Skip to main content
Unit of study_

MTRX1701: Introduction to Mechatronic Engineering

This unit of study aims to introduce students to the fundamental principles that underlie the study of mechatronic engineering. It lays the foundation for later studies, including advanced mechatronic engineering, computing, control and system design courses. The subject also provides students with the opportunity to develop an understanding of a range of machining and manufacturing processes required to make mechanical components. Introduction to Mechatronic Engineering (60%): (a) Introduction to mechatronics and to the structure of the BE in Mechatronic Engineering. (b) Systems Modelling and Control - Fundamental concepts which underlie the modelling and control of dynamic systems. (c) Design Process - The process of design synthesis as an important part of engineering. (d) Actuators - Components that exert effort to accomplish a given task. (e) Sensors - Components that take measurements of the environment. (f) Computers - Hardware and software components that, when combined, allow a system to be controlled. (g) Advanced Topics - Case studies relating to the application of mechatronic engineering principles. Manufacturing Technology (40%): An overview of a range of processes related to the design and manufacture of aerospace components is provided through hands-on experience. Manufacturing Technology practical work is undertaken in: (a) Hand tools, Machining, and Soldering - an introduction to basic manufacturing processes used to fabricate mechatronic engineering hardware. (b) Solid Modelling - the use of computer aided design (CAD) tools to model geometry and create engineering drawings of engineering components. (c) Microcontrollers - ubiquitous in modern engineered products - will be introduced through experiential learning with development kits. Safety requirements: All students are required to provide their own personal protective equipment (PPE) for activities (a) and comply with the workshop safety rules provided in class. Safety glasses must be worn at all times. Approved industrial footwear must be worn, and long hair must be protected by a hair net, for the Hand Tools and Machining activities. Students who fail to do this will not be permitted to enter the workshops.


Academic unit Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic
Unit code MTRX1701
Unit name Introduction to Mechatronic Engineering
Session, year
Semester 1, 2020
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

MECH1560 OR ENGG1800 OR AERO1560 OR CIVL1900 OR CHNG1108 OR AMME1960 OR BMET1960 OR ENGG1960
Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator David Rye,
Lecturer(s) David Rye ,
Tutor(s) Jesse Morris ,
Jacob MacKay,
Stratton Vakirtzis,
Hugh Allen,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Tutorial quiz In-class quizzes
10% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO6 LO7
Participation Workshop technology
40% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO3
Assignment Assignment 1
10% Week 05
Due date: 28 Mar 2020 at 23:59

Closing date: 07 Apr 2020
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO8
Assignment Assignment 2
12% Week 08
Due date: 25 Apr 2020 at 23:59

Closing date: 05 May 2020
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Assignment Assignment 3
12% Week 11
Due date: 16 May 2020 at 23:59

Closing date: 26 May 2020
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Assignment group assignment Assignment 4
16% Week 13
Due date: 30 May 2020 at 23:59

Closing date: 09 Jun 2020
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO2
group assignment = group assignment ?


  • Assignment 1: System block diagrams.
  • Assignment 2: Requirements capture and component selection.
  • Assignment 3: Sensor signal processing.
  • Assignment 4: Case study; an analysis and design exercise. 
  • In-class quizzes: Short quizzes in class.
  • Manufacturing technology: Practical sessions in Hand Tools, Machining, Soldering, CAD and Microcontrollers. 

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Unit of Study Policies

Method of Submission of Assignments
All assignments must be submitted electronically via Canvas.

Assignment Extensions and Deadlines
No extension of the published due dates and times will be given unless exceptional circumstances apply. In such cases, formal application for Special Consideration should be made using the form available at

Moderation of Group Work Marks
Marks for group work may be moderated on the basis of individual effort and understanding in tutorials and laboratory sessions as perceived by the Lecturers, Tutors and Demonstrators, and to compensate for demonstrated statistical variation between markers.

Must Pass Both Components
To pass this unit of study it is necessary but not sufficient to obtain a mark of not less than 45% in both the Introduction to Mechatronic Engineering and Manufacturing Technology components.

Assessment Feedback
Students can expect feedback for this unit of study through discussion during lectures and tutorial/laboratory sessions, through assignment assessment, and through responses to questions posted on the unit of study discussion board (Ed) or via email.

Students can provide feedback to the Lecturer and Tutors by discussion during lectures or tutorial/laboratory sessions, by posting comments and questions on the Ed discussion forum, or by email to the unit coordinator.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades as set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

Standards Based Assessment

Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS for Pass and FA for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Coursework Policy 2014.

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard. For more information see


Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction to mechatronic systems Lecture (1 hr)  
Week 02 System Design 1 (The Design Process) Lecture (1 hr)  
Week 03 System Design 2 (Functional Block Diagrams) Lecture (1 hr)  
Week 04 System Design 3 (System Block Diagrams) Lecture (1 hr)  
Week 05 Estimating and Intuition Lecture (1 hr)  
Week 06 Sensors (Part 1) Lecture (1 hr)  
Week 07 Actuators (Part 1) Lecture (1 hr)  
Week 08 Control (Part 1) Lecture (1 hr)  
Week 09 Sensors (Part 2) Lecture (1 hr)  
Week 10 Actuators (Part 2) Lecture (1 hr)  
Week 11 Control (Part 2) Lecture (1 hr)  
Week 12 Full System Implementation Lecture (1 hr)  
Week 13 Uncommitted Lecture (1 hr)  

Attendance and class requirements

Students are expected to attend all scheduled lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions.


Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

 Recommended References

Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books, or other books, in the University Library. Purchase is not required

Online Course Content


Note on Resources


Search for “mechatronic” in the University Library catalogue:,contains,mechatronic&tab=Everything&search_scope=MyInst_and_CI&vid=61USYD_INST:sydney〈=en&offset=0

Online Magazines


Mechatronics is a mature engineering and scholarly discipline. The University library subscribes electronically to some of the leading journals in mechatronics and robotics. Although most of this research material is not immediately relevant to first-year mechatronic engineering, you may be interested to have a look at some of the journals at

  • Mechatronics: Formal refereed scholarly papers on mechatronics. This is the leading international journal in the field.
  • International Journal of Robotics Research: The leading peer-reviewed academic journal in robotics with a focus on formal experiments as well as theory. Its articles are detailed and provide extensive explanation of concepts and demonstrations.
  • IEEE Transactions on Robotics: Peer-reviewed academic journal in the field of robotics. It tends to emphasise mathematical and theoretical approaches.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Analyze and formulate requirements for a mechatronic system based on a specification.
  • LO2. Undertake independent research and analysis and to think creatively about engineering problems.
  • LO3. Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the norms of professional practice and of common workshop skills - hand tool use, machining, hand soldering, CAD and microcontroller applications.
  • LO4. Apply a systematic approach to the design process for mechatronic systems.
  • LO5. Think creatively and independently about new design problems.
  • LO6. Appreciate the fundamental components that make up typical mechatronic systems, including sensors, actuators, electronic and computing systems.
  • LO7. Understand the general principles involved in computer-controlled machinery.
  • LO8. Demonstrate a basic understanding of system modelling and approaches to control.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
We will endeavour to provide even more timely feedback on assignments this year.

Additional costs

Students must supply their own personal protective equipment (PPE) for Workshop Technology practical classes.

Work, health and safety

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is mandatory for participation in the Hand Tools, Machining and Soldering practical classes within the Manufacturing Technology component of the unit. Further information will be provided in the first week’s lectures.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.