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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Engineering
OfferedClayton First semester 2011 (Day)
Sunway First semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)D Burton, B Chen and H Frost (Clayton); M Thomas (Sunway)


This unit provides students with an understanding of the work environment of professional engineers addressing topics not covered in other parts of the degree program. It allows students to more effectively use their engineering skills within the context of a business environment, and assists them to add value to the community. Students will be encouraged to evaluate problems from a multi-faceted perspective and to articulate their views in writing as well as in discussion. The unit provides a balance between global macro issues likely to influence their future work environment, and more current, micro issues likely to confront graduates in establishing themselves as professional engineers.


Role and contribution of an engineer in society
Ethical responsibilities of engineers
Modern work practices and organising for high performance
Sources of wastes and process inefficiencies, the lean manufacturing methodology, customer focused pull design and manufacturing strategies
Factors affecting the performance of the Australian manufacturing sector including energy, water, environmental issues, sustainability, work skills Individual performance assessment
Transition from university Safety and OHS, risk assessment
Project management
Designing for innovation, and creative approaches towards problem solving
The role of standards and accreditation in work practices
Intellectual property, and in particular patents and copyright
Responsibilities of engineers in the design and manufacture of consumer products
Contract law
Product costs, in particular the effect of direct costs and the allocation of overheads on performance
Capital budgeting
Complete tasks as part of a team
Improve oral and written communication skills
The significance of non-engineering factors in the context of their role as an engineer
To be more aware of their role as an engineer in society
To value the practice of self-directed learning and lifelong learning
To appreciate that problem solving will often involve the use of incomplete data and data of varying reliability, a choice of method, and the possibility of more than one outcome depending on the weighting given to different factors.


Practice class activities: 10%
Two assignments: 40%
Examination (3 hours): 50%. Students must pass both the continuous assessment and examination to gain a pass in the unit.

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Mark Thompson

Contact hours

6 hours of contact time (usually 3 hours lectures and 3 hours practice sessions or laboratories) and 6 hours of private study per week


Must have passed 120 credit points