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Unit of study_

CHNG5009: Digital Circular Economy

Key global drivers impacting our environment and urban living include population growth expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, and increasing affluence, which will see the tripling of global consumption of natural resources. Current patterns of production and consumption described as the linear "take-make-dispose" model are unsustainable, in contrast to the circular economy model described as the "reduce-reuse-recycle" which seeks to preserve upstream natural resources (energy and materials), optimise manufacturing processes that reduce generation of irreversible waste. The Circular Economy sets the foundations for engineering resource efficient, sustainable technologies and driving sustainable manufacturing, required to bring deep cuts in environmental damage driven by a growing and more affluent global population. Circular economy is an emerging paradigm in environmental management being adopted by organisation around the world to facilitate more efficient resource utilisation, while creating new economic opportunity in a digital age.


Academic unit Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Unit code CHNG5009
Unit name Digital Circular Economy
Session, year
Semester 1, 2021
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Remote
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Ali Abbas,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment group assignment Data for circular economy insights
Group work - meetings in person or via zoom
20% Week 04 Refer to the Assignment description doc
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Assignment group assignment Tear down lab
Group work - meetings in person or via zoom
20% Week 07 Refer to the Assignment description doc
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4 LO6
Assignment group assignment Lifecycle analysis (LCA)
Group work - meetings in person or via zoom
30% Week 11 Refer to the Assignment description doc
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3 LO5
Creative assessments / demonstrations Products - from linear to circular
Presentation video
30% Week 13 Refer to the Assignment description doc
Outcomes assessed: LO4 LO5 LO6
group assignment = group assignment ?

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

Note 1: Additional details of these assessments will be announced in lectures. It is your responsibility to keep up to date with these announcements. Announcements will also be placed on the Learning Management System site. Further, it may eventuate that during this unit of study, we may ask you to submit additional items for evaluation – if this happens, announcements will be made in lectures well in advance, and complete instructions will be given.

Note 3: There may be moderation and/or scaling of the raw marks in each assessment component when combining them to get the final mark in this unit of study.

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.

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 Digital Circular Economy Online class (4 hr) LO1
Foundations of the Circular Economy Online class (4 hr) LO1
Week 02 Foundations of the Circular Economy Online class (4 hr) LO1
Digital Science: Facilitating Circular Economy Transition Online class (4 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 03 Digital Science: Facilitating Circular Economy Transition Online class (4 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 04 Digital and computational tools Online class (4 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 05 Circular design for products Online class (4 hr) LO3 LO4
Week 06 Circular design for manufacturing processes Online class (4 hr) LO3 LO4
Week 07 Materials and circularity Online class (4 hr) LO3 LO4
Week 08 Systems thinking and circularity Online class (4 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 09 Circularity in low emissions and energy technologies Online class (4 hr) LO4
Week 10 Circular Economy eco-industrial parks Online class (4 hr) LO4 LO5
Week 11 Circular carbon economy Online class (4 hr) LO4 LO5
Week 12 Special topics Online class (4 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 13 Special topics Online class (4 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6

Attendance and class requirements

The weekly sessions consist of 4 timetabled hours. During the weekly session there will typically be a lecture and a workshop type excercise. The workshop excercises will be aligned with the lectures and the assessments to assist you in integrating and developing the learnings and understanding. You will need to contnuously monitor the online discussion board for weekly updates as the weekly session schedule and format may differ week by week.  

It is important to appreciate that this unit of study covers various areas of the circular economy in relation to the domain of ‘digital’. Several digitial tools and software will be introduced throughout the semester during the weekly sessions. As such, keeping up with the learning on a week-by-week basis is essential to ensuring you succeed in this unit of study overall, and specficially in being prepared for the final individual assessment.

It follows that attendance in the class is essential and is an important point of contact with the lecturer and the tutors. You are highly encouraged to use class attendance to ask clarify concepts and ask questions. There will be a significant onus on individual students to carry ownership of learning of fundamentals and concepts. The lecturer and tutors will strictly not attend to students rushing in with requests for appointments in the days/week prior to assessment being due. Working in teams is a key requirement in this unit of study and your individual understanding of concepts is built through the group-based assignment work. Therefore it is essential you work as an individual but also as an effective contributor to your team.

Your individual time management in this semester is of the essence.

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.

Required readings

There is no set text or prescribed reading, however, literature readings may be announced during the course of the semester. 

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. Understand the foundations of the circular economy and its key principles, and chronological relations it to neighbouring sustainability concepts.
  • LO2. Appreciate that data and digital science are key enablers to transition circular economy
  • LO3. Investigate digital and computational tools, technologies and approaches to ‘design out’ waste in the circular economy
  • LO4. Investigate computational circular design for products and manufacturing processes
  • LO5. Identify digital circular economy practices to remodel business and plan organisational transformation for competitive advantage
  • LO6. Reflect critically upon the circular economy concept

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
Not applicable as this is the first time this unit is offered.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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