MECH ENG 7050 - Sustainability & the Environment

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2020

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
  • 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 course consists of approximately 20 hours of face-to-face lectures, 16 short (15-30) minute on-line lectures, an industry site visit, and four individual, open-ended assesments. A detailed literature review as part of the second assessment is also required.

    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 calculations - air and water pollution 20 Individual Summative Week 4 1. 2. 4. 5.
    Consulting report - air and water pollution (PLUS Literature review) 35 Individual Summative Week 6 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
    Sustainability in industry: project proposal 35 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.

    Due to the current COVID-19 situation modified arrangements have been made to assessments to facilitate remote learning and teaching. Assessment details provided here reflect recent updates.

    As per announcements, Assessments 3 and 4 will be modified slightly. You will not have a site visit, but focus on a different topic (most likely covid-19).
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Assessment Detail

    Assignment 1.

    Individual assessment requiring calculations for the design of air and water pollution treatment systems.

    Assignment 2.

    Individual assessment requiring report writing (consulting engineering format) on the design of air and water pollution treatment systems. A detailed literature review on the relevant technology is also required.

    Assignment 3.

    Individual assessment requiring report writing to present a proposal to a real social-good organisation in what they could do to be more sustainable.

    Assignments 4.

    Individual assessment requiring a video presentation that corresponds to assignment 3.


    Everything is to be submitted electronically (via MyUni).

    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.

    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
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