Mechatronics, Micro and Optical Technology

Automatically parking in a parking space, unlocking your cell phone with a fingerprint - the complex interaction of sensors, actuators, lasers, radar and more is playing an increasing role in our everyday lives. To make this work, several technical disciplines work together in a future-oriented manner: mechatronics, microtechnology and optotechnology.

The field of study at a glance

Courses in this field of study have one thing in common: at the interface between Electronics, Computer Science, Mechanics, Sensors and Measurement Technology, they deal with solutions to technical and medical problems.

Mechatronics combines content from the classic engineering disciplines of mechanical engineering and mechanics, electrical engineering and electronics, as well as computer science. Interdisciplinary and system-technical thinking play a major role here.

• The study of Microtechnology also combines specialist areas from computer science, micro-optics and electronics as well as micromechanics and is therefore highly interdisciplinary.

• The courses in the areas of Optoelectronics, Optical Technologies and Photonics deal with the properties of light and its possible applications, for example in Optical Measurement Technology and Laser Technology. The undergraduate courses differ primarily according to the disciplines of Eye Optics/Optometry and Laser Technology/Optical systems Technology/Optronics. The master's degree is possible in more depth in the Photonics (optical technologies) course.

Course offered

There are courses in this area at universities and technical colleges. At most universities it is possible to continue your studies with a master's degree.

Contents of the course

In the Bachelor's program in Mechatronics, modules impart basic skills from the subjects of mathematics and physics as well as from engineering subjects such as technical mechanics, electrical engineering, electronics and electronic components, circuit technology, computer science, digital technology, control technology, signals and systems, statics, dynamics, construction technology, system design, electrical CAE (Computer Aided Engineering), electrical drive technology, control technology, signaling technology, sensor technology, measurement technology, robot systems, automation, thermo- and fluid dynamics, materials, technical optics and lighting technology, hydraulics and pneumatics. There are also supplementary modules in English, business administration/accounting, project management and law.

In Microtechnology, modules on the basics of mathematics, physics, chemistry, technical mechanics, electrical engineering, technical optics, materials technology, technical construction drawing/CAD, components and circuit technology or technical programming are completed in the bachelor's program. Application-related knowledge is then imparted in subjects such as computer science, electronics, microprocessor technology, signals and systems, signal processing, biomaterials, measurement and control technology, construction methodology, introduction to modeling and simulation, production techniques and technical optics.

The course content of Optotechnology includes atomic and molecular physics, chemistry, computer science, programming, technical optics, measurement and control technology, sensor technology, biomedicine and physiological optics.

During your studies there are usually practical phases, sometimes a practical semester.

Admission criteria & application for study

Some universities require a preliminary internship lasting several weeks. For the eye optics course, completed vocational training to become an optician is required or recommended.

Career opportunities after graduation

Mechatronics engineers work in all important sectors of mechanical and plant engineering as well as electrical engineering and electronics. They are used in companies in the automotive and aviation industries, vehicle technology, automation technology, robotics, microsystems and precision engineering, print and media technology, audio and video industries and medical technology.

Engineers in the Microtechnology department work primarily in manufacturing companies for precision engineering and microtechnical products, e.g. for Information Technology devices, Consumer Electronics, Optics and Photography Technology, Measurement, Control and Regulation Technology, Sensor Technology, Medical Technology, Manufacturing and Assembly Technology, Household Appliance Technology, Security Technology as well in Vehicle Construction.

Thanks to the interdisciplinarity and breadth of application of optical technologies, graduates find employment opportunities in companies in the optics industry, medical and environmental technology, the information and telecommunications industry, the automotive industry and numerous other manufacturers of optical parts and components.

Graduates from all areas can also work in research institutions.