Mechatronics is the synergistic combination of mechanical, electrical, and computer technologies in the design of complex products and processes. Recent rapid growth of mechatronics as an area of engineering has given rise to a significant demand for mechatronics engineers. In the Mechanical Engineering Department at Cal Poly, our Mechatronics Concentration is helping meet this need by producing engineering graduates who are capable, well-rounded mechatronics designers.

Mechatronics is a design philosophy, an integrated approach to engineering design. The primary factor distinguishing mechatronics is the simultaneous consideration of the following factors in the design of a product or process:

  • Mechanical
  • Electrical/Electronic
  • Computational
  • Sensors/Actuators
  • Real-Time Interfacing

Mechatronics is intimately associated with modern product design.

Applications of mechatronics are widespread, including manufacturing automation and intelligent machines. Specific examples include: computer printers, copy machines, the Mars Rover, automatic windows, automotive fuel injectors and ignition control, modern household appliances, and car and home security systems.

Our Mechatronics Laboratory, sponsored by Hewlett-Packard, provides state-of-the-art equipment in support of mechatronics design.


The HVAC&R Concentration prepares students for careers in the heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) industry, with a focus on the design of mechanical systems for commercial and industrial buildings.

General Mechanical Engineering

The ME curriculum provides a blend of theoretical and laboratory experience, integrated with design, to prepare our graduates for careers in industry, government, private enterprise, and graduate study.

Students gain a fundamental understanding of engineering sciences, including mathematics, chemistry, and physics as well as deep training in engineering design. The principles of solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, and thermal sciences are included throughout the curriculum, providing students the knowledge and skill-set to design engineering solutions to problems encountered in the professional world.

Cal Poly mechanical engineers also become effective team members and communicators through individual and team-based projects assigned throughout their undergraduate education. Students are enrolled in engineering laboratories and design courses from freshman year on. In addition to fundamentals, general ME students learn about engineering entrepreneurship, engineering economics, and how to approach engineering sales and management.