Ticketed event: $5.00 advanced registration and $15.00 on site registration
We invite participation in a workshop on Curriculum and Course Design for Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering Education. The workshop is motivated by the rapid growth in Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering and therefore, the need for students with a strong multidisciplinary theoretical and experimental skillset. These students are the future engineers who will design, develop, and implement transformative autonomous technologies toward improving human health and welfare.
Recognizing the need for preparing highly-educated MRE professionals, many universities and colleges are adopting MRE as a distinct degree program. However, there is not a well-defined and unified framework for such programs, which can cause confusion and ambiguity among instructors and future employers. To overcome this challenge, the authors, with financial support from NSF, have been engaged in holding several workshops on the Future of Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering Education. These workshops have brought together more than 150 faculty, students, and industry professionals in the MRE field to share broad success stories; to develop concept inventories for MRE curricula and courses; to identify thought leaders; to learn the recent trends in industry; and to develop a roadmap for MRE education.
Capitalizing on the outcomes of these efforts and based on the feedback from workshops’ participants, the proposed workshop is anticipated to achieve the following outcomes:
● Involve a broad range of colleges and universities
● Develop a unified set of courses for MRE curricula
● Prepare faculty to teach mechatronics and robotics courses through hands-on activities
● Further expand the community of MRE educators
1. Introduction (10 minutes) – Introduce the workshop origins, goals, and mission.
2. Session I (45 minutes)
- Robotics Engineering Curricula (Dr. Michael Gennert)
- Mechatronics Engineering Curricula (Dr. Vikram Kapila)
3. Break (10 minutes)
4. Session II (45 minutes)
- Introduction to Robotics (Dr. Michael Gennert and Dr. Nima Lotfi)
● Course organization and objectives
● Homework / Labs / Projects
5. Break (10 minutes)
6. Session III (45 minutes)
- Introduction to Mechatronics (Dr. Vikram Kapila and Dr. James Mynderse)
● Course organization and objectives
● Homework / Labs / Projects
7. Summary and Future Directions (15 minutes)
Nima Lotfi is an assistant professor of the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He is currently in charge of developing and expanding the Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering degree program at the Mechanical Engineering Department. Prior to joining SIUE, he was a research assistant in Missouri University of Science and Technology where he obtained his PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering. During his PhD, Dr. Lotfi was involved in DOE Transportation Electrification Education project in addition to various industrial projects with Tesla Motors and Boeing. He currently teaches courses in the general areas of Mechatronics, Robotics, and Controls. His areas of research interest include control and estimation with applications to alternative and renewable energy systems, mobile robotics, and electrified and autonomous transportation.
Michael A. Gennert is a Professor of Robotics Engineering, CS, and ECE at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he leads the WPI Humanoid Robotics Laboratory and was Founding Director of the Robotics Engineering Program. He has worked at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, the University of California Riverside, PAR Technology Corporation, and General Electric. He received the S.B. in CS, S.B. in EE, and S.M. in EECS in 1980 and the Sc.D. in EECS in 1987 from MIT. Dr. Gennert's research interests include robotics, computer vision, and image processing, with ongoing projects in humanoid robotics, robot navigation and guidance, biomedical image processing, and stereo and motion vision. He led WPI teams in the DARPA Robotics Challenge and NASA Space Robotics Challenge and is author or co-author of over 100 papers. His research has been supported by DARPA, NASA, NIH, NSF, and industry. He is a member of Sigma Xi, and a senior member of IEEE and ACM.
Vikram Kapila is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering (NYU Tandon), where he directs a Mechatronics, Controls, and Robotics Laboratory, a Research Experience for Teachers Site, a DR K-12 research project, and an ITEST research project, all funded by NSF. His research interests include K-12 STEM education, mechatronics, robotics, and control system technology. He has received several teaching awards at NYU Tandon, including a 2014-2015 New York University Distinguished Teaching Award. His scholarly activities have included 3 edited books, 8 chapters in edited books, 1 book review, 62 journal articles, and 154 conference papers. He has mentored 1 B.S., 35 M.S., and 5 Ph.D. thesis students; 58 undergraduate research students and 11 undergraduate senior design project teams; over 500 K-12 teachers and 120 high school student researchers; and 18 undergraduate GK-12 Fellows and 59 graduate GK-12 Fellows. Moreover, he directs K-12 education, training, mentoring, and outreach programs that enrich the STEM education of over 1,000 students annually.
Dr. Carlotta A Berry is a professor in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. She is on a team of faculty in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Software Engineering and Computer Science that direct the multidisciplinary minor in robotics. She is also the co-director of the Rose building undergraduate diversity scholarship and professional development program. She has been the President of the Technical Editor Board for the ASEE Computers in Education Journal for several years. She is a member of ASEE MIND, WIE, CoED, Multidisciplinary, and ECE divisions. She is also a member of IEEE, NSBE, and Eta Kappa Nu. She teaches courses in circuits, engineering design, controls, signals and systems, robotics, and human-robot interaction. Her research is in human-robot interfaces, engineering education and robotics education.
Kevin McFall, Ph.D., currently serves as Assistant Dean for Research at Kennesaw State University and previously held the position of Interim Chair in the Department of Mechatronics Engineering which has 450 undergraduate students enrolled in the B.S. Mechatronics Engineering major. He teaches a wide range of courses including mechatronics system design, instruments and controls, programming, machine learning, analog and digital circuits, and mechanics. Dr. McFall’s research involves machine learning and computer vision, especially in their application to autonomous vehicles.