Engineering Sustainability and Professional Practice

Task overview

Assessment name: Report – Preliminary Scoping Study, and Professional Skills Review
Task description: Background: Your overall project in this unit is to develop a ‘design concept’ (preliminary design) for an engineering related project to assist communities in Cape York, far North Queensland.

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Your team (formed in class in Week 5/6) will act as an engineering consultancy firm.

Client: Engineers Without Borders (EWB) and Centre for Appropriate Technology. Full details are on the EWB Challenge website. You need to register with your QUT email address.

This task: In this first assessment task, each individual will present an element of the Scoping Study to the client – Engineers Without Borders (EWB). This preliminary scoping study will need to:

·         unpack the client brief to determine what the project involves,

·         understand the location, local context, and community you are designing for, and based on this:

·         identify potential challenges/opportunities (issues) and constraints around working in these communities.

Findings from this initial scoping study will support the preliminary design that your team will recommend in Assessment 2 and 3 to achieve the best technical, social, economic and environmental outcomes for the people of Cape York, in far North Queensland.

Learning outcomes measured: 1.    Communicate effectively for different audiences using a range of written techniques

2.    Apply foundational research capabilities to source relevant and reliable information

3.    Apply the engineering process to professional tasks

Estimated time to complete task: 25-30 hours
Length: Scoping Study – 800-1000 words; Skills Review – 200 words
Weighting: 20% (Scoping Study – 15%; Professional Skills Review – 5%)
Individual/Group: Individual
Authentic Assessment: Yes
How will I be assessed: 7-point grading scale using a rubric


Task details

What you need to do (scoping study): 1.                  Together (in Tutorial class Week 3), unpack the Client Brief (pages 1 to 11) specified in the EWB Challenge website and determine the important challenges/opportunities in working with communities in Cape York.


2.                  Each individual will be given one of the six elements below, to research, analyse and report on via the preliminary scoping study.


1.       Understanding the place (geography, demographics, etc)

2.       Cultural and Social Factors and practices (religion, norms, etc)

3.       Community Engagement (how to engage and consult and who is involved),

4.       Impacts on Environment (existing situation, seasonal factors, pollution, etc),

5.       Sourcing Materials (what resources are available, from where, include Human Resources) and,

6.       Appropriate Technology (include IT, Comms, accessible, cost effective and available).


3.                  In the context of your chosen element, research and analyse the current situation and identify issues under the sustainability principles in headings listed below. Issues including challenges/opportunities of working in Cape York and can be positive or negative. Evaluate the research you find using the CRAAP Information Retrieval test used in Week 3 Tutorial, to ensure the quality of your literature and sources cited.

SUSTAINABILITY PRINCIPLES to consider investigating:

·         social (including gender and cultural),

·         economic, and

·         environmental.


4.                   Write up your research and analysis in the form of an individual report (Template Supplied). Your report will need to inform EWB of the current situation in relation to your element and identified issues. You will need to convince the Client that you understand the project area including location specifics and the communities you are designing for, and your analysis of any potential challenges/opportunities.


5.                  Professional Connections: Following on from the Mapping Connections Activity in Week 4 Tutorial, identify at least 2 professionals or groups involved in humanitarian engineering who are connected to remote communities in Cape York or remote Australia that you don’t already know.

Research their work history, What they studied?, and whether or not this person’s career path development is something you might aspire to or not. In your research, look for relevant research or background information on working in remote communities and keep record of these information sources. Write up your findings in the final section of your report

What you need to do (professional skills review): Background: Real world engineering projects are generally conducted in teams. Successful teams are those that have effective communication and members with diverse perspectives who contribute to the work equally. Strong oral and written communication skills are among the Engineers Australia Core Competencies essential for a successful professional engineering career. This unit introduces you to the QUT ePortfolio, which will allow you to record, review, and track development of your professional skills across your degree.

1.       Review the Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standard 3.2, Effective oral and written communications.

2.       Think about the questions below to develop your review and write a 200 word response to competency standard. Integrate your answers into paragraph format – do not respond as Q & A.

3.       Document your response in the ‘beginning’ professional review in your Student ePortfolio. This is your Professional Engineering Portfolio which you will develop across your whole course. You are encouraged to use first person language (‘I’, ‘we’…) as this is about your personal perspectives.

·         Think about the communication skills and techniques you use in your tutorial activities, study and class groups.

·         Briefly describe an aspect of one of your EGB100 required readings that deals with communication and suggest how it informs your career planning, to develop and implement effective communication skills. [eg Engineering your future: An Australasian guide – Communication – Chapter 7: Understanding Communication].

·         Briefly describe the different audiences you think a professional engineer would need to communicate with. How and why might the mode and means of communication be different?

·         Briefly describe why a professional engineer needs to be able to communicate clearly with different audiences.

Requirements: Submit your Preliminary Scoping Study as an individual 800-1000 word written report to your client – Engineers Without Borders. Submit your Professional Skills Review as an individual 200 word appendix to the report.

