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MEC1501 Introduction to Industrial Processes

Semester 2, 2016 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 030399 - Process and Resources Engineer

Contents on this page


Examiner: Paul Baker


Pre-requisite: CIV1500 or Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCEN or METC or GCNS or GDNS or MEPR or MENS


Every aspect of 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 our vehicles, the materials used to build our homes, the food we eat; are all the end products of processes that convert 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 within the overall transformation process.

Ensuring that a product maintains its competitive edge requires optimisation of the processes which transforms raw material to the final product. The effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability in obtaining raw materials, using machinery, and applying production technologies to processing activities require understanding of the fundamental principles of a number of multi-disciplinary fields.


This introductory course enables the student to achieve a basic understanding of the control systems used in a number of different industrial processes. This is further developed in the next course `Process Control Systems', where process controllers are designed and implemented by applying the fundamental principles covered in this course, together with the theory and application of Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Electrical and Electronic Circuits, Sensors and Actuators, Programmable Logic Controllers and Human-Machine Interface Systems.

The aim of this course is to enable the student to develop a basic understanding of the operation of controllers used in a wide range of industrial processes, including food processing, petro-chemical processing, mining and ore processing, and manufacturing. The course is structured so that for each process there is discussion on the equipment used, safety considerations, sustainability, by-products, and control requirements and control strategies.


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

  1. explain the energy balance principle and the material balance principle and how those principles apply in the basic operation of:
    • Mining processes
    • Ore processing
    • Petro-chemical processing
    • Food processing
    • Manufacturing processes
  2. explain the functions and important specifications of the main and safety equipment used by industry and the safety mechanisms used in the above processes;
  3. state the basic principles of safe process design and operation; and justify the range of safety requirements for each of the above processes;
  4. identify the basic control requirements for each of the above processes;
  5. analyse the environmental impact and sustainability issues for each of the above processes, from raw material to end product including any by-products.


Description Weighting(%)
1. The energy balance principle and the material balance principle 15.00
2. Mining and ore processing 20.00
3. Petro-chemical processes 20.00
4. Electrical Power Generation 10.00
5. Food processing 15.00
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 2015, Process technology equipment and systems, 4th 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 expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 32.00
Lectures 26.00
Private Study 71.00
Tutorials 26.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 200 20 22 Aug 2016
ASSIGNMENT 2 200 20 27 Sep 2016
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:
    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 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. Students must familiarise themselves with the USQ Assessment Procedures (

  2. If electronic submission is specified for a course assessment, students will be notified of this on the Course Study Desk. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment irrespective of holidays. 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).

  3. If hardcopy submission is specified for a course assessment students will be notified of this on the Course Study Desk. The due date for a hardcopy assignment is the date by which a student must submit at USQ or despatch the assignment to USQ irrespective of holidays.

  4. USQ will NOT accept submission of assignments by facsimile or email unless expressly requested by the course examiner.

  5. Referencing in Assignments must comply with the Harvard (AGPS) referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (APGS) style to be used is defined by the USQ library?s referencing guide. These policies can be found at //