Course Title: Research Project

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Research Project

Credit Points: 12.00



Course Coordinator: Dr Liam Ward

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 1713

Course Coordinator Email: liam.ward@rmit.edu.au

Course Coordinator Location: 10.12.28E

Course Coordinator Availability: Email for appointment


Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

There are no specific pre-requisites or co-requisites for this course. 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 is 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 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 will involve a literature survey, a process design or a feasibility study. The project may include conducting a critical review of the literature, assessing the feasibility of a particular process design, analysis and interpretation of data from the literature, discussion of your findings and the writing of a report.

You will undertake your project as an individual or in pairs, where there is a level of similarity associated with the topics in general, but may differ slightly in process conditions, material, etc. In such cases, you must specifically acknowledge the contribution of your colleagues.

You will be responsible for the definition of project goals, development of your research program and critical path, and conducting 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 nano-structured composites and materials; interface and surface engineering; polymer rheology; micro-fluidics; multi-phase mixing; renewable energy; water and waste-water treatment; solid waste management; slurry transport; separation processes; catalyst technologies; corrosion engineering; computational fluid dynamics; pyrometallurgical processes; resource utilisation.

In addition to conducting the research project, you will undertake a series of classes in the first half of the semester providing an introduction to research methods. These classes are designed to introduce you to (i) research philosophies and practice of research and (ii) methods and techniques available for conducting research, to enhance critical evaluation, creative thinking and communication skills required from professional researchers.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

The course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for B.Eng Chemical Engineering (Honours):

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
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 demeanor
3.4. Professional use and management of information


On successful completion of this course you will also be able to:

  1. Conceptualise, plan and design a procedure for conducting a literature / feasibility based project through the identification of research questions associated with specific Chemical Engineering issues
  2. Carry out an extensive literature review on a selected research topic and identify information required to address the issue using various resