To obtain a mechatronics certificate, students
are required to complete the seven courses listed
on the tabs above.
To obtain an associate's degree in mechatronics, the same
seven mechatronics courses are required plus general education
classes such as English, social studies, etc. (See Sierra College
catalog or a counselor for details.)
Click on any of the tabs above for details about each
class. All of our courses have lab sessions where
students actually do what was talked about during lecture. We
typically have two hours of lab time for each hour of lecture time,
so we truly are a "hands-on" program, where students get to
practice the skills used out in industry.
MECH-54 and MECH-90 have the other courses as prerequisites and
therefore need to be taken towards the end of the program. The
other courses can be taken in any order that fits with the
student's schedule and areas of special interest. A recommended
class sequence is MECH-10 with MECH-14, followed by MECH-4 with
MECH-44, finishing with MECH-54 and MECH-90. MECH-25 can be taken
whichever semester fits best in each student's schedule.
All of the classes listed above are offered on the Rocklin
campus. The majority of the classes are also available on the
Nevada County and Tahoe-Truckee campuses. Contact us or visit
www.sierracollege.edu for the current schedule of
course offerings on each campus.
"Personal Computer Configuration and Repair", MECH-25, teaches
students how to build, repair and upgrade computers as well as
perform installation of operating systems, perform virus removal,
techniques for hard-drive backup and hard-drive "crash"
recovery, etc. Networking fundamentals and techniques for
interfacing with industrial equipment is also covered.
"Fundamentals of Mechatronics", MECH-4, teaches the basic skills
of industrial automation / robotics such as single-phase and
three-phase power, wiring standards, AC to DC
conversion, electric motors and solenoids (AC and DC), stepper
and servo motors, VFD control of AC motors, sensors (temperature,
pressure, capacitive, inductive, etc.), PLC programming and
pneumatics. The course also includes a detailed look at industrial
This course makes extensive use of our custom-designed PLC
trainers from SMC Corporation, which utilize multiple sensor types,
motors, solenoids and pnuematic cylinders all under PLC control.
See the "Photo Gallery" tab above for pictures of these
"Fundamentals of Electronics", MECH-10, covers the basic
principles and hands-on skills of electronics, such as voltage,
current and resistance/reactance relationships in AC and DC
circuits, theory of operation and industrial applications of
transistors and integrated circuits, digital logic fundamentals, as
well as use of measurement equipment (voltmeters, oscilloscopes,
in-line and clamp-on ammeters, etc.).
Students build and keep several electronics projects. See the
"Photo Gallery" tab at the top of the page for examples.
"Fabrication Techniques", MECH-14, teaches students basic
project fabrications skills such as precision measurement (scales,
calipers, etc.), basic metalworking (shears, brakes, drill presses,
punches, bend allowances, etc.), electrical soldering including
Surface Mount Technology, schematic capture, circuit-board layout
and design rule checking and fundamentals of technical
For the main class project, students, design, build and keep a
variable DC power supply. See the "Photo Gallery" tab above for
examples of some of the student designs.
"Mechatronics Processes and Materials", MECH-44, is usually
taken as a follow-on course to MECH-14 and covers more advanced
electrical and mechanical fabrications skills.
The main project in this class is a small robot arm which the
students fabricate, assemble, program, test and take home.
During this course students are introduced to the use of the mill
and lathe and learn about other industrial fundamental topics such
as bearings, springs, tapping of threads, thread repair with a
helicoil, etc. Students are also introduced to
See the "Photo Gallery" tab above for some of the student robot
arm implementations, including some customized designs.
"Mechatronics Systems", MECH-54, has MECH-4 as a prerequisite
and covers industrial control concepts to a greater depth as well
as introducing new topics suuch as hydraulics. The emphasis of this
course is on closed-loop process control and spends
significant time on AtoD and DtoA conversion methods and
Extensive use is made of our custom-designed hydraulic trainers
to give students a foundation in the theory and application of
hydraulic systems. Computer-based design and simulation of
hydraulic systems is also covered.
Furthermore students analyze, test, write PLC code and optimize
the performance of individual stations of our multi-station Sun
Corporation mechatronics training system. Using industrial-quality
components, this system emulates the mutliple stations found in an
actual manufacturing facility, except on a slightly smaller scale
so as to be usable in the classroom.
See the "Photo Gallery" tab near the top of the page for
pictures of our hydraulic and Sun mechatronic training systems.
"Microcontroller Embedded Systems", MECH-90, teaches students
the underlying principles and hands-on skills for the application
of microcontrollers, the electronics "brain" inside everything from
microwave ovens to large robots. After being taught the
fundamentals of microcontroller operation, hardware interfacing and
control software development, students spend the majority of the
semester designing, building and programming a project of
their own choosing (with the assistance of the instructor).
See the "Photo Gallery" tab above for examples for some of the
creative projects our students have designed.
This course has MECH-10 and MECH-14 as pre-requisites and is
intended to be taken toward the end of the course sequence
since these student designs utilize the knowledge and
skills gained throughout the course of our program.