MECH ENG 7078 - Shipbuilding Programs for Industry and Defence Managers

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2023

The course will enable students to have a deep understanding of defence shipbuilding program managements from an overall perspective, providing a unique awareness for making educated advice or decision. Targeted audience is strategy decision makers or implementers for shipbuilding programs. With a strong focus on industry and defence considerations, this course will set the scene in terms of geostrategy for shipbuilding in the 21st century. Focusing on lessons learnt form the past as a lodestone, the course will analyse current shipbuilding programs being implemented worldwide, as well as future projections in that space up to the end of the century. Considerations, ranging from design to asset management, will draw the students' attention on the intermediate steps such as industrialisation, procurement, shipyard facilities, workforce capability challenges, testing and commissioning, then asset management. Industry 4.0 and virtual shipyard/digital twin will explore the future of shipbuilding. Legal, risks, IP and insurance aspects will be dealt with. The course is based on worldwide shipbuilding programs and as such, is unique not only in Australia but also at a world class level.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MECH ENG 7078
    Course Shipbuilding Programs for Industry and Defence Managers
    Coordinating Unit School of Mechanical Engineering
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 40 hours a week - intensive mode
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge General knowledge on shipbuilding: submarines and surface ship, though curiosity is generally enough.
    Assessment Assignments, exam
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Mr Eric Fusil

    Course Timetable

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


    it is a mix of weekly lectures (livestreamed and recorded but preferred face-to-face attendance if possible) and of workshop/tutorials.

    Depending on your time zone (Canada/USA - Europe), there will be specific timeslots to catch up live with the course coordinator.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:
    1 Identify the Defence Naval Assets acquisition process in Australia.
    2 Explain how management impacted past naval programs' performances from design to asset management.
    3 Describe the different approaches worldwide to Defence Shipbuilding programs.
    4 Summarize the international rules impacting Australian naval programs.
    5 Compare how first rank Navies implement naval shipbuilding plans compared to Australia.
    6 Evaluate how Australia involves Industry in Shipbuilding programs.
    7 Propose how future naval programs should be steered for an improved sovereign Australian capability.
    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)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.

    1 – 2 – 3 – 5 - 6 - 7

    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.

    2 – 3 – 4 – 5 - 7

    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.

    1 - 5 -6 - 7

    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.

    2 – 3 – 5 – 6 - 7

    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.

    2 – 3 - 5

    Attribute 6: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency

    Graduates have an understanding of, and respect for, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, culture and knowledge.


    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

    Graduates are well prepared for living, learning and working in a digital society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

    2 – 3 – 5 – 6 - 7
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Background reading and videos help the students project themselves into the world of Shipbuilding Programs in Defence, mostly in Australia but with insights from worldwide countries, including the BRIC (Brazil – Russia – India – China).

    Weekly lectures provide the students with background knowledge but also a forum in which they are engaged.
    Lecturers are proposing materials on which the students are asked about their analysis facing a specific engineering problem within the submarine context.
    These lectures feature video and graphics to best illustrate the challenge.

    An intensive part of the course is run mid-semester with Industry lecturers bringing their knowledge and personal stories.
    As a result of this, the course is a mix of theory (academic) and industry experience with real-life situations that the engineers had to face.

    Students have some formative quizzes either about the end user (Navy) or Capability acquisition and asset management, leading them from the first principles of Defence Acquisition to practical implementation.

    That knowledge is then used by the students on a number of activities:
    - An essay on the Australian submarine programs: from Collins to Attack and beyond,
    - The writing of a Tender (RFP) for a land-based test shipbuilding facility,
    - The industrial response from a contender to the abovementioned RFP.
    An exam concludes the assessments for this course.
    Seminars are organized with Industry.

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

    The expected workload of 12 hours per week comprises:
    - Background reading,
    - Lecture attendance,
    - Project,
    - Peer reviews
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    Structured Learning: Contact sessions (In Semester) No. of sessions Duration
    Academic Lectures 27 1.5 40.5
    Tutorials     0
    Practicals     0
    Industry Lectures     0
    Assessment Tasks
    (In Semester)
    % Assessment Weighting

    No. of
    time (hours)
    Summative tutorials       0
    Summative tests       0
    Project design study 75 3 31 93
    Literature review       0
    Examination 25 1 3 3
    Portfolio       0
    Total Assessment Weighting % 100 96
    Non-Contact Study /
    Preparation (In Semester)
    No. of
    Study/Prep Time (hrs) Total
    Weekly reading / Other study  13 1 6.5
    Tutorial preparation     0
    Practical preparation     0
    Test preparation     0
    Exam preparation 1 7 7
    Other/s (please specify):     0
    Workload per semester (hrs) 150
    *Workload per week (hrs) 11.54
    Learning Activities Summary
    Pending approval by our industry sponsor, a field trip to visit a submarine or frigate shipyard in Adelaide or Perth
  • 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 Assessment type Assessment weighting  Hurdle Requirement Course learning outcomes being assessed
    (Formative or Summative) (Yes or No)
    Essay 1 S 25 No 1 2 6
    Essay 2 S 25 No 1 3 4 6
    Essay 3 S 25 No 2 3 4 6 7 
    Quiz 1 F   No 1 2 
    Quiz 2 F   No 3 5
    Quiz 3 S   No 4 5
    Final Exam S 25 No 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
    Assessment Detail
    Essay 1 is a synthesis of how Australian submarine programs unfolded from Collins to Attack and beyond, with a focus on the drivers that impacted how the programs were influenced by stakeholders.

    Essay 2 focuses on The writing of a Tender (RFP) for a land-based test shipbuilding facility. In that instance, a future Australian cruiser with advanced propulsion technology is to be de-risked thanks to a Platform Land Based Test Facility. Students are asked to write what they would expect from Industry in that engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract.

    Essay 3 is the industrial response from a contender to the abovementioned RFP and students are expected to display how a company would positively discriminates itself from competition within the Defence Acquisition Process rules.

    The final exam is assessing how well the students have assimilated knowledge and skills in submarine engineering understanding.

    No information currently available.

    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.

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