Include the following sections in your report:

1.       Introduction: Identify the Client, the location you are working, the element you will be covering, and important challenges/opportunities unpacked from the client brief.

2.       Report the Findings of your research and analysis on your chosen element. Include potential technical, social (including gender and cultural), economic and environmental issues associated with your findings, where relevant. Identify potential constraints in working in Cape York.

3.       Report the findings from your Professional Connections investigation through LinkedIn or other social media. Include any relevant literature you found through this investigation.

4.       Appendix:

a.       Charts, maps, diagrams, or additional calculations may be submitted as part of the appendix. If it adds value to the discussion, Figures or Tables should be in the main report.

b.       The 200 word ‘Professional Review’ (5%) focusing on your communication skills will be prepared and downloaded from your personal QUT ePortfolio according to the submission instructions below. Attach this to your report as an appendix.

Formatting requirements for report

·          Do not write an Essay, follow the Template.

·          Diagrams/Figures and Tables, Cover page and references are not included in the word/page count, but should be included in the report.

·          If you go over the word/page limit, only the stipulated length of the report will be read by your marker. There is 10% leeway.

·          Use the headings given in the Template as the guide to section headings for your report.

·          Font: 12pt Times New Roman, Single column, 2.5 cm margins on all four sides with single line spacing


Referencing and research requirements

·          The referencing style should be QUT specified Harvard style. Refer to the Library Cite/write website for guidance

·          List your references in Alphabetically order, according to Harvard referencing requirements

·         Wikipedia is not an appropriate technical reference. However, it can be used as a resource to identify more appropriate academic resources.

Resources needed to complete task:


Preliminary Scoping Study

·         Client Brief (pages 1 to 11) specified in the EWB Challenge website

·         EWB Challenge Discussion Forum and Resources on EWB website

·         EGB100 library guide (make it your best friend)

·         Attend weekly tutorials, especially weeks 2, 3 and 4

·         Attend week 3 Guest lecture with EWB


Research & Report Writing

·         EGB100 library guide (make it your best friend)

·         EGB100 Assignment 1 report template

·         Harvard Referencing Guide – Library Cite/Write website


Professional Review

·         Video by Olivia Hutchinson on BB (Week 1 Lecture)

·         Engineering Heroes Podcast by Gavin Blakey

·         the QUT ePortfolio, which will allow you to record, review and track progressive development of your professional skills across your degree.

·         The Engineers Australia Core Competencies are essential


What you need to submit: 1.       800-1000 preliminary scoping study, in report format according to the template and requirements above

2.       200 word professional review in paragraph formatted, documented in your QUT eportfolio, and exported as a PDF to attach as an appendix to the report.

Submit online via BlackBoard, by clicking the ‘Learning Resources’ tab which will take you to the Unit Map.

In the relevant week, click ‘Assessment 1: Individual Scoping Study Report’. Look for ‘Individual Scoping Study Report Submission Inbox’ and click ‘View’. You should now be able to upload your assignment.


QUT has a university-wide policy on late assignments and extensions. Unless you have been granted an extension, you must hand in your assignment by the due date. If you fail to do so, you will not receive a mark.

If circumstances prevent you from submitting by the due date, you must apply for an extension via the stipulated QUT procedure. This requirement reflects the importance of meeting deadlines in professional practice.



Academic Integrity


As a student of the QUT academic community, you are asked to uphold the principles of academic integrity during your course of study. QUT sets expectations and responsibilities of students specifically stating that students “adopt an ethical approach to academic work and assessment in accordance with this policy and the Student Code of Conduct (E/2.1)”.  Students need to be aware that academic integrity refers to text and non-text sources, i.e. “copying or adapting non-text based material created by others, such as diagrams, designs, musical score, audio-visual materials, art work, plans, code or photographs without appropriate acknowledgement” (MOPP C/5.3.6 Academic Integrity). It also includes self-plagiarism, this “involves the re-use by a student of their own work without appropriate acknowledgement of the source. Students should seek express consent from the unit coordinator prior to re-using their own work in an assessment submission” (MOPP C/5.3.6 Academic Integrity).


Students are expected to demonstrate their own understanding and thinking using ideas provided by ‘others’ to support and inform their work, always acknowledging the source. While we encourage peer learning, it is not appropriate to share assignments with other students unless your assessment piece has been stated as being a group assignment. If you do share your assignment with another student, and they copy all or part of your assignment for their submission, this is considered collusion and you may be reported for academic misconduct.  If you are unsure and need more information








  • Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.
  • Conceptual understanding of the, mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the engineering discipline.
  • In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.
  • Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline.
  • Knowledge of contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline.
  • Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of contemporary engineering practice in the specific discipline.


  • Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving.
  • Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.
  • Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes.
  • Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects.


  • Ethical conduct and professional accountability
  • Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.
  • Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour.
  • Professional use and management of information.
  • Orderly management of self, and professional conduct.
  • Effective team membership and team leadership.


Yellow highlights identify the competencies which this assignment will contribute to strengthening.


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