ENGG1500 - Introduction to professional engineering
This course is the first in a series of professional practice courses that introduces students to professional skills that are integral to an engineering workplace. The focus of all the courses is on integrating professional skills with technical skills. The courses also incorporate academic survival skills and support, particularly in first year. The course content is delivered by subject specialists and then students are asked to apply their theoretical learning to engineering-based assessments.
Nicholas designed and maintains the ENGG1500 project for electrical and mechatronics engineering students. Students are introduced to microcontrollers, various sensors and actuators and learn the concepts of hardware calibration, program design, control structures, automatic control, and critical systems. Students are encouraged to develop a solution that is as autonomous as possible, able to complete various configurations of a track.
MECH2110 - Mechanical Design
This course introduces students to general procedures for solving design problems and searching for design solutions using a range of techniques. Students will build on their knowledge of engineering drawing techniques and be introduced to the assembly of machine components – limits, fits and geometric tolerance.
Nicholas designed a series of mechatronics laboratories, providing a foundation for motor control and data acquisition with a microcontroller. Additionally students complete a design assignment based around program structure and state machine design.
All the elements of this course are designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills required to complete the Warman competition.
MCHA3000 - Mechatronics Design 1
The inverted pendulum robot is a challenging design and build project undertaken by students in the third year of the mechatronics engineering degree. Each robot fuses data from multiple sensors including gyroscopes and accelerometers to estimate its orientation. This information is used to compute the necessary motor actions that stabilise the robot upright whilst following a commanded trajectory.
Students design the robot chassis and printed circuit board for manufacture, use physical principles and experimental methods to obtain a mathematical model of the system, design a computer-based control system, conduct full system tests in simulation and write microcontroller code to implement the simulated design on the physical robot. Design problems in mechatronics are often characterised by many interlocking design trade-offs and conflicting requirements. Students need to carefully balance design decisions that affect mechanical structure, power electronics, dynamic response, computational power, sensor and actuator choice, cost and development time.
MCHA3900 - Mechatronics Design 2
This is a project based course, where students deepen their knowledge on the mechatronic system design process. This course primarily focuses on modelling, control and estimation for both robot manipulators and vehicles operating in 3D space.
ENGG2440/MCHA2000 - Modelling and control
This course introduces to modelling and control of engineering systems. It presents tools that are fundamental for the analysis and design of such systems. The tools presented in the course use energy as a key element to develop modelling skills that can transcend physical domains and engineering specialisations. In addition, the course provides students with an understanding of the principle of feedback along with an introduction to classical control design techniques. Topics include fundamental limitations, stability of closed loop systems, control design for time domain and frequency domain specifications.