Course Title: Research Project Part 1

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Research Project Part 1

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


120H Civil, Environmental & Chemical Engineering


Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014




120H Civil, Environmental & Chemical Engineering


Offsh3 13

Course Coordinator: David Law

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 0321

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 10.13.14

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

First three years of the Bachelor of Engineering (Civil and Infrastructure) or equivalent.

Course Description

This course is intended to represent the first half (initiation phase) of a project that you as a new graduate might be expected to undertake - an investigation of a research topic relevant to the profession. During this course you will plan your project, conduct a critical review of relevant published material (a “literature review”), and undertake sufficient work to produce some initial findings and to support future work on this topic in Research Project Part 2. You will also be introduced to key competencies of a research leader through lectures and coursework on research methods. The project work will require significant research/investigation and reflection and will also include such aspect as engineering
• analysis
• design
• testing
• programming

The research topic will give you the opportunity to marshal the relevant knowledge and skills from your various other courses of the program and apply them to the investigation of an approved research topic and then to produce a report of a professional standard. Each student will have a different approved research topic.
This engineering project activity is undertaken in conjunction with industry or simulates a real engineering work environment, thereby contributing to your experience of Work Integrated Learning. You will be supervised by an internal School supervisor (academic) but you may also have an external supervisor (such as an industry-based practitioner).
You will be expected to perform your project work with a high degree of independence and to take ownership of the project - with guidance from staff and/or external industry supervisors.
The project will be completed by taking the follow-on course Research Project Part 2.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

1.3. In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.
1.4. Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline.
1.5. Knowledge of contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline.
1.6. Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of contemporary engineering practice in the specific discipline
2.1. Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering solving.
2.2. Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.
2.3. Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes.
2.4. Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects.
3.1. Ethical conduct and professional accountability
3.2. Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.
3.3. Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour.
3.4. Professional use and management of information.
3.5. Orderly management of self, and professional conduct.

You will enhance your ability to conduct an engineering research project as you progress through this course. It is expected that you will apply your knowledge of management of project work, basic science and engineering fundamentals throughout the course. You will be expected to demonstrate an in-depth technical competence in at least one engineering discipline, and the ability to use appropriate techniques and resources. You will further develop the ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution. This course will enhance your capacity to undertake lifelong learning.

You will contribute individually a significant input to the project and due to the discrete nature of each project you will also have a unique specific (domain/subject centred) learning outcome for this course in addition to those research methods outcomes described above.

On successful completion of this course you will also be able to:
1: Identify research questions and plan a study to investigate a specific issue/problem in Civil Engineering.
2: Carry out an extensive literature review on a selected research topic and develop an understanding of how other Engineers have addressed similar issues
3: Identify information required to address the issue and select and locate information from suitable sources such as - libraries, surveys, interviews, laboratory work and correspondence
4: Collate necessary data for the project and develop a research methodology and a plan to arrive at a solution to the specific problem.
5: Present your plan to a learned audience and defend it.
6: Prepare an engineering report to a professional standard

Overview of Learning Activities

Independent research, guidance by your supervisor,  lectures.

Projects consisting of ONLY a literature survey or a basic (standard/code based) design are NOT acceptable. This includes projects in which material is gathered and collated from various sources, including the Internet, and where there is no follow-on an individual research component.

While a significant element of originality is highly desirable, this is not a necessary requirement for your project. However, it is essential that you demonstrate an individual research component by conducting a significant independent investigation which demonstrates technical engineering skills.

Overview of Learning Resources

You will typically need to use professional level resources such as specialist books and journals that are accessible in the RMIT library and other major libraries. The internet and course notes may be helpful, but will not be sufficient by themselves to support an entire project at this level. Other resources such as those needed for laboratory activities, or provided by industry may be appropriate – depending on the project. A Research project learning guide will be provided through myRMIT.

Overview of Assessment

Project plan, Literature review, Professionalism, Presentation and the final first stage Report.