MECH ENG 7050 - Sustainability & the Environment

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

Good engineering solutions require consideration of ethical, environmental and sustainable issues. In this course students are introduced to the various topics including: engineering ethics, pollution, including air and water; sustainability, including design, manufacture, and life cycle assessments; and environmental impact statements.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MECH ENG 7050
    Course Sustainability & the Environment
    Coordinating Unit School of Mechanical Engineering
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge Basic fluid mechanics and mathematics
    Assessment Assignments,
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Cristian Birzer

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1 Demonstrate how to ameliorate air pollution problems
    2 Demonstrate how to ameliorate water pollution problems
    3 Create and interpret Environmental Impact Statements and Risk Assessments
    4 Evaluate issues concerning ethical behaviour for engineer
    5 Apply concepts of sustainability, sustainable design and manufacturing;

    The above course learning outcomes are aligned with the Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standard for the Professional Engineer.
    The course is designed to develop the following Elements of Competency: 1.1   1.2   1.3   1.4   1.5   1.6   2.1   2.2   2.3   2.4   3.1   3.2   3.3   3.4   3.5   

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Course notes – will be made available via MyUni.
    Recommended Resources
    • Mihelcic, J.R. and Zimmerman, J.B., “Environmental Engineering – Fundamentals, Sustainability, Design”, Wiley, USA (2010)
    • Wells, G. Sustainability in Australian Business, Wiley, Australia (2011)
    • Bies, D.A. and Hansen, C.H., Engineering Noise Control, 4th edition, Spon Press, London, (2009)
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures supported by problem-solving tutorials developing material covered in lectures

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The required time commitment from the beginning of semester to the end of the final exam is 41 hours attendance at lectures, 41 hours of self directed learning, 40 hours completing assignments and 43 hours of revising course material and preparing for the exam.

    Learning Activities Summary

    Engineering for sustainability

    Engineering ethics

    Water pollution and control

    (a) Types of industry and water pollutants
    (b) Environmental impacts of contaminants
    (c) Typical treatment approaches

    Air Pollution

    (a) Legislative requirements
    (b) Effects on health and property
    (c) Principles of measurement of industrial pollution
    (d) Basic control equipment
    (e) Cleaner production/pollution prevention
    (f) Gaseous and particulate pollution and control


    Specific Course Requirements
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Weighting (%) Individual/ Group Formative/ Summative
    Due (week)*
    Hurdle criteria Learning outcomes
    Consulting report proposal - Air and water pollution 20 Individual Summative Week 5 1. 2. 4. 5.
    Consulting report final - Air and water pollution 30 Individual Summative Week 7 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
    Sustainability in industry: project proposal 40 Individual Summative Week 9 3. 4. 5.
    Sustainability in industry - Video presentation 10 Individual Summative Week 11 4. 5.
    Total 100
    * The specific due date for each assessment task will be available on MyUni.
    This assessment breakdown complies with the University's Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Assessment Detail

    Assignment 1.

    This is a group report requiring a critical analysis of worldwide environmental, sustainable and ethical policies, laws and regulations. In groups of five or fewer, students will critically analyse at least one journal paper per student. The theme of the analysis is up to the students, but suggestions will be provided for assistance. Assessment of the report will include quality of analysis, selection of journal papers, and writing quality. Additional information will be provided to students.

    Assignment 2.

    This is an individual assignment on the air pollution component of the course and will involve either a design or a problem solving exercise.

    Assignment 3.

    This is an individual assignment on the water pollution component of the course and will involve either a design or a problem solving exercise.

    Assignments 4.

    This is an individual assignment on the sustainability and ethics pollution component of the course and will involve either a design or a problem solving exercise.

    Assignments 5.

    This is an individual assignment on the noise and noise pollution component of the course and will involve either a design or a problem solving exercise.


    Assignments 1 and 5 must be submitted using the electronic assignment capability in MyUni. A hard copy of assignment 1 will also have to be submitted in the appropriate submission box on Level 2 of Engineering South. Additional information regarding assignments 2-5 will be provided in class.

    Late assignments will be penalised 10% per day. Extensions for other assignments will only be given in exceptional circumstances and a case for this with supporting documentation can be made in writing after a lecture or via email to the lecturer who set the assignment. Hard copy assignments will be assessed and returned in 2 weeks of the due date. There will be no opportunities for re-submission of work of unacceptable standard. Due to the large size of the class, feedback on assignments will be limited to in-class discussion resulting from questions from students.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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