Course Title: Research Project

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Research Project

Credit Points: 24.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


120H Civil, Environmental & Chemical Engineering


Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


City Campus


172H School of Engineering


Sem 1 2017

Course Coordinator: Dr. Liam Ward

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 1713

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 10.12.28E

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

This course draws upon information gained in the courses undertaken in the previous years of studies. You are expected to have completed “core” courses associated with six semesters of the Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) (Honours), the specific courses being dependent on the nature of the project.

Course Description

This course consists of two modules.

The first module is a research project, specifically designed to integrate your knowledge gained throughout the earlier years of your program. You will enhance your knowledge and skills in a particular field of process engineering, and practice the skills of project planning, implementation and project management. 

You will apply chemical engineering principles to an industrial or applied research problem. You will gain experience in research / investigation by working independently on an assigned open-ended project. You will also gain experience in preparing a comprehensive project report including all relevant aspects of the study and present the results at a poster/seminar session.

You will work on an assigned project which may involve an experimental investigation, plant study, computer modelling, construction of experimental rig, theoretical research, literature survey, or a feasibility study. The project will include activities such as the conduct of a critical review of the literature, planning of experiments, use of experimental design methodology, collection of data, experimental runs, analysis and interpretation of data, discussion of results and the writing of a report.

You will undertake your project as an individual, however, some projects may involve similar aims and procedures, but use different materials and/or conditions. In such cases, you must specifically acknowledge the contribution of your colleagues.

You will be responsible for the definition of project goals, development of an experimental program and critical path, and conduct of the program in consultation with the project supervisor. This is an opportunity to develop and display your personal qualities. You will be responsible for the application of initiative, creativity, innovative thinking, motivation and organisational skills. Your supervisor will have a mentorial rather than a directorial role.

Project topics may be in (but not limited to) areas such as rheology, slurry transport, separation processes, process measurement and control, biochemical engineering, water and wastewater treatment, hydrocarbon processes, polymer processing, mineral processing, corrosion studies, wear studies, surface engineering, resource utilisation, or environmental impact studies.

The second module of the course is engineering experience. You are required to participate in a minimum of 12 weeks of approved engineering experience (or apply for recognition of prior engineering work experience) in order to complete this course. This experience can be accumulated through a single 12 week block, or a number of shorter periods totalling at least 12 weeks. When engaged in Engineering Work Experience you need to be, or have been, involved in activities that allow you to observe first-hand the sort of work that professional engineers undertake. Ideally you will be assisting a professional engineer and can engage in regular discourse with that mentor. It is not a requirement that positions are paid, or that any position is for the full 12 weeks. Any engagement that gives due exposure to an engineering environment and/or practice of professional engineers will contribute to this requirement.

The requirement for Engineering Work Experience in RMIT’s engineering bachelor degree programs may be satisfied in a number of ways. You may choose to use one or several of these:
• Employment with a suitable company in Australia or overseas (12 weeks continuously or equivalent in multiple shorter periods at different stages of your program)
• An extended placement of 6 – 12 months
• Completion of a final year “Professional Project” supervised by an external professional engineer.

WAM statement:
Please note that if you take this course for a bachelor honours program, your overall mark in this course will be one of the course marks that will be used to calculate the weighted average mark (WAM) that will determine your award level. (This applies to students who commence enrolment in a bachelor honours program from 1 January 2016 onwards. See the WAM information web page for more information.)

The WAM web page link:;ID=eyj5c0mo77631

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

 This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcome:

1.3. In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline
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.

You will enhance your ability to conduct an engineering research project applying your knowledge of project management, basic science and engineering fundamentals.

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 a significant individual input into the project. 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.


Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

• Conceptualise, plan and design experimental procedures

• Write a literature review

• Communicate ideas, concepts, design issues and/or experimental methodology, and results

• Undertake a research or investigative project independently

• Apply chemical engineering principles to the solution of fundamental or applied research problems

• Prepare a comprehensive project report covering all aspects of the study

• Make a short technical presentation using Powerpoint or other appropriate means

Overview of Learning Activities


Introductory lectures, independent research, guidance by your supervisor, project meetings with your project supervisor, self-directed research and laboratory work will engage you in this course.

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


There are no prescribed references for this course.

Any recommended references, which will be project specific, and recommended by your particular supervisor.

Information will be obtained from text books, journals and other reference sources available through the RMIT library.

Overview of Assessment

 For the research project module:

Interim report, final report and presentation.

For the engineering experience module:

Engineering Log Book, substantiation by your external engineering work experience supervisor, a reflective report.