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MEC1501 Introduction to Process Engineering

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

Contents on this page


Examiner: Tobias Low
Moderator: Tony Ahfock


Every aspect of our modern day lives are dependent on the end products of a number of processing activities. The clothes we wear, the cars we drive, the fuel used to power the cars, the materials used to build our homes, the food we eat; are the end products of processes that converts raw material to the finished products. We achieve this transformation by numerous methods utilising a variety of processes each designed to perform a specific function in the transformation process.
For a product to maintain its competitive edge requires the optimisation of the transformation processes from raw material to final product. The effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability in obtaining raw materials, using machinery, and applying production technologies to processing activities requires understanding of the fundamental principles of a number of multi-disciplinary fields.
This introductory course provides the student with a basic knowledge of the technologies applied in a number of different processes. It is further expanded in the next course `Process Engineering Systems', where process systems are designed by applying the fundamental knowledge gained in this course, together with the theory and application of Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Computer Controlled Systems, sensors and actuators and graphic-user interface systems.
The aim of this course is to provide the student with knowledge of a wide range of production processes, including food processing, petro-chemical processing, mining and ore processing, and manufacturing. The course is structured to provide information on each process by discussing the equipment used, safety issues, sustainability, by-products, and control required.


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

  1. understand the principles and equipment associated with basic process operations of:

    ? Mining processes
    ? Ore processing
    ? Petro-chemical processing
    ? Food processing
    ? Manufacturing processes
  2. analyse the broad range of safety requirements for each of the above processes;
  3. analyse the basic control systems required for each of the above processes;
  4. analyse the environmental impact (sustainability) of each of the above processes from raw material to end product, including any by-products.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Mining 20.00
2. Metal production 15.00
3. Petro-chemical processes 20.00
4. Electrical Power Generation 15.00
5. Food processing 10.00
6. Manufacturing 20.00

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. (

  • Thomas, CE 2011, Process technology equipment and systems, 3rd edn, Delmar Cengage Learning, Clifton Park, NY.

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.
  • Dunn, W 2005, Fundamentals of industrial instrumentation and process control, McGraw Hill, New York.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 30.00
Directed Study 52.00
Examinations 2.00
Private Study 71.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 200 20 31 Aug 2015
ASSIGNMENT 2 200 20 06 Oct 2015
2 HOUR CLOSED EXAMINATION 600 60 End S2 (see note 1)

  1. Student Administration will advise students of the dates of their examinations during the semester.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility 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 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:
    Candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the Closed examination.

  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.

  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 Deferred Make-up).

  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.