Skip to main content
Unit outline_

CIVL5320: Engineering for Sustainable Development

Semester 2, 2023 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

The aim of this unit of study is to provide students with an introduction to the knowledge and skills necessary to design and implement sustainable humanitarian engineering projects. The context for the delivery of humanitarian engineering projects are set in developing countries, disaster relief situations, indigenous communities and our societies at large. Sustainability it critical to the long term impact of any engineering project. Students will learn about how engineering fits within a range of sustainability frameworks. Systems thinking, inter-disciplinary approaches, partnerships and government policy are some of the topics that will be covered. This unit of study is the 4th year elective for Humanitarian Engineering major and is open to all undergraduate engineers who have completed the pre-requisites.

Unit details and rules

Academic unit Civil Engineering
Credit points 6
Prerequisites
? 
CIVL3310 OR CIVL9310
Corequisites
? 
None
Prohibitions
? 
None
Assumed knowledge
? 

None

Available to study abroad and exchange students

Yes

Teaching staff

Coordinator Aaron Opdyke, aaron.opdyke@sydney.edu.au
Lecturer(s) Rod Johnston, rodney.johnston@sydney.edu.au
Type Description Weight Due Length
Small continuous assessment Weekly reading quizzes
In-class assessments
20% Multiple weeks 5 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3
Assignment group assignment Conceptual design report
Group work
10% Week 06
Due date: 08 Sep 2023 at 23:59
3,000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO3 LO2
Assignment Design assignment: Water Supply Systems
Submitted work
7.5% Week 07
Due date: 15 Sep 2023 at 23:59
500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO5 LO6
Assignment Design Assignment: Sanitation Systems
Submitted work
7.5% Week 08
Due date: 22 Sep 2023 at 23:59
500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO5 LO6
Assignment Design assignment: Shelter and Settlements
Submitted work
7.5% Week 09
Due date: 06 Oct 2023 at 23:59
500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO5 LO6
Assignment Design Assignment: Energy Systems
Submitted work
7.5% Week 10
Due date: 13 Oct 2023 at 23:59
500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO5 LO6
Presentation group assignment Project presentation
Group work
10% Week 13 15 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO6
Assignment group assignment Final report
Group work
30% Week 13
Due date: 03 Nov 2023 at 23:59
8,000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • Final report: A final report will summarise the project plan, analysis, and recommendations in response to the presented design problem.
  • Conceptual design report: A conceptual design will provide an overview of the problem and gaps, a logical framework, and an introduction to the project design approach.
  • Project presentation: During the final lecture, students will give presentations discussing their analyses and results from project activities.
  • Weekly reading quizzes: Short in-class reading quizzes will test knowledge of assigned weekly readings.
  • Design assignments: Students will respond to short design briefs, demonstrating technical competencies.
  • 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

Description

High distinction

85 - 100

 

Distinction

75 - 84

 

Credit

65 - 74

 

Pass

50 - 64

 

Fail

0 - 49

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

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 What is sustainable development? Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO7 LO8
Week 02 History and theories of development Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO7 LO8
Introduction to project Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5 LO6 LO7
Week 03 Poverty definitions and dynamics Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO7 LO8
Project work session Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 04 Needs assessment and project appraisal Lecture (2 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6
Project work session Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 05 Monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEAL) Lecture (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Project work session Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 06 Participation and power Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO4 LO7
Project work session Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 07 Water supply and treatment systems Lecture (2 hr) LO5 LO6
Project work session Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 08 Sanitation systems Lecture (2 hr) LO5 LO6
Project work session Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 09 Shelter and settlements Lecture (2 hr) LO5 LO6
Project work session Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 10 Energy systems Lecture (2 hr) LO5 LO6
Project work session Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 11 Innovations in development practice Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO7 LO8
Project work session Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 12 Fieldwork and professional issues Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO8
Project work session Workshop (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 13 Final project presentations Lecture (2 hr) LO1 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.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed Canvas.

