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ENG2002 Technology, Sustainability and Society

Semester 2, 2019 On-campus Springfield
Short Description: Techn Sustainability & Society
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 039999 - EnginTech not classified
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Ian Craig


Engineering and spatial science students need to be able to forge successful working relationships with other professions and the general public. In order to meet their professional responsibilities, engineers and spatial scientists should acquire an appreciation of how politics, culture, economics and the law affect their day-to-day work, and how their work may impacts upon different sections of the community and the physical environment. They must have a broad appreciation of the technological advancements of the 20th century and how these have benefited, people but also appreciate the negative side including impacts on the environment. Engineers and spatial scientists must also be prepared to deal with a really important new goal now highly relevant in the 21st century namely, that of environmental sustainability. The main rationale of this course is to provide students with the opportunity to develop skills and attitudes that would help them promote and defend their work within their profession and society at large.


Students of engineering and surveying need to understand and be convinced that through their future professional work they will relate to the rest of society. Throughout their careers they will need to strive to ensure that this relationship is meaningful and successful. Only then will they earn respect for themselves and their profession, and ensure their work will be valued and recognised. For engineers and surveyors to meet their responsibilities towards society they must be able to appreciate how politics, culture, economics and the law affect their work and how their work impacts on different sections of the community and the physical environment. They must also be prepared to deal with the issue of long-term sustainability. The goal of this course is to provide students with the opportunity to develop skills and attitudes that would help them promote and defend their work within their profession and within society at large.


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

  1. Comment proficiently upon general knowledge and current affairs of the day;
  2. Appreciate the history of technology and assess the basis of common criticisms of modern technology, and associated benefits to human society;
  3. Understand the concepts behind environmental sustainability and justify the need to move towards more sustainable practices;
  4. Understand the concepts behind and apply the principles of effective environmental impact assessment;
  5. Understand the role of politics, politicians, power and government and illustrate the political dimension of engineering, spatial science and construction activities;
  6. Acquire fundamental knowledge of economics and profitability forecasting, be able to perform a Net Present Value (NPV) exercise, and assess the likely effects of economic policies on technological enterprises;
  7. Explain the relevance of social and physical models and deduce the causal factors behind technological developments during different periods of human history;
  8. Propose strategies for working effectively in a multi-cultural environment, determine the relevance of social structure and cultural values and demonstrate a cultural awareness of the key factors that may influence the practice both domestically and globally;
  9. Acquire a basic knowledge of the International and Australian the legal system and identify ethical and legal constraints that are most likely to concern professional engineers, spatial scientists or construction managers;
  10. Examine the basic philosophies behind modern sustainable management practices and policies, and explain the challenges in managing conflict arising from competing environmental, social and economic demands


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction, general knowledge of current affairs, technology, sustainability, and social considerations including politics, economics, philosophy and law. 10.00
2. History of technology, perspective from different civilisations, criticisms of technological development and cost to the environment. 10.00
3. Sustainability, the environmental system and ecologically sustainable development. 10.00
4. Environmental Impact Assessment, processes and procedures. 10.00
5. Politics, the nature of power, role of government internationally and in Australia. 10.00
6. The economy, economic theories and practice, global economy, taxation, tariffs, cost benefit analysis, net present value. 10.00
7. Models of society, self-Interest versus community Interest, social structure, the social importance of work. 10.00
8. Cultural Impacts – defining culture, understanding diversity, transcultural aspects. 10.00
9. Law and regulation, the Australian legal system, international law, legal and ethical responsibilities 10.00
10. Management concepts – managerial skills for engineers and spatial scientists, intellectual property, marketing, life cycle analysis, carbon accounting, ISO standards 10.00

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. (

Students will need access to email and the Internet.

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.
Dowling, D, Carew, A & Hadgraft, R 2016, Engineering your future: an Australasian guide, 3rd edn, John Wiley & Sons, Milton, Qld.
Johnston, S, Gostelow, P & Jones, E 1999, Engineering and society: an Australian perspective, 2nd edn, Longman, South Melbourne.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 30.00
Directed Study 25.00
Examinations 2.00
Lectures 24.00
Private Study 50.00
Tutorials 24.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 200 20 08 Aug 2019 1,2,3,4,5,8
ASSIGNMENT 2 200 20 12 Sep 2019 3,4,5,6,7,10
2 HOUR CLOSED EXAMINATION 600 60 End S2 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10

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 a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), i.e. the end of semester examination by achieving at least 40% of the marks available for that assessment item.
    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.
    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  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:
    In a Closed Examination, candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the 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.