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Sabbatical Report: Teaching a Mechatronics Class in Strasbourg

Sabbatical Report: Teaching a Mechatronics Class in Strasbourg

In the winter semester of 2019 I helped teach a mechatronics class for senior engineering students at INSA Strasbourg.

Learning (Apprendre) in Strasbourg

Learning, Apprendre, Strasbourg

Like many of the classes at INSA, the course focused on lab work.  In this case, the students were working on moderately open-ended design work for mechatronics systems, combining earlier material that they had learned such as kinematics and electric motors.

The lab material was written in English and I conducted the labs orally in a mixture of English and French, depending on the student.

The head instructor for this class was Prof. Marc Vedrines.  I developed and taught the following three lab modules:

  1. Battery modeling: LabA_BatteryModel_student_v6
  2. Motor modeling: LabB_MotorModel_student_v4
  3. Sensor (SONAR) modeling: LabC_SONARModel_student_v1

I found that the students were very capable, especially considering the open-ended nature of the assignments and the fact that the written material was delivered to them in English.

Simulating a robot in Simulink (Matlab)

Simulating a robot in Simulink (Matlab)


James Andrew Smith is an associate professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department in York University's Lassonde School.  He lived in Strasbourg, France and taught at the INSA Strasbourg and Hochschule Karlsruhe while on sabbatical in 2018-19 with his wife and kids.  This blog post is part of a series discussing the family's sabbatical year, from both personal and professional perspectives.  You can view my Twitter postings from about Strasbourg (INSA) and HsKa (Karlsruhe).