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Unit of study_

ENGG1000: History and Philosophy of Engineering

Semester 1, 2021 [Normal day] - Remote

ENGG1000 is a unique course that aims to provide students with an understanding of the historical development of Engineering with relation to societal expectations of the period. Engineering as a field of study and profession has developed over millennia from simple (yet significant) advances in technology such as the lever and wheel, to modern day examples such as advanced computers, nanomaterials and space flight. Interaction between human society and Engineers has helped develop and guide the advancement of engineering technology; with society posing problems for Engineers to solve and Engineers developing new technology that changed the course of human history, and helped shape the world we live in. The general philosophy behind Engineering is that Engineers work to fulfill the needs of society (water, electricity, technological improvements etc. ), and as such Engineers are expected to act ethically towards society. The role of Engineers in society will be analysed and discussed from a humanistic perspective, with relation to the current Engineers Australia code of ethics. Other relevant philosophical analyses of Engineering as a skill and profession will also be examined such as, aesthetics, creativity, the epistemology of Engineering and more. This course will use online resources extensively and help develop research and communication skills of students, whilst providing an overview of the historical significance of Engineers in society, and what it means to be an Engineer.

Unit details and rules

Unit code ENGG1000
Academic unit Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Rod Fiford,
Lecturer(s) Rod Fiford,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Take-home extended release) Type E final exam Exam
Take home written exam - 48hrs
30% Formal exam period 48 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Participation Class discussion
In class active discussion & participation
10% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO2
Participation Discussion forum
Active participation in online discussion
10% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3
Presentation Oral presentation
Oral video/presentation
10% Week 05
Due date: 30 Mar 2021 at 12:00
5-7 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO2
Assignment Report
Written report
20% Week 08
Due date: 30 Apr 2021 at 23:59
2500-3500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Assignment Online blog
Online blog - note this should be started by week 6 and built over time
20% Week 13
Due date: 04 Jun 2021 at 23:59
Minimum of 10 blog entries- 1 page each
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Type E final exam = Type E final exam ?

Assessment summary

  • Participation: Active participation is required in both online and in-class discussions related to unit of study subject matter.
  • Presentation: This will focus on a case study chosen by the student related to the historical significance of a major engineering event/invention/breakthrough and subsequent impact on human society.
  • Report: This involves students discussing the interaction between engineering and society in both present, past and future scenarios.
  • Online blog: This online task requires the student to create a web ‘blog’using various forms of media to discuss and analyse the impact of a chosen technology on society.
  • Exam: The exam will test students’ knowledge and understanding of all subject material, potentially including other students` blogs and oral presentations.

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.

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:

5% of maximum obtainable mark per day or part thereof. 100% late penalty for presentation and exam.

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
Ongoing Online discussion forum active participation 2 hour per week Online class (26 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Student independent research & study - 3 hours per week Individual study (80 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 01 Course introduction/what is engineering? Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 02 History of engineering 1 Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 03 Methodology and philosophy of engineering Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 04 History of engineering 2 Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 05 Student Presentations Presentation (2 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 06 Engineering and society Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 07 History of engineering 3 Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 08 Epistemology of engineering and critical thinking Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 09 History of engineering 4 Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 10 Socio-politics of engineering and technology Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 11 History of Engineering 5 Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 12 Engineering and society - the future? Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 13 Course revision Lecture and tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3

Attendance and class requirements

Attendance and active participation in class and online discussions is essential.

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. demonstrate familiarity with the Engineers Australia code of conduct and develop an awareness of the professional conduct expected from society in an Australian and international context. The relationship between engineering and the needs/expectations of society is investigated and discussed
  • LO2. demonstrate improved skills in both oral and written communication (reports and examination) and proficiency in using online discussion forums
  • LO3. demonstrate effective research skills to locate information from a variety of sources, including through interpersonal communication.

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.

Oral presentation and report moved forward a week to better balance assessment tasks..


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