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MEC2406 Introduction to Mechatronics and Automation

Semester 2, 2020 On-campus Springfield
Short Description: Mechatronics & Automation
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 030701 - Mechanical Engineering
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 29 February 2020


Examiner: Tobias Low


Pre-requisite: ENM1600


An understanding of, and an ability to analyse, mechatronic systems and automation systems is essential for the mechatronic engineer. This course will introduce the concept of State-Space modelling and will provide the developing engineer with opportunity to apply this knowledge in modelling and designing mechatronic systems.


A Graduate Mechatronics Engineer must have mastery of the topics introduced in this course, including Mechatronic Design, State-Space Modelling, Control Systems, System Dynamics, Actuators/Motors, Sensors and Microcontrollers. Throughout the course, State-Space modelling and Microcontroller interfacing will be a common theme and will be consistently reinforced. The course will be assessed by three assessments items:- two assignments and a final written examination. The first assignment requires the student to undertake a systems design report detailing the solution to a typical engineering problem. The second assignment encompasses a more hands-on approach to solve a specific control task using modelling techniques, motors, sensors, and a microcontroller. The final examination will assess the general theory and knowledge taught in the course.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. Analyse a Mechatronic system and identify key components in its design and control systems;
  2. Demonstrate and model a Mechatronic system using state-space variables for the task of control;
  3. Discuss the fundamental aspects behind mechanical energy transfer systems, and calculate dynamic constraints for different mechanical systems;
  4. Illustrate the types of actuators and motors available and evaluate the best matched actuator/motor for a given specification/task;
  5. Select and use a microcontroller and software, to implement and program digital control methods for a motor to solve a given task; and
  6. Describe basic electrical systems in order to identify, interface and implement sensors and hardware toward an automation task.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Case Study – A Mechatronic System and Its Components 15.00
2. Concept of Feedback 20.00
3. Design – Simulation and Modelling 15.00
4. Actuators/Motors 15.00
5. Control Methods – Implementation and Software 15.00
6. Sensors – Implementation and Hardware 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Students are required to purchase a Mechatronics Kit from the USQ Bookshop (~$50). This kit will contain the basic components for assignment 2. Students must only utilise the components in the given kit for their assignment unless stated otherwise in the assignment question.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Alciatore, D.G, Histand, M.B 2018, Introduction to Mechatronics and Measurement Systems, 5th edn, McGraw Hill Publisher.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 52.00
Directed Study 26.00
Lectures 26.00
Private Study 51.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
Assignment 1 200 20 12 Aug 2020 1,3,4,6
Assignment 2 400 40 06 Oct 2020 1,3,5,6
Exam 400 40 End S2 1,2,3,4,5,6 (see note 1)

  1. This will be a closed exam. The total working time for the examination is 2 hours. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the official examination timetable has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures and tutorials) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. Participation in on-line discussion groups. Students are to participate in on-line discussion groups beginning in Week 1. Each student must submit at least five entries and a final report.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to be awarded a passing grade in this course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), i.e. the end of semester examination by achieving at least 40% of the weighted marks available for that assessment item.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    CLOSED: Candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into a closed examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Students must familiarise themselves with the USQ Assessment Procedures (

  2. Referencing in Assignments must comply with the Harvard (AGPS) referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (APGS) style to be used is defined by the USQ library’s referencing guide. These policies can be found at

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:
1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.
2. forms part of the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and is benchmarked against the
o professional accreditation standards of Engineers Australia.

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access:
    Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at .

  2. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in this course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect the same grades as those students who do possess them.

Date printed 29 February 2020