Track: Opto-Mechatronics (Pilot)

Degree: Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Credits: 120 ECTS, 24 months

Type: Regular study programme

Mode: Full-time

Start: September

Language of instruction: English

Opto-Mechatronics is a specialized field combining many expertise areas and is widely present in the High-Tech industry. This track is an excellent start to becoming a multi-disciplinary researcher or system designer in micro-optics and opto-mechatronics.

Optomechtronical systems and products are all around us. The zoom lens of a camera. The same but then in vacuum or cryogenic environment. Or robust enough to survive a rocket launch yet with sufficient precision to make detailed earth observations. A wafer scanner writing structures as small as 10 nm on chips via its 15 meter long optical path comprising over 50 optical elements, controlled using a variety of optical sensors. Micro system technology enabling the realisation of micrometer small optical systems, such as sensors integrated in catheters for diagnosis in the smallest blood vessels of our body. A telescope gathering star light photon-by-photon from the outskirts of the universe using a 40-meter primary multi-mirror composed of hundreds of actively controlled units, each suspended by thermally compensated precision mechanisms. High-end spectrometers analysing the stellar radiation helping us unravel the mystery of  the origin of the universe. All these systems are examples of high-end opto-mechatronics or micro-optical systems. They are also products of the industries involved in our research programme in micro-optics and opto-mechatronics that defines the next steps for industry and science in subjects such as metrology with picometer accuracy, low-light astronomy, precision 3D printing, or optical fiber technology.

Course Programme

By nature the Opto-Mechatronics course programme is a multi-disciplinary programme. We offer a curriculum which will educate you to become an excellent opto-mechatronics engineer. The track will teach you the fundamentals of optics in theory and practice, as well as understanding of high-end optical systems like microscopes, telescopes, interferometers and digital mirror devices. This expertise is combined with mechatronic system design treating dynamics and motion control; micro-system design expertise covering lithography-based micromanufacturing and optical fibers; adaptive optics on actively deformable mirrors and their integration in an opto-mechatronic system;  and a course on design principles for precision positioning and thermomechanical stability. In addition there is room for electives, such as for instance on more generic topics like engineering dynamics or sensors and actuators, or more specialized ones like space instrumentation or quantum optics, the choice is yours. The combination of these areas forms an excellent basis to becoming an opto-mechatronic scientist or system designer of high-end optical equipment. Experts from different faculties are involved in the curriculum. The programme has been developed in close collaboration with partners outside the university. Therefore several guest lectures and many of our graduation assignments are defined together with the companies involved, TNO or other research groups.  

Pilot and Track record

As OM is running for the first time in 2017, you will be pioneering this master track. We took special care to guarantee a successful start. The OM track is organized by the PME Department, who also offer the well-established High-Tech Engineering track, in close collaboration with the Smart Optics Lab (SOL) of the DCSC Department at 3mE and the Optics Research Group (ORG) at the Faculty of Applied Sciences (TNW). All these groups, including PME, have extensive experience in the field of opto-mechatronics. The professors in these groups have successfully guided many students in various projects with an opto-mechatronics or micro-optics focus, as evidenced by the testimonials in this flyer. Starting 2017, a new research group including a full professor and two assistant or associate professors will be launched, providing additional opportunities for research and MSc thesis projects. Two instructors with strong roots in industry were already appointed to reinforce the curriculum. A range of high-tech companies and institutes are enthusiastically involved in the OM track providing input, internship and graduation placement, and support.