With Tennessee Board of Regents and Tennessee Higher Education approval, MTSU’s Department of Engineering Technology began a mechatronics engineering program nearly three years ago.
In August 2013, Michigan native and Michigan State transfer Dallas Trahan became the program’s first student. Others followed, and the trickle ballooned to a fast-growing 250 majors as the spring semester wound down.
During the university’s May 7 morning commencement ceremony, 13 seniors will become the first MTSU mechatronics graduating class.
Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary field of engineering that includes a combination of systems, mechanical, electrical, telecommunications, control and computer engineering. The program is based on a three-level international certification program created by Siemens, a German engineering company.
Program coordinator Ahad Nasab said he and the faculty are very excited about the first group to graduate.
“They are very sought-after from our industry. Most of them already have jobs offered to them.” Nasab said.
“We have really focused on this group. They have accomplished amazing things so far.”
Senior and student veteran John Sivilaylack, who has been an intern with a Manchester, Tennessee, auto parts supplier, is negotiating a full-time job after graduation.
“Being ahead of technology and where this program is going, it feels good to be one of the first ones to graduate,” Sivilaylack said.
“This was all new. Back in high school, I never thought I would be an engineer at all. We didn’t have computers and programmers like we do now.”
Senior Joshua Greer said Nissan North America in Smyrna, Tennessee, which helped with the start of MTSU’s program, “has quite a bit of positions open” for prospective employees.
For Nathan Simpkins, 22, who grew up on a farm outside Ashland City in Cheatham County, Tennessee, a starting salary of $65,000 sounds very appealing.
“That’s more money than I’ve ever had and more money than my parents ever made. That’s exciting,” he said.
To learn more about the MTSU mechatronics program, visit www.mtsu.edu/programs/mechatronics or contact Nasab by calling 615-898-2052 or emailing Ahad.Nasab@mtsu.edu.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)