The JKU Concludes Its 50th Anniversary Year Celebrating Mechatronics

A ceremonial event celebrated Mechatronics and concluded the Faculty of Engineering & Natural Sciences 50th anniversary celebrations at the JKU.

Keynote speakers Prof. Robert Weigel (Director of the Institute for Technical Electronics at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg) and Dr. Ing. Stefan Englede (CEO of ENGEL HOLDING based in Schwertberg) presented their visions for the future of Mechatronics to over 200 participants. Approximately 100 alumni from JKU Mechatronics also attended the event.

After a brief look back at the history of mechatronics at the JKU, Prof. Weigel (who served as the director of the Institute for Telecommunications/Information Technology at the JKU’s Department of Mechatronics from 1996 to 2002), spoke about the current and future significance of mechatronics for both European and Austrian industries in particular. The network of mechatronic systems, often described by using the term "digitization", will continue to significantly influence the advancement of mechatronics.

Dr. Engleder pointed out just how important the interdisciplinary system understanding of mechatronics is and how it led to reorganizing and improving his group’s development processes. He pleaded to maintain the strong base-knowledge research that is part of the curricula while also including current technological advancements.

The event concluded with a panel discussion which included Dr. Robert Kickinger (one of the JKU’s first graduates in Mechatronics employed at Strategic Product Development at B & R Industrial Automation Ltd. headquartered in Eggelsberg). The panel addressed and discussed the chances internationalization would bring about as well as the influence digitization has in the area of mechatronics. Participants also learned more in-depth about the findings of current research being conducted at laboratories in the Mechatronics departments that are located at the JKU Science Park.