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AUS holds mechatronics workshop to connect academia and industry
International industry experts and academics shared ideas on the latest trends, needs and changes in mechatronics education at a special workshop held at American University of Sharjah (AUS) today April 26. The day-long conference, entitled "Mechatronics between Academia and Industry," comprised a wide variety of sessions that addressed important issues in the field.
Mechatronics, which has evolved as a distinct engineering discipline over the last few years, is a blend of mechanics, electronics, information technology and computers. It is the application of the latest techniques in precision mechanical engineering, controls theory, computer science and electronics to the design process in order to create more functional and adaptable products. With its renowned, long-established Mechatronics Center on campus, the university's graduate degree in mechatronics engineering has attracted a lot of attention over the years, reinforcing AUS's reputation as one of the region's leading research universities.
Academics from the UAE and Canada addressed pertinent topics that focused on mechatronics education in the UAE as well as north America while industry specialists held sessions and panel discussions on robotics, mechatronics and smart systems and the key technologies and skills needed for tomorrow's applications.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Richard Schoephoerster, Dean of the College of Engineering (CEN) said "This is an excellent opportunity for those of us in this dynamic field to come together to exchange ideas and to discuss ways and means to address the latest trends in mechatronics education. This event is the first in a series of collaborations we envisage having with Quanser, Canada, with whom we have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)."
According to the MoU, AUS has partnered with Quanser to become part of the Quanser Center of Excellence program. Both organizations have agreed to collaborate in areas of mutual interest, as Quanser is a leader in design and manufacture of engineering education and research solutions for mechatronics systems.
With the university's recent mandate to become a research hub in the coming years, collaborations such as this will provide an added fillip to the graduate program offered in mechatronics engineering. Multidisciplinary engineers are needed now more than ever to tackle challenges in the competitive and changing industrial sector. Coupled with the AUS Mechatronics Center's excellent networking opportunities with leading industries throughout the region, mechatronics engineering students at the university benefit from both theoretical and practical hands-on research and training.
The workshop also featured Dr. Lotfi Romdhane, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Director of the Mechatronics Engineering Graduate Program at AUS; Dr. AbdulRahman Al-Ali, Professor of Computer Engineering, AUS; Dr. Mohammad Jaradat, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, AUS; Dr. Sanjeev Bedi, Director of IDEAS Clinic and former Director of the Mechatronics Program at University of Waterloo, Canada; Dhanabal Solaikutty, Academic Manager, National Instruments, India; as well as Paul Gilbert, CEO of Quanser, Canada, along with other senior officials from the organization.