ENG 4021 - Essentials of Humanitarian Engineering

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2023

The role of engineers in response to humanitarian crises emergencies and disasters as well as development fields is highly complex. This course is a non-discipline-specific course that introduces students to the humanitarian/development continuum, and the roles engineers play in supporting these fields. At the end of the course, students will be expected understand and apply knowledge related to the Humanitarian Charter, UN/partner organisation response structure, application of Sphere standards to disaster responses, and a general understanding of critical topics such as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH); logistics and supply chain management; ICT; security; Information Management; and planning, including Disaster Risk Reduction, and Monitoring and Evaluating actions. Students will be able to apply this knowledge across the humanitarian/development continuum.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ENG 4021
    Course Essentials of Humanitarian Engineering
    Coordinating Unit Centre for STEM Education and Innovation
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hrs per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Restrictions Must have completed a minimum of 24 units at 2nd year, and 12 units in 3rd year.
    Course Description The role of engineers in response to humanitarian crises emergencies and disasters as well as development fields is highly complex. This course is a non-discipline-specific course that introduces students to the humanitarian/development continuum, and the roles engineers play in supporting these fields.
    At the end of the course, students will be expected understand and apply knowledge related to the Humanitarian Charter, UN/partner organisation response structure, application of Sphere standards to disaster responses, and a general understanding of critical topics such as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH); logistics and supply chain management; ICT; security; Information Management; and planning, including Disaster Risk Reduction, and Monitoring and Evaluating actions. Students will be able to apply this knowledge across the humanitarian/development continuum.
    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
    1. Explain the role of UN/partner organisations across the humanitarian/development spectrum.
    2. Detail considerations (technical and non-technical) for response planning
    3. Apply Sphere standards to humanitarian response scenarios
    4. Develop Disaster Risk Reduction plans to response scenarios
    5. Develop a Monitor and Evaluation plan to response scenarios


    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: 1.4, 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)

    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, 4, 5

    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

    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.

    2, 3, 4, 5

    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, 4, 5

    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.

    1, 2, 3, 4, 5

    Attribute 7: Digital capabilities

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

    1, 2, 5

    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, 4, 5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Sphere Handbook (link available via MyUni).
    Online Learning
    All required information will be provided online via MyUni.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The lectures will be pre-recorded and released for you to watch and understand before the workshops. You will also have readings to do before workshops. In the workshops, we will have a summary session of the lectures (very brief), discuss the related readings, and then work through scenarios. There will also be supplementary material and topics to learn that will be mixed into the workshops.

    Most of the lectures and "new knowledge" will be front loaded. This will allow for more support in the workshops for assessments, discussions and guest presenters. It also acknowledges that you have other courses to deal with and will be busy.
    Workload

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

    The course consists of:

    10 online lectures over the semester
    2 hour workshop per week
    3 hour of allocated reading per week
    up to 7 hours per week required for the assessments and quizzes.

    Total = 154 hours per semester

    (Noting the assessments are designed to help learn and assess, not just assess knowledge)
    Learning Activities Summary
    There are 10 major themes that are covered in the course these are:

    1. Introduction to the course, structure, expectations
    2. The Humanitarian/Development Spectrum/Nexus
    3. UN and UN Operations
    4. Sphere Handbook - Charter, Principles, and Standards for Humanitarian/Development Operations
    5. Sphere Handbook - Technical standards
    6. Mainstreaming GEDI (Gender, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion) considerations
    7. Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)
    8. Monitor & Evaluation in Humanitarian/Development Operations
    9. Informatin Management in Humanitarian/Development Operations
    10. Concepts and applications within Development Engineering.
  • 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
    The course consists of four major assesment pieces, plus small online quizzes. All assessments are to be done individually. The assessments are:

    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcomes
    Disaster Risk Reduction Plan Report 15% 4 (plus 1, 2, 3, 5)
    Monitor and Evaluation Plan Report 15% 3 (plus 1, 2, 4, 5)
    Site Development Report Report 40% 2, 3 (plus 1, 4, 5)
    Research/Project Proposal Report 20% 2, 3, 4, 5
    Quizzes (x 4) Online quizzes 10% (2.5% each)  1, 2, 3, 4, 5


    There is NO exam for this course.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    The assessments are designed to reflect real-world work that you may be expected to undertake as engineering working in the Humanitarian/Development sector. You will note that these tasks are very-much transferable to the work that engineers do outside of the Humanitarian/Development sector as well.

    The assessments are open-ended and require students to develop understanding of resource-constrained communities likely to be impacted by sudden and slow onset disasters.

    There is no specific group work assessments, but the assessments are used as part of the workshop discussions. Hence group engagement to understand the work is used.

    The quizzes are used to confirm knowledge learned from the online assessments.
    Assessment Detail
    Full details are available on MyUni as summary is as follows:

    Disaster Risk Reduction Plan - develop a DRR Plan (following established guidelines) for a student-selected location and catastrophe
    Monitor and Evaluation Plan - develop a M&E Plan for propsed actions developed from the DRR plan
    Site Development Report - design and present an IDP/Refugee Camp layout for a given scenario
    Research/Project Proposal - develop a proposal for either research that should be conducted, or projects that should be implemented to benefit the Hum/Dev sector.
    Submission
    All submissions are via MyUni.
    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 (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) 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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