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ENG5001 Professional Skills in Engineering

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

Contents on this page


Examiner: Trevor Drysdale
Moderator: John Worden


The commencing cohorts in the graduate programs offered by the Faculty of Engineering and Surveying at USQ have a diverse range of cultural, life, educational and work experiences. Many students enter these programs with advanced academic standing based on prior studies, either in Australia or overseas. Whilst all students will be challenged when they study a contemporary tertiary level engineering or spatial science program the reasons for those challenges will vary from student to student. Students who are undertaking tertiary study at an Australian university for the first time will be challenged by the educational environment and its expectations. Mature age students may be challenged because some of the knowledge and skills they acquired may have degraded and this could impact on their ability to study a tertiary level in their chosen program.


This course will provide students with the opportunity to acquire or enhance the personal and professional skills required for them to succeed in their respective USQ engineering program. Two themes are followed throughout the course. Firstly, the development of personal and self management skills and, secondly, the development of skills and understanding about the stages in, and processes used when applying the 'engineering method'. The learning is situated in the Australasian context and case studies are used so students will acquire their knowledge and skills about the engineering and spatial science professions in a real world environment. The first assessment item requires students to reflect on and self-assess their progress towards achieving Engineers Australia's Stage 1 Competencies and then map a pathway to help them achieve that goal. In the second assessment item students will apply the engineering method to a project, and use basic project management skills to manage the processes in each stage of the method.


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

  1. reflect on, assess, and report on their learning from past educational and workplace experiences, including team experiences;
  2. demonstrate an awareness of the functions and professional skills required for their profession;
  3. use self-management skills to plan and manage their learning;
  4. search for, evaluate, summarise and cite the information for a project;
  5. write accurate, concise, unambiguous, and grammatically correct technical English;
  6. prepare and verbally present project information in clear and precise English;
  7. select and use appropriate formats for technical memos, letters and reports;
  8. demonstrate an ability to apply basic engineering problem solving strategies and methods;
  9. use the engineering method to plan and complete an engineering or spatial science project;
  10. demonstrate an understanding of ethics and sustainability.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to Engineering Australian context Historical perspective Core skills and attributes Professionalism 5.00
2. Learning engineering Your program Personal learning characteristics Reflective practice Career episode reports Managing your learning 5.00
3. Career planning Skill shortage Global engineering The future of engineering Career management 5.00
4. Introduction to the Engineering Method Defining the problem Researching the problem Developing alternative solutions Evaluating solutions Communication the solution Project management The engineering lifecycle 5.00
5. Introduction to Communication Communication models Communication contexts Methods of communication Communication roles Using a communication model to plan an effective communication 10.00
6. Personal skills Reading, listening, writing notes Self-management Effective groups Leadership Meetings Negotiation Resolving conflict and disputes 10.00
7. Information Literacy Skills Data, information and knowledge Identifying information needs Locating and retrieving information Evaluating information and sources Managing and using information Citing and referencing 10.00
8. Communicating information Approaches: factual, opinion, persuasive Methods, styles and formats Written communication Oral communication Visual communication 15.00
9. Problem solving tools Systems thinking Generating alternative solutions Evaluating solutions - economics Mathematical modelling in design Engineering decision making 15.00
10. Project management Understanding project management Planning the stages of a project Creating a risk management plan Developing a knowledge management plan Quality management 10.00
11. Sustainable engineering Ecologically sustainable development Strategies Environmentally sustainable development Socially sustainable engineering Economically sustainable development 5.00
12. Ethics Codes of ethics Common ethical dilemmas Recognising personal limitations in professional practice Ethical theories and tests Balancing conflicting interests Culture and ethics Personal liability 5.00

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. (

  • There are no texts or materials required for this course.

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.
  • Blicq, R & Moretto, L 2004, Technically write!, 6th edn, Prentice Education Canada Inc, Canada.
  • Dowling, D, Carew, A & Hadgraft, R 2010, Engineering your future: an Australasian guide, John Wiley & Sons, Milton, Australia.
  • Ellis, R 1997, Communication for engineers - bridge that gap, Arnold, London.
  • Engineers Australia, Chartered Status Handbook: Applicant's handbook for Chartered Professional Engineer, Chartered Engineering Technologist and Chartered Engineering Officer,
  • Eunson, B 1995, Writing technical documents, John Wiley & Sons, Milton, Australia.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 50.00
Lectures 25.00
Private Study 65.00
Tutorials 25.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
REFLECTION 25 25 13 Aug 2012
PROJECT PLAN 25 25 10 Sep 2012
PROJECT PORTFOLIO 50 50 19 Oct 2012

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to be awarded a passing grade in this course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements 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:
    Not applicable.

  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.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. 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. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 Deferr

  10. 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. //