What's it like to be a Mechatronic Engineer?



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Are you interested in aerospace automation and aerial robotics…? Check out how Curtin Alumnus Joshua Portlock got into it by studying Mechatronic Engineering at Curtin.

>> My name is Josh Portlock, I studied
Mechatronic Engineering at Curtin and I started my PhD in Aerospace Automation. I ended up focusing on flying robots and
that's where I lead into my career as well. When I was young I realised I liked
taking things apart, much to my parents dismay. How they'd buy me a new
toy and I'd play with it for a few seconds before being curious about what was
inside it. And that sort of led me through high school wanting to get into
Engineering, so doing all the suitable Maths and Physics and what not. And
I chose Curtin because it had a good reputation for practical engineering and
I'm really applied engineering to industry. During my degree I really
enjoyed the projects, particularly the final year project, and I developed a
flying robot which led me to the career path that I have today. I'm Chief
Technology Officer at Scientific Aerospace. I found that company and we acquired a
company I used to work for, Cyber Technology that developed unmanned
aircraft. So scientific airspace develop commercial-grade UAVs or drones with
aerial cameras and video capability for inspection, surveying and various
different industries requiring aerial imagery. We have some very interesting
projects that we're working on at the moment, especially involving surveying
high-precision areas. So we're working closely with Landgate, a government surveying
customer to survey the beachlands and check for erosion. And that's been really
interesting work. The most useful thing I took out of the
degree at Curtin University was project management skills, particularly trading
off between mechanical, electrical and software engineering and trying to find
the optimal solution. CyberQuad has had a lot of commercial
success in the Civil, Industrial, Infrastructure, Inspection industries. This includes mining, oil and gas, power
lines, communication towers, wherever there's high altitude assets
that need inspecting. One great example is the work we've done with Woodside where
we can fly up with cyberQuad and visually inspect the flair tip while
it's still live. So there's a large flame coming out the
top, yet we can still safely inspect it without having to shut it down or risk sending people up. My aspirations for the future is
scientific airspace to be a world leading provider of unmanned aerial
robotics and this includes the cyberQuad but various other platforms and
technologies that we're developing and integrating to provide solutions for end uses.

6 thoughts on “What's it like to be a Mechatronic Engineer?”

  1. Thank you very much for enlightening me about mechatronics engineering. I would like to enquire about whether it is marketable especially in the Sub-Saharan Africa and generally the job market.

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