Course Title: Work Systems Design

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Work Systems Design

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013

Course Coordinator: Dr Reza Hoseinnezhad

Course Coordinator Phone: 9925 6135

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course examines the design of work systems in terms of human, machine and process operations. Concepts such as productivity, scientific management, system engineering and the measure of work content will be examined. Method Study, selecting, recording/charting analysis and improving the methods by which tasks are performed will also be covered as well as manufacturing process flow analysis, operation process charts, human machine interaction, hand process analysis and methods standardisation. Plant layout and material flow analysis will also be considered. The student will gain some experience and knowledge of the tools for analysing layout and material flow.  Work Measurement, methods of establishing the time for a manual task, stopwatch timestudy, predetermined time systems, standard data, work sampling will be examined as will incentive systems.  Human factors in workplace, including ergonomic factors in workplace design, accidents and injuries will also be covered. Regulations and codes of practice relating to safety will be examined.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

In this course the students will develop the following graduate capabilities:

  • the ability to apply knowledge of basic science and engineering fundamentals;
  • in-depth technical competence in at least one engineering discipline (workplaces in manufacturing);
  • ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution for the improvement of specified manufacturing activities;
  • ability to utilise a systems approach to design and improve operational performance in manufacturing tasks;
  • ability to function effectively as an individual and in multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams, with the capacity to be a leader or manager as well as an effective team member;
  • ability to develop sustainable workplace solutions in a professional and ethical manner; and
  • ability to communicate effectively with the engineering team and with the community at large.

This course will enhance the depth of understanding and will develop students’ knowledge of:

  • concepts of productivity and system engineering;
  • how to measure work content using motion study and time measurement;
  • selecting, recording/charting analysis;
  • manufacturing process flow analysis;
  • operation process charts;
  • human machine interaction;
  • hand process analysis; and
  • methods standardisation.

The student will also gain in-depth knowledge of automisation techniques for manufacturing processes. Particularly, they will learn about:

  • fundamentals of pneumatic system design;
  • pneumatic components;
  • programmable logic controllers; and
  • design and construction of an automated subsystem in a manufacturing process.

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities included in this course are:

  • lectures: will guide students to important principles and concepts, and to apply appropriate problem solving techniques; and
  • laboratory sessions: will help students become familiar with hardware systems, to connect theory to practice, and reinforce the principles and concepts learnt in the lectures. 
  • project work: The project work will help students learn many useful techniques for engineering project activities, including how to interact with staff and fellow students in a smaller group setting, communication and leadership skills.

Overview of Learning Resources

Students will be able to access course information and learning materials through the Learning Hub (Blackboard). Lists of relevant reference texts, resources in the library and freely accessible Internet sites will be provided. Students will also use laboratory equipment and computer software within the School during project and assignment work. During the course, students will be directed to many websites to enhance their knowledge and understanding of difficult concepts.

Overview of Assessment

The assessment is comprised of both individual and team submissions. Team submissions can be moderated by the course coordinator after consideration of the peer assessment of the contribution of each team member.