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Unit of study_

CHNG9402: Chemical Engineering Design A

Semester 1, 2020 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

In the overall design process, chemical engineers must clearly understand the (often complex) interactions and trade-offs that occur between technical, economic, social and environmental considerations. The capstone design projects are spread over two units of study (Chemical Engineering Design A and B) run in first and second semester. These units of study build on concepts in each of these areas introduced in previous years but with an emphasis on their successful integration within a comprehensive design activity. The primary aim of the first unit of study (Chemical Engineering Design A) is to consider the challenge of process selection and feasibility including both technical and broader issues- with an emphasis on creating and evaluating a range of alternative options that exist at both the unit operation and complete flowsheet levels. The primary emphasis in the subsequent unit of study (Chemical Engineering Design B) is on process design and including how non-technical considerations affect the final process design and its operation. By the end of both units of study a student should be able to develop a wide range of alternative conceptual designs for a given product specification and market analysis, have an appreciation of how to evaluate process alternatives at the conceptual level with a view to creating a 'short-list' worthy of more detailed technical investigation, be familiar with the use of process flowsheeting software to compare alternative designs , appreciate the fact that technical considerations are only one component in an overall successful design project and be able to clearly present the results from both individual and group work in oral/written formats. This unit of study is part of an integrated (two semester) three year postgraduate program in chemical engineering design whose overarching aim is to complete the 'vertical integration' of knowledge- one of the pillars on which this degree program is based. In addition to the above fundamentals, there will be considerable time spent during the semester on advanced topics related to designing chemical processes and associated technological developments.

Unit details and rules

Unit code CHNG9402
Academic unit Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Credit points 6
CHNG5112 OR CHNG5205
(CHNG9301 OR CHNG5801) AND (CHNG9302 OR CHNG5802) AND (CHNG9305 OR CHNG5805) AND (CHNG9306 OR CHNG5806).
Assumed knowledge

Enrolment in this unit of study assumes that all core 9xxx chemical engineering UoS have been successfully completed.

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator John Kavanagh,
Lecturer(s) Graham Madsen,
Type Description Weight Due Length
In-semester test In Semester Quiz
Quiz based on design project using a take home exam in 2020 due to COVID-19
25% Week 12
Due date: 22 May 2020 at 11:00

Closing date: 22 May 2020
2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO10 LO9 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3
Assignment Report
75% Week 12 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10

Assessment summary

  • Report: A written report concerning the design of a hydrogen production plant. Students will work in groups of three to make intermediate submissions, for which feedback will be given, then a final written report. Each group will provide information on individual contributions to each section and stidents will also Peer Review the contribution of their team members in a confidential report. 
  • Quiz: The quiz will test what has been learnt about the design process in general, together with (detailed) technical aspects relevant to the groundwater stripping plant. The quiz will assess general uptake of theory, knowledge and synthesis acquired from the groundwater stripping plant 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

For more information see guide to grades.

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.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity 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 integrity breaches seriously.  

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

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 1. Introduction to the course; 2. Market review and scoping calculations Lecture and tutorial (4 hr)  
Week 02 Technology review and block diagram Lecture and tutorial (4 hr)  
Week 03 PFD and mass and energy balance Lecture and tutorial (4 hr)  
Week 04 PFD and mass balance Tutorial (2 hr)  
Week 05 Rapid ranking Lecture and tutorial (4 hr)  
Week 06 Control scheme and PID Lecture and tutorial (4 hr)  
Week 07 HAZOP refresher Lecture (2 hr)  
Week 08 HAZOP Tutorial (2 hr)  
Week 09 Detailed design and costing Lecture and tutorial (4 hr)  
Week 10 Detailed feasibility Lecture and tutorial (4 hr)  
Week 11 Finalize design and prepare report Lecture and tutorial (4 hr)  

Attendance and class requirements

You are expected to attend all lectures and group wrok sessions.

Poor attendance has been shown to correlate with poor peformance in the group design report and the final quiz.

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

All readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas.

  • Peters, Timmerhaus and West, Plant Design and Economics for Chemical Engineers (Fifth). McGraw Hill, 2003. 0-07-239266-5.

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. clearly present the results from both individual and group work in oral/written formats
  • LO2. work effectively as part of a team
  • LO3. understand the relationship between process selection, environmental impact and commercial feasibility
  • LO4. appreciate the technical and financial trade-offs that exist in complex flowsheets
  • LO5. develop a wide range of alternative conceptual designs for a given product specification and market analysis
  • LO6. appreciate the fact that technical considerations are only one component in an overall successful design project
  • LO7. use process flowsheeting software to compare alternative designs - including the potential benefits of both process modification (eg by heat integration) and process optimisation and factorial cost estimation
  • LO8. understand theory of hazard assessment and hazard operability studies
  • LO9. appreciate advanced topics related to designing chemical processes and associated technological developments
  • LO10. evaluate alternatives at the conceptual level with a view to creating a ‘short-list’ worthy of more detailed technical investigation.

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 section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Updates have been made to the lectures and interim hand-ins from suggestions from previous years.

There is no other relevant information for this unit

Site visit guidelines

There may be a site visit in this class, if so we will inform you of the PPE requirements well before the visit.

Work, health and safety

There may be a site visit in this class, if so we will inform you of the PPE requirements well before the visit.


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