Sophie Hansen grew up in a small town in Germany, close to Hamburg, where she remembers her father helping with maths homework. Children are curious creatures — Hansen was fascinated with formulas and their origin. “I think that had a big influence on my interests in science and math, because it always made me wonder how things worked in general,” she shares. Since then, Hansen’s love for engineering has only grown deeper.
That passion ultimately led her to the University of Southern Denmark (SDU). “I chose Mechatronics because it teaches single components, like Mechanics, Programming and Electronics, and also how to combine those different fields, giving the opportunity to understand the whole system.”
She is unapologetic in her ambition to make the world a better place by solving one small but important problem at a time. She believes SDU is the right springboard to help her reach this goal. Here, the final-year Bachelor of Engineering in Mechatronics student is learning how to create smaller, faster and more energy-saving information technology products.
The Faculty of Engineering offers a variety of undergraduate programmes: BEng in Electronics; BEng in Global Management and Manufacturing; BEng in Mechanical Engineering; BEng in Mechatronics; BSc in Engineering (Electronics); and BSc in Engineering (Engineering, Innovation and Business) — all of which are taught in English.
Each empowers students to change the world and seek solutions to humanity’s greatest challenges. They push them to the limits of engineering research and learning through cross-disciplinary collaboration. From creating some of the world’s biggest buildings, to designing minuscule electronic devices, the expert faculty members here will prepare you to meet upcoming global needs.
SDU structures each semester as such: one main theme which will be the focal point for the semester’s theory and project work. Each student will be part of a group working on projects which often use problems faced by companies as a starting point. Hansen’s most memorable project was “Expert in Teams,” where she had to work on a product with a group of 15 people, like a small company. “That wasn’t always easy, but next to the technical aspects, those projects definitely taught us some time management and soft skills as well,” she shares.
Mechatronics, the marriage of mechanical engineering with smart electronics, is vital to sectors like industrial automation and robotics. If the future is self-driving cars, Amazon delivery drones, and reusable rockets, then the career of the future is mechatronics. At SDU, BEng in Mechatronics students prepare for this by specialising in one of the following disciplines: Mechatronics Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electronics Engineering or Embedded Systems. “I’ve always admired engineers who use their skills and resources to improve everyday life, fight climate change and give back to the community, like Elon Musk and Mads Clausen,” Hansen said.
SDU mechatronics graduates are set to follow in their footsteps, ready to design, build and operate intelligent machines such as the robots and flexible manufacturing systems of today and for tomorrow. Those seeking more advanced knowledge can progress to these following master’s programmes at SDU: Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology; Engineering, Innovation and Business; Environmental Engineering; Mechatronics and more. “I would like to participate in a post-graduate program in one of the big engineering companies, to try out different fields, see different places and figure out what I like to do best,” Hansen shares.
When they are not gaining knowledge on how to develop new products like mobile phones, gaming consoles, cars and wind turbines, or the robots that make them, SDU students are out to discover all SDU’s campus and Southern Denmark has to offer. “The great thing about SDU in Sønderborg is that nearly everyone is new here, excited to get to know new people and try out new things. That creates a great community and atmosphere at the campus – there is always something going on,” Hansen adds. SDU’s famous pub crawls, Alsik’s viewpoint and local beaches — this is just a fraction of what students at SDU get up to on the weekends.