USQ LogoCourse specification
The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at //
Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

ENG2102 Engineering Problem Solving and Analysis

Semester 2, 2015 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences

Contents on this page


Examiner: Steven Goh
Moderator: Lyn Brodie


Pre-requisite: ENG1101


This is the second of two courses that use a problem based learning approach to extend the student knowledge of the complex world of engineering. In the course ENG1101 Introduction to Engineering Problem Solving, the student was introduced to the concept of self-directed learning, a system approach to problem solving, virtual team work and dynamics, problem solving, peer and self-assessment, and reflective writing. The course used a Engineers Without Borders (EWB) chosen problem to acquire relevant knowledge and skills, and these elements will be continued to be reinforced and extended in ENG2102. This course now aims to build on the skills in team-work, communications, systems analysis, peer and self-assessment, reflective writing, critical review, and engineering and spatial science problem solving. The two courses seek to continuously inspire students to develop and appreciate distinct engineering and spatial science skills that surround and incorporate a range of different content material, and not just within their areas of professional practice and specialisation. Student learning is to be driven by the need to solve various engineering and spatial science problems employing design concepts. The student learning experience will be different in this course to other more traditionally taught courses in the relevant engineering and spatial science programs. The principles of problem-based learning (PBL) recognise 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. As such, 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. 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 a multi-disciplinary engineering and spatial science team. It presents opportunities to explore and appreciate a range of engineering and spatial science domains and applications within the context of solving a real world problem. This course focuses primarily on the use of system approaches and engineering and spatial science tools to identify problems, research, analyse, propose solutions to solve problems, and to evaluate possible solutions. In addition, the student is required to further develop their computer skills (especially Excel) to analyse statistics, and to illustrate and present the results of their analytical work.


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

  1. Demonstrate the ability to apply problem solving methods as part of an on-line multi-disciplinary team to analyse, research, synthesize, propose, review, and evaluate solutions for defined but complex engineering and spatial science problems and systems;
  2. Demonstrate the ability to work as a team to understand and apply engineering and spatial science tools, techniques, and resources;
  3. Demonstrate the ability to work as a team to apply systematic approaches for the conduct and management of engineering and spatial science projects;
  4. Demonstrate the ability to appraise and understand Engineering, Spatial Science, Mathematical and Statistical principles, practice, tools and techniques on an individual basis;
  5. Demonstrate theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical fundamentals, including specialist bodies of knowledge, applicable to the engineering and spatial science disciplines on an individual basis;
  6. Demonstrate discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering and spatial science disciplines;
  7. Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities, and bounds of sustainable engineering and spatial science practice;
  8. Demonstrate the ability for effective written communication, and the use and management of information in the professional and technical domains;
  9. Demonstrate the ability to self and peer-assess and reflect as a team;
  10. Demonstrate the ability to appraise and reflect on team roles and group dynamics, individual team member contribution, problem solving, ethical practice, and the self-learning journey.


Description Weighting(%)
1. STATISTICS Statistical concepts and their application in solving Engineering and Spatial Science problems across all disciplines. 30.00
2. ENGINEERING AND SPATIAL SCIENCE PROBLEM SOLVING Analyse, research, synthesise, 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; physical science/engineering principles as a tool for understanding and solving complex systems. Specific topics may include: Spreadsheets and Word-processing. Use of the Internet, professional report writing, and academic integrity. Use of the internet, Studydesk and Library facilities. Statistical Distributions. Statistical Relationships. Producing and Evaluating Statistical Data. Map Interpretation. Site Selection. Project Management/Leading teams. Critical assessment of information. Engineering and spatial science 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.
  • 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, KN & Carey, PM 2010, Data analysis with Microsoft? Excel, 3rd edn, 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, Dubuque, IA.
  • Smith, KA 2007, Teamwork and project management, 3rd edn, McGraw Hill, Dubuque, IA.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 45.00
Directed Study 110.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
TECH PORTFOLIO/SELF-PEER REVIE 300 30 07 Sep 2015 (see note 1)
TEAM REPORT 400 40 26 Oct 2015 (see note 2)

  1. This individual Technical Portfolio component is due 07/09/2015, with the self/peer assessment component due 14/9/2015. It is essential that the two components are submitted. Submission of one component without the other may result in zero marks being awarded for this assessment item.
  2. Team reports must be accompanied by a separate submission of a peer and self assessment for each team member documenting their contributions to the collective team's report. This peer and self-assessment is subject to moderation by the team facilitator. 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:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  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:
    ? Examination information:
    ? Candidates are allowed access only to specific materials during a Restricted Examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are:
    ? Writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination);
    ? Scientific or graphics calculator(s) which cannot communicate with any other devices (students must indicate on their examination paper the make and model of any calculator(s) they use during the examination).
    ? One A4 sheet of paper, written or typed on one or both sides with any material the student wishes to include (students are required to submit this sheet of paper with the examination paper, but it will not contribute to marks for the course).
    ? Students whose first language is not English, may take an appropriate unmarked non-electronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary) into the examination. Dictionaries with any handwritten notes will not be permitted. Translation dictionaries will be subject to perusal and may be removed from the candidate's possession until appropriate disciplinary action is completed if found to contain material that could give the candidate an unfair advantage.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  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 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.