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What is Mechatronics? Inside the program at Richmond Community College

Mechatronics can be described as a mash-up of mechanical and technological engineering. But I like to think of it as programming, engineering, and elbow grease coming together in perfect harmony.

These engineers have to be just as good with a keyboard as they are with a wrench.

In the mechatronics associate degree program at Richmond Community College, students become experts on automation and robotics. They learn how to build, wire, program, and troubleshoot such systems. And after graduation they can join the workforce as engineers or technicians.

Amir Niczad, engineering chair at Richmond Community College, took the time to speak with us about the mechatronics program and show off some of its industrial gadgets. See them here:

Robert Kinlaw

Robert was director of multimedia for EducationNC. He is a journalist and award-winning documentary filmmaker in the Triangle. Robert attended both public and private grade schools in North Carolina and graduated from the Media and Journalism school at UNC-Chapel Hill. He has produced video content for The News & Observer, ABC11-WTVD, UNC-Chapel Hill, The News Reporter and more. His short documentary Princess Warrior received an Excellence in Filmmaking award at the 2017 Carrboro Film Festival. Visit his website at