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ENG2102 Engineering Problem Solving and Analysis

Semester 2, 2012 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Engineering & Surveying
School or Department : Faculty of Engineering & Surveying
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: John Worden
Moderator: Lyn Brodie


Pre-requisite: ENG1101


This is the second of four courses that use a problem based learning approach' to extend the students knowledge of the complex world of engineering. In course ENG1101 Engineering Problem Solving 1, the student was introduced to the concept of systems analysis and used a EWB chosen problem to acquire relevant knowledge and skills. This course now enhances the student’s skills in team-work, communications, systems analysis and engineering problem solving. The four courses seek to continuously develop distinct engineering skills that surround and incorporate a range of different content material. Student learning is to be driven by the need to solve various engineering problems employing design concepts. The student learning experience will be different in this course to other more traditionally taught courses in the program. The principles of problem-based learning (PBL) acknowledge prior knowledge and encourage self-directed learning. Today's engineers must actively pursue life-long learning which requires this latter attribute. Thus students will `learn how to learn' so that they are better able to apply problem-solving to new situations in the workplace and in the community throughout their professional career. This course is intended to develop the student's skills in problem solving within an engineering design context. Real world problems are analysed in a systematic way. It is intended that this course will develop a student's ability for independent learning. The student will undertake a sequence of problem solving tasks, working as part of a team. The student will also need to develop an understanding of statistical concepts and the application of analytical tools as prescribed in this course.


This course will increase a student's ability to work as part of an engineering team. It presents a range of engineering theory and applications through engineering design concepts that are learnt within the context of solving a real world problem. This course focuses primarily on the use of statistical analysis to analyse data, propose solutions, solve problems and to evaluate possible solutions. In addition the student is required to further develop their computer skills (especially Excel) to illustrate and present the results of their work.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. On completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. work as part of a multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural team to analyse, research, synthesize and evaluate solutions for defined engineering and surveying problems and systems;
  2. contribute as part of a team working on defined engineering and surveying problems to develop engineering design solutions;
  3. appraise and reflect on team roles and group dynamics, and the self-learning journey;
  4. earn the trust and confidence of colleagues through the competent and timely completion of allocated tasks within resource constraints;
  5. lead a team, value the views of other members and facilitate decision making in team situations to solve an engineering problem or complete a project;
  6. undertake a program of self-directed independent learning to acquire the necessary learning within an allocated sub-discipline area to contribute to the team's solution of the set problem. This knowledge should be communicated to other team members by means of mentoring during regular team meetings;
  7. demonstrate the ability to apply appropriate Engineering, Mathematical and Statistical principles and techniques on an individual basis;
  8. work as part of a team to apply appropriate engineering, mathematical and statistical techniques to explain phenomena encountered in the set range of problems, utilising the knowledge base gained from individual self-learning;
  9. describe the characteristics of a solution that will resolve a problem;
  10. communicate findings in an appropriate technical format;
  11. establish individual learning/project planning/team related strategies.


Description Weighting(%)
1. STATISTICS Statistical concepts and their application and utility in solving Engineering and Surveying problems across all disciplines. 30.00
2. ENGINEERING AND SURVEYING PROBLEM SOLVING Analyse, research, propose and evaluate solutions, for technical problems/systems as part of a team. Particular skills to be developed/enhanced will vary for each individual and may include the use of the computer as a tool for problem-solving, research and presenting material in a professional manner; basic statistical concepts applied to given or researched data; and physical science/engineering principles as a tool for understanding complex systems. Specific topics may include: Spreadsheets and Word-processing. Use of the Internet. Use of the WWW and Library facilities. Statistical Distributions. Statistical Relationships. Producing and Evaluating Statistical Data. Map Interpretation. Project Management/Leading teams. Engineering principles applied to problems employing design concepts. 70.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Moaveni, S 2011, Engineering fundamentals - an introduction to engineering, 4th SI edn, Cengage Learning, Stamford, CT.
  • Alternatively, Moaveni 2011 (without SPSS) packaged with relevant statistical chapters from Vining, GG & Kowalski, SM 2011, Statistical Methods for Engineers, 3rd edn, Cengage Learning, Boston, MA.
  • SPSS has been packaged with Moaveni for minimal additional cost along with relevant statistical chapters from Vining, GG & Kowalski, SM 2011, Statistical Methods for Engineers, 3rd edn, Cengage Learning, Boston, MA.
  • Students will need access to a computer for this course with the following facilities: access to the Internet and email on a weekly basis; Microsoft Office software or similar.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Berk, K & Carey, P 2010, Data Analysis with Microsoft® Excel, Brooks/Cole, Boston, MA.
  • Eide, AR, Jenison, RD, Mashaw, LH & Northup, LL 2002, Introduction to Engineering Design and Problem Solving, 2nd edn, McGraw Hill, Boston, MA.
  • Gottfried, BS 2007, Spreadsheet tools for engineers using Excel, 3rd edn, McGraw Hill, Dubugue, IA.
  • Smith, KA 2000, Project Management and Teamwork, McGraw Hill, Boston, MA.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 45.00
Directed Study 84.00
Tutorials 26.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
STATISTICS ONLINE TEST 200 20 17 Aug 2012 (see note 1)
TECH PORTFOLIO/SELF-PEER ASSES 200 20 03 Sep 2012 (see note 2)
TEAM REPORT 500 50 22 Oct 2012 (see note 3)

  1. This statistics online test will be opened on Studydesk for three days from (0001 AEST) on 17/08/2012 to (2359 AEST) on 19/08/2012.
  2. This individual Technical Portfolio component is due 3/9/2012, with the self/peer assessment component due 14/9/2012. It is essential that the two components are submitted. Submission of one component only will result in zero marks being awarded for this assessment item.
  3. Team reports must be accompanied by, and supported by, peer assessment for each team member documenting their contributions to the collective team's report. Team marks may be withheld if Team Reports are received without all team members' indicated contributions.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    This course employs a team-based approach to learning in which students are expected to participate in small groups towards the solution of a set engineering problem. On-campus students are expected to attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade in a course a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks (or grades) obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There are no examinations in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances. (a) Since the report assessment is team-based, no team extensions will normally be granted on the basis of a single team member's illness or incapacity. It is expected that the team will devise alternative solutions to cover the shortfall in allocated duties or roles amongst other team members. (b) The examiner may vary this requirement only when there are substantial grounds such as re-forming of teams due to high levels of student withdrawals or attrition. (c) Individual submissions such as the portfolio or reflection will not be bound by these strictures and the examiner may at his/her discretion grant such extensions of the due date as are compatible with the timely reporting of final grades.

  4. In this course students must submit all team and individual assignments electronically in the format specified in the assignment requirements. All Team Reports, Portfolios and Reflections must be submitted electronically through the Moodle Study Desk. No submissions are to be made through the EASE system. No hard copy or paper submissions will be accepted. Clear file designation and naming protocols must be adhered to at all times. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  6. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded one of the temporary grades: IM (Incomplete - Make up), IS (Incomplete - Supplementary Examination) or ISM (Incomplete -Supplementary Examination and Make up). A temporary grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non-directed
    personal study.

  7. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  8. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.

Other requirements

  1. Students will require access to email and have internet access to UConnect for this course.

  2. Students are required to prepare a reflection on their individual learning in the course. This portfolio may be audited and the examiner may require any student to submit this portfolio from week 2 onwards.