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Unit of study_

BMET5953: Rehabilitation Engineering

Rehabilitation Engineering is a staple course of biomedical engineering programs worldwide. This unit focuses on rehabilitation devices, external and internal, for communication and mobility. Rehabilitation engineering is the application of engineering analysis and design expertise to overcome disabilities and improve quality of life with assistive technologies. The unit will cover the inclusive design or 'design for all' process with consumer engagement, human-computer interfaces, mobility and communication needs. All students will design a project that addresses an unmet need. There will be visits to disability services organisations and learn about the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The unit will be taught through lectures and the design lab including computational and hands on design. Communication skills will be tested through a project 'pitch' presentation. Some teaching will be provided by rehabilitation engineers working in industry.


Academic unit Biomedical Engineering
Unit code BMET5953
Unit name Rehabilitation Engineering
Session, year
Semester 1, 2021
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

Assumed knowledge

1000-level mathematics and 1000-level biology

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Alistair McEwan,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Tutorial quiz hurdle task Quiz 1
Quizzes to provide early feedback
10% Week 04 30 mins
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4
Assignment group assignment Lab report 1
Preliminary Lab report
10% Week 05 5 pages
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO2
Tutorial quiz hurdle task quiz 2
Quiz on weeks 3-6
10% Week 07 30 mins
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO4 LO6
Tutorial quiz hurdle task Quiz 3
Quiz on weeks 7-9
10% Week 10 30 mins
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4
Assignment group assignment Lab report 2
Final group lab report
10% Week 11 10 pages
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Presentation group assignment Pitch
Group project pitch
15% Week 13 10min
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Presentation hurdle task participation
lecture, lab and discussion board participation
10% Week 13 all semester
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO4
Assignment hurdle task Individual project report
Individual project report
25% Week 13 20 pages
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
hurdle task = hurdle task ?
group assignment = group assignment ?
  • Quizzes will consist of short answer and multiple choice questions that must be answered individually live and in the lab classes. 
  • Lab report 1 is a preliminary draft group lab report with literatrure review, aims, methods and preliminary results are presented.
  • Lab report 2 is the final group lab report with full results and critical discussion.
  • Pitch is a compelling group oral presentation that presents the project work and convinces a panel of mock ‘shark tank investors’ to fund the project and team
  • Participation is individual consistent weekly questions, discussion, feedback and critique.
  • Individual project report is a comprehensive report of learning from the course including each weekly topic, individual contribution to group work, case studies, and suggestions for future expansion of inclusive technology.  
  • ‘Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.’’

You must get 50% in the individual (non-group work) components to pass the unit, regardless of the sum of your individual marks.

Assessment criteria

see table at

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

The penalty for lateness is 5% per day.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, and the resources available to all students.

The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of dishonesty, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction to rehabilitation engineering Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 02 Introduction to user based design for inclusion Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO6
Week 03 Communication needs Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 04 Mobility needs Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6
Week 05 Rehabiliation robotics Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 06 Neuroplasticity Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO6
Week 07 How to pitch Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO6
Week 08 Human computer interfaces Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 09 Ethics and regulation Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO6
Week 10 National disability insurance scheme Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO6
Week 11 Cybernetics Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO3 LO4 LO6
Week 12 Human clinical trial design Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 13 Review Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Present evaluations and interpretations of theoretical issues and concepts. Clarify requirements to determine inquiry/research needs; evaluate & interpret data; manage research. Use information for basic analytical reporting & show understanding of discipline theoretical and methodological issues; interpret and discuss situations involving uncertainty, ambiguity, conflicting information.
  • LO2. Small project proficiency. Proficiently apply standard project management tools & methodologies for assigned project activities on a small team scale.
  • LO3. Professional reflection. Exercise sound critical judgement, at general level, on professional context and conduct issues.
  • LO4. Interdisciplinary contexts & systems. Understand the integration of system components to accomplish specific set of objectives in interdisciplinary contexts. Evaluate design solutions from multiple perspectives including ecological, social sustainability, cultural values, as well as, economic risk & safety, and technical perspectives.
  • LO5. Full cycle design. Understand the impact of high uncertainty and/or context on the design cycle & the benefit of systems design/engineering framework.
  • LO6. Justify creative solutions to non-routine & complex problems/opportunities. Use a structured process of inquiry & evidence based research to clarify reasoning and decisions; experiment with different (systems) methodologies or thinking approaches & strategies for innovation.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
This is the 1st time this unit is offered but response to student feedback in other units includes early feedback in quizzes and draft reports, professional engagement and high impact contemporary projects.


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