Hello everyone and welcome back to the blog! In today’s post, I have a special treat lined up—an exclusive interview with the lecturer many of you adore from the memorable (for better or worse) Part I course, ENGGEN121. Fun fact: if you were all ears during his inaugural ENGGEN121 lecture, you’d recall that he’s an alumnus of UoA, having majored in mechatronics engineering. Beyond that, he plays a pivotal role in shaping the mechatronics pathway, teaching many courses throughout Parts II and III. Now, without keeping you waiting any longer, let’s delve into our conversation!
Q & A
What motivated you to pursue a degree in mechatronics engineering?
When I was in my first year of engineering and was exposed to a wide range of topics in Part I—including design, CAD, physics, mechanics, electronics, and programming—I was captivated by all of them. I enjoyed everything that was offered. So, I thought that mechatronics would be an excellent choice for me, as it encompasses all these subjects broadly.
What factors would you take into account in choosing between mechanical or mechatronics engineering?
The most crucial factor to consider is what you genuinely want to delve into. Mechatronics offers a significant amount of programming and a touch of electronics. If these subjects resonate with you, mechatronics could indeed be the right fit. However, if programming and electronics aren’t your cup of tea, don’t feel pressured to choose mechatronics by default.
On the other hand, if you’re passionate about diving deep into topics like heat transfer, ventilation, composite materials, and manufacturing systems, then mechanical engineering is more aligned with your interests. Furthermore, for those with an eye on the aerospace sector, it’s worth noting that both mechatronics and mechanical engineering can pave the way. However, the traditional route into aerospace has predominantly been through mechanical engineering. Keeping this in mind might influence your decision-making.
Do you have any advice on maintaining a healthy work-life balance while studying?
Control your procrastination. This is very difficult to do, and I’m guilty of it myself. I often joke that I personally have a PhD in procrastination, but mastering this challenge is crucial for success. However, this doesn’t mean you should work non-stop. Taking breaks is essential. Yet, I notice many students delay starting their assignments, leaving them to the last minute, which is far from ideal.
There are also students who focus 100% on their studies. From my perspective, grades aren’t everything. To be a well-rounded person and a competent engineer, you need a balance in all areas, including social skills and connections. So, attend those social events and build relationships with people!
What are some tips for upcoming mechatronics students?
This advice leans more towards software, but learn GitHub! Understanding and utilizing the advanced features of GitHub will be invaluable for those transitioning into their second year. While GitHub is introduced in MECHENG 270, mastering it beforehand for MECHENG 201 will streamline the collaboration process between you and your partner. Plus, it’s widely used in the industry.
What made you want to be an educator instead of going into the industry?
During my PhD, I picked up two tutoring jobs, and I was surprised by how much joy I derived from helping people understand difficult concepts. Witnessing what I call the “aha” moment—or you could say, the light bulb moments—is truly rewarding. This passion for facilitating such moments for students is why I’ve decided to pursue teaching.
That concludes the Q & A! A huge thanks to Hazim for agreeing to participate and for sharing his insights. His passion for teaching and facilitating the mech cohort has always been exceptional (aside from his tests), and I hope you’ll have the opportunity to experience that next year!
As we draw this year to a close, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all of you for joining me on this remarkable journey. Like many of you navigating your first year at university, there have been both challenges and triumphs. In reflection, a piece of wisdom I’d like to share is this: the greatest sorrow is not having both the vitality of youth and the insight to fully appreciate it. Amidst the demanding rigor of engineering, I urge each of you to seek out moments of joy and gratitude. Embrace the magical allure of youth, even in the midst of your bustling lives.
That’s all from me! If you see me around come up and say hi I’m always open to new conversations!