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. employ appropriate teamwork skills across project phases to address development challenges
  • LO2. apply ethical and appropriate judgement in development practice while introspectively examining positionality
  • LO3. convey engineering analysis to multi-cultural audiences to inform effective technical solutions and policy recommendations
  • LO4. choose participative approaches and tools in project planning, implementation, and evaluation to inform more inclusive engineering designs
  • LO5. develop sustainable engineering solutions using incomplete or limited data from multiple sources to address complex social, economic, and environmental challenges facing developing communities
  • LO6. apply engineering tool-sets to needs assessment, project planning, monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEAL) in developing community contexts
  • LO7. understand the history and legacy of engineering in development and humanitarian practice
  • LO8. converse in, and critically examine sustainable development theories, frameworks, and debates.

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
GQ1 GQ2 GQ3 GQ4 GQ5 GQ6 GQ7 GQ8 GQ9

Alignment with Competency standards

Outcomes Competency standards
LO1
Engineers Australia Curriculum Performance Indicators - EAPI
3.1. An ability to communicate with the engineering team and the community at large.
3.6. An ability to function as an individual and as a team leader and member in multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams.
LO2
Engineers Australia Curriculum Performance Indicators - EAPI
3.4. An understanding of and commitment to ethical and professional responsibilities.
4.5. An ability to undertake problem solving, design and project work within a broad contextual framework accommodating social, cultural, ethical, legal, political, economic and environmental responsibilities as well as within the principles of sustainable development and health and safety imperatives.
LO3
Engineers Australia Curriculum Performance Indicators - EAPI
3.1. An ability to communicate with the engineering team and the community at large.
3.6. An ability to function as an individual and as a team leader and member in multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams.
4.5. An ability to undertake problem solving, design and project work within a broad contextual framework accommodating social, cultural, ethical, legal, political, economic and environmental responsibilities as well as within the principles of sustainable development and health and safety imperatives.
LO4
Engineers Australia Curriculum Performance Indicators - EAPI
4.3. Proficiency in the engineering design of components, systems and/or processes in accordance with specified and agreed performance criteria.
4.4. Skills in implementing and managing engineering projects within the bounds of time, budget, performance and quality assurance requirements.
4.5. An ability to undertake problem solving, design and project work within a broad contextual framework accommodating social, cultural, ethical, legal, political, economic and environmental responsibilities as well as within the principles of sustainable development and health and safety imperatives.
LO5
Engineers Australia Curriculum Performance Indicators - EAPI
4.1. Advanced level skills in the structured solution of complex and often ill defined problems.
4.2. Ability to use a systems approach to complex problems, and to design and operational performance.
4.5. An ability to undertake problem solving, design and project work within a broad contextual framework accommodating social, cultural, ethical, legal, political, economic and environmental responsibilities as well as within the principles of sustainable development and health and safety imperatives.
5.2. A commitment to safe and sustainable practices.
5.4. Skills in the selection and application of appropriate engineering resources tools and techniques, appreciation of accuracy and limitations;.
LO6
Engineers Australia Curriculum Performance Indicators - EAPI
5.3. Skills in the selection and characterisation of engineering systems, devices, components and materials.
5.4. Skills in the selection and application of appropriate engineering resources tools and techniques, appreciation of accuracy and limitations;.
LO7
Engineers Australia Curriculum Performance Indicators - EAPI
2.3. Meaningful engagement with current technical and professional practices and issues in the designated field.
2.4. Advanced knowledge and capability development in one or more specialist areas through engagement with: (a) specific body of knowledge and emerging developments and (b) problems and situations of significant technical complexity.
4.5. An ability to undertake problem solving, design and project work within a broad contextual framework accommodating social, cultural, ethical, legal, political, economic and environmental responsibilities as well as within the principles of sustainable development and health and safety imperatives.
LO8
Engineers Australia Curriculum Performance Indicators - EAPI
2.3. Meaningful engagement with current technical and professional practices and issues in the designated field.

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

Greater weight has been placed on the design assessments, and additional time has been allocated during tutorials for project-related activities.

Disclaimer

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

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.