The University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved SPSU's Bachelor of Science in Mechatronics Engineering Degree in October of 2006. Fall 2007 was the first incoming freshman class.
IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics was the first refereed journal published in the United States focused on Mechatronics. In the first issue (March 1996), mechatronics was defined as: "The synergistic integration of mechanical engineering with electronics and intelligent computer control in the design and manufacturing of industrial products and processes." Ten specific topics were identified under the general category of mechatronics:
- Modeling and Design
- Motion Control
- System Integration
- Vibration and Noise Control
- Actuators and Sensors
- Micro Devices & Optoelectronic Systems
- Intelligent Control
- Automotive Systems
Mechatronic systems can be a complete product or a sub-component of a product. Examples of mechatronic systems include aircraft flight control and navigation systems; automotive electronic fuel injection and anti-lock brake systems; automated manufacturing systems including robots, numerical control machining centers, packaging systems and plastic injection-molding systems; artificial organs; health monitoring and surgical systems; copy machines; and many more. Some common element of all these systems is the integration of analog and digital circuits, microprocessors and computers, mechanical devices, sensors, actuators, and controls.
Mechatronics Engineering graduates can select from a wide spectrum of industries for career choices and can also contribute in a variety of roles including design engineer, software engineer, project planner, product designer, and project manager. Mechatronics Engineering program graduates are able to select from jobs as Mechatronics specialists in a variety of industries. Opportunities are also available to graduates in smaller companies that need generalists who can perform both mechanical and electrical engineering functions.