggers have said.

We have come to the end of this blog! As always thank you for reading all of that and as exam season is approaching soon I hope everyone is well rested for the study grind, and stay tuned for the next blog where I will go over internships.

Ps. You’ll understand why the feature image is a turntable if you do 222😉

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