What do a robotics engineer, data analyst and power engineer all have in common? These highly skilled engineers all hold a degree in mechatronic engineering—one of the most diverse, in-demand and high-paying fields of today. So, what exactly is “mechatronic engineering”?

What is mechatronic engineering?

Mechatronic engineering is an emerging field of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer engineering—all rolled into one. Vaughn is one of the only institutions in New York to offer a degree in mechatronic engineering and is one of four institutions in the country that received accreditation for the program by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology).

This is significant since ABET accreditation assures that programs meet specific standards to prepare graduates who are ready to enter critical technical fields that lead the way in innovation and emerging technologies, while also anticipating the welfare and safety needs of the public. Highly skilled individuals who are trained in this field use their knowledge to design and develop new systems, hardware and even new products. Because of the unique nature of having these three disciplines under their belts, mechatronic engineers are eligible to apply to an expansive range of career options. Today, robotics is playing a major role in engineering, especially in the fields of automotives, the medical supply industry and uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs)—along with so many more in between.

Is pursuing a degree in mechatronic engineering of interest to you? Here is a snapshot of some of the exciting careers that you may not even have thought of, along with profiles of a few of our graduates who are living their dream careers:

  • Renewable and sustainable energy: Vaughn graduate, Samia Oishi, who is making a difference in the field of sustainable energy.
  • Automotive research, design and technology: Emily German and Terry Cetoute.
  • Logistics/Robotics: Jefferson Maldonado, who landed his dream job in robotics.
  • Aerospace and defense: Tatiana Jaimes, who not only designed a literacy tool for the blind but landed a job as a mechatronic engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab after graduation, and Atif Saeed, who landed a job in aerospace at SpaceX!
  • UAV/Drone engineering: Drone pilots and engineers can have degrees in mechatronic engineering which teach them how to design, print 3D components, assemble and operate drones. Drone engineers and operators can be employed in a variety of fields including real estate, manufacturing, agriculture and construction.
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing: Engineers in pharmaceutical manufacturing are responsible for designing, implementing, and maintaining manufacturing processes and equipment, ensuring the production of high-quality and safe pharmaceutical products while adhering to regulatory standards and optimizing efficiency in the production line.
  • Biomedical and healthcare: Engineers in the biomedical and healthcare industries contribute to the design, development, and enhancement of cutting-edge prosthetic devices. They integrate biomechanics, materials science and electronics to create customized solutions that improve the functionality and comfort of prosthetic limbs.
  • Agriculture: In agriculture, engineers design and implement innovative technologies, such as precision farming equipment, automated irrigation systems and sensor-based monitoring devices which can improve crop yield, optimize resource utilization and enhance overall efficiency. Additionally, agricultural engineers work on the development of machinery, robotics and software applications to address challenges in modern large-scale farming.

An in-demand field

Every day across the world, technology continues to advance at a rapid pace. It therefore comes as no surprise that businesses from nearly every sector are turning—at least to a certain extent—to the latest in robotics or sophisticated intelligence systems to help streamline their operations or processes. So, who are the brains behind these systems? You guessed it! Those who have engineering degrees—such as the mechatronic engineering degree from Vaughn. This acceleration in the demand for these specialized skills is placing these engineers as among the most sought-after professionals in the industry.

High salaries

According to Lightcast career data, mechatronic engineers in the New York region can earn a median annual salary of $119,000 per year—with some positions paying considerably higher, depending on the industry, company, role and experience level.

Why Vaughn is the best choice for mechatronic engineering

Vaughn is dedicated to preparing students for success. Here are several examples of how the College goes above and beyond to create unique opportunities for its students:

  • Provides financial support for students to attend national conferences to present research and also network with industry representatives—which may result in internship and employment opportunities.
  • Widespread student participation in extracurricular activities which include numerous clubs, professional societies and student competitions where Vaughn’s teams have consistently won top awards in national and international competitions—such as VEX U robotics, Mars Rover and uncrewed aerial vehicle competitions—over teams from larger universities.
  • Offers an array of engineering summer programming, which is designed to develop students’ abilities at the high school level and grow their confidence in programming, hands-on experimentation, technical report writing and presentation development.
  • Vaughn’s small class sizes, experienced faculty and state-of-the-art labs and facilities provide the ideal learning environment for students to hone their craft.

Are you looking for an exciting engineering career? Mechatronic engineering may be the right path for you! Discover how a degree from Vaughn College can put you in demand for a range of some of today’s hottest career opportunities. Apply today.

As Vaughn College continues to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we are pleased to highlight Vaughn mechatronic engineering graduate Ryan Tang ’17. We caught up with Tang to hear his inspirational story after graduating from Vaughn and how his journey post-graduation has circled back to the classroom.

Steeped in his roots

Tang is proud of his Asian heritage and says being raised with strong cultural connections by his Taiwanese parents gave him the confidence he needed to be the inspirational professional he is today. Born in Ecuador, Tang explained how at an early age, his parents insisted he learn their native language of Mandarin. “We speak Mandarin in our household,” Tang said. “I’m grateful to my parents for being strict with me about learning our language. Being fluent in Mandarin is giving me a competitive edge in my career.”

Finding his passion

Even at a young age, Tang said he loved engineering, and says that his high school experience led him on the path to becoming an educator and mentor. “I believe my high school years fed my inner passion to want to help students, particularly in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs,” Tang explained. “My sisters are educators, so I suppose this passion to teach runs in our family,” he continued.

As a lover of robotics, Tang discovered Vaughn and was drawn to its mechatronic engineering program. “I knew Vaughn was the perfect college for me,” Tang said. “Sharing my passion for engineering and robotics with my classmates who were equally as excited gave me the inspiration and encouragement to excel.” Tang quickly made his mark on campus. In 2015, he co-founded the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) team, which he remains involved with to this day as a consultant and adviser. Tang said it was this type of role—as mentor and teacher—that shifted his path from future engineer to educator.

Teaching mechatronic engineering

After graduation, Tang didn’t need to go far to land his first job. He began teaching at Vaughn as an adjunct professor, leading courses in robotics and mechatronic engineering. “I owe my passion for both teaching and engineering to my Vaughn professors, Dr. Rahemi and Dr. He,” he said humbly. “Their dedication to their students’ success inspired me to do the same for others.”

Tang decided to take his passion for learning one step further and is pursuing a master’s in engineering education. “It was important to me to continue my education in both engineering and education,” he explained. “I want to be the best I can be for my students.”

Currently on the weekends, Tang works as the head coach and STEM coordinator at KG CompuTech, a computer-training center for young students in Flushing, Queens where he teaches computer technology and robotics to middle school and high school students. “I love motivating and encouraging my students to learn critical thinking skills. They love competing in the robotics competitions.” Tang says his students see him as combination of drill sergeant and big brother. “I work my students hard to keep them focused, but I always make it a point to spend time with them after our work is done. They need to talk, and I’m there to listen and mentor them. It’s a rewarding profession and I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

His advice to students

As an Asian American, Tang said he’s proud to be represented during AAPI Heritage Month. Coming from an Asian American household, he encourages students to embrace their culture, work hard, stay motivated and not fall behind.

When asked why he chose to teach engineering instead of working as an engineer, his answer was simple: “It’s more rewarding to inspire 100 students to become engineers than to work in the field as one person. There’s power in numbers. I believe motivating and encouraging students to pursue their dreams is the perfect equation to creating a future of leaders and innovators.”

Vaughn College’s core values place an emphasis on embracing diversity in all of its dimensions. We offer some of today’s most sought-after degrees in engineering and technology, management and aviation. Find out where a Vaughn degree can take you. Apply today!

Sometimes, you need not look any further than your own backyard to see your future. For Vaughn College senior Samia Oishi ’21, her love of engineering and her family’s tradition of growing their own food were the driving forces that motivated her to pursue a degree in mechatronic engineering and a career in renewable energy.

Planting roots

Born in the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Oishi’s family moved to Brooklyn, New York when she was two years old. For as long as she can remember, Oishi said her parents always grew their own fruits and vegetables in their garden in Brooklyn. “I didn’t realize it then, but our garden was my first taste of learning about sustainable energy.”

Throughout her school days, Oishi said she always enjoyed science, but it wasn’t until she joined the robotics team in high school that she became hooked. “I joined the robotics team just for fun,” she said. “I didn’t know much about it at the time. Little did I know how it would put me on a path to Vaughn College.” She explained how being part of a team was a great learning experience. In her sophomore year in high school, Oishi went on to become the co-captain of the team—a position she maintained until graduation.

Discovering Vaughn

During her senior year, Oishi and her friend decided to attend a college fair at her high school. “I happened to meet an admissions adviser from Vaughn while at the college fair,” she explained. “When I heard about the mechatronic engineering program, I knew immediately it was the program for me. That day changed my life.”

In 2017, Oishi enrolled at Vaughn. She joined a learning community of a group of students who shared the same interests and schedules. “Joining the learning community was a wonderful experience,” she said. “Vaughn is an amazing college. The small class sizes, wonderful staff of professors and student community make going to college feel like my home away from home.”

Making connections

Oishi landed an internship at Kinetic Communities Consulting, a New York Minority and Women-owned Benefit Corporation that works with utilities and government agencies to help diverse New York communities adapt to solar and sustainable energy. “My role there plays a major part of who I am and where I’m striving to be in the future,” said Oishi. “We educate low-income families about the importance of solar energy and show them how to use and install it. It’s all about helping people make their lives better.”

This past summer, Oishi’s mentor at the internship recommended she apply for an exclusive fellowship at Woman of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE), a national non-profit organization dedicated to building a diverse workforce for the success of global sustainable energy. The application process was rigorous, but Oishi said it was well worth the effort. In addition to submitting her résumé and cover letter, the process required a letter of recommendation, written essay and a telephone interview. Of numerous applicants across the country, WRISE only accepts six candidates for the prestigious fellowship position. “I was thrilled to learn that I was selected to be a 2020 solar power fellow for WRISE,” she said excitedly. For the past four months, Oishi has been networking with other members of the fellowship and learning about the renewable energy industry. “It’s been an amazing experience and extremely beneficial for a student like me, who will be entering the workforce next year. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity. From fellows to friends, it’s all about making connections.”

Looking to the future

With a passionate heart, Oishi stated she is excited to pursue a career in the renewable energy industry. With only one semester to go, she explains how her degree in mechatronic engineering will give her a competitive edge in the field. “Automation already exists in the industry,” Oishi said. “My knowledge of mechanical, electrical and computer engineering will position me favorably for the workforce.”

Harvesting her heritage

At the end of the day, Oishi says she thanks her parents for instilling in her a love for their country and traditions that are deeply rooted in her heritage. “Planting a garden is so much more than watching your food grow. It’s all about the pride in harvesting the food and sharing it with those who need it most. I always wanted to pursue a career to help the world. I’m grateful to Vaughn for helping me get there.”

Is a career in engineering in your future? Discover all that’s possible with an engineering degree from Vaughn College. Apply today.


What do the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Panama Canal all have in common? If you said they are among some of the top engineering wonders of the modern world, you are correct—so get ready to see one of the latest to hit the stage!

Check out the engineering wonder of The Guitar Hotel at Seminole Hard Rock and Casino in Hollywood, Florida—the world’s first guitar-shaped hotel and the most unique structure to climb the stairway to the sky.

Opening act

In October 2019, the 35-story, 638-room Guitar Hotel made its solo debut, soaring 450 feet into the skies of South Florida. This architectural wonder took three years to create and is part of the $1.5 billion expansion of the flagship casino resort of Hard Rock International, owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The hotel is designed to resemble back-to-back guitars. The neck of the guitar extends 75 feet above the roof with light cannons blazing through. Illuminated strings, guitar faces, and floor-to-ceiling glass panels complete the look of a jam that will have you yelling: “Encore!”

So, why the guitar shape? A hotel operations executive explained how the guitar has worldwide recognition as a symbol of music. Additionally, it is the iconic symbol of the Hard Rock. Designed in collaboration with Klai Juba Wald Architects of Las Vegas, De Simone Consulting Engineers worked in strict coordination through all design specialties to complete this challenging, exciting and rewarding project.

Hard Rock Hotel Guitar at night

How did they build that?

The architectural and engineering genius behind this amazing structure involved skills and expertise across several engineering and construction platforms. Tight controls and flexible designs were key components throughout the project. Experts in the areas of structural, mechanical, electrical and civil engineering—along with contractors in the construction and related industries—combined forces to meet the demands of this challenging project with its “sexy curves.” Here is a snapshot of how they built this one-of-a-kind guitar-shaped hotel:

  • Detailed models of the guitar tower—The models of the guitar tower and other on-site projects were critical decision-making tools to address logistical challenges and ensure precision.
  • Preparing the site for construction—A multiacre retention pond was filled in, along with the excavation of another pond, to create balance of onsite water retention. Crews used vibro compaction to prepare the site for construction and this allowed them to begin vertical construction.
  • Laying the foundation—Concrete companies partnered to install 36,000 cubic yards of concrete that were used on the guitar tower. Meticulous detail was required for in-slab coordination to ensure that embeds for the curtain wall system, slab edges, plumbing sleeves, mechanical system openings and other openings were precise.
  • Structural design—Nine inch thick, post-tensioned slabs were used on levels four through-28 to allow for thinner floor plates. This system allowed the crew to install the curtain wall and the guitar shaped design. This was a critical step to ensure the curtain wall embeds were precisely located on the slab edge.
  • Addressing the curves—Several columns needed to be sloped by as much as 40 degrees, since each floor narrows and widens in the guitar shape. Additional thrust reinforcement was designed into the slabs to help hold back horizontal forces from sloping columns.
  • Height restrictions—The hotel property lies within the flight path of Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. Design teams worked cautiously to save inches anywhere they could to maximize space for the hotel rooms. More inches could potentially turn into additional floors, thus jeopardizing the height restriction of the structure.
  • Cost consideration—As you can imagine, a project of this magnitude required laser-focused cost management. The team used 3D, 4D (time) and 5D (schedule) to communicate their ideas about the project.

How an engineering degree from Vaughn can be music to your ears

The Guitar Hotel at Seminole Hard Rock and Casino is one of today’s coolest and innovative examples of engineering at its finest. As you can see, the field of engineering and technology continues to play a critical role in defining modern day life and society. As technology and infrastructure continue to develop at a rapid rate, the demand for well-trained electrical, mechanical, and mechatronic engineers is greater than ever. Vaughn’s industry-focused degrees and add-on certifications will prepare you for an ever-changing and dynamic career in your chosen field.

Are you seeking a futureproof career in the engineering and technology field? Discover the possibilities. Apply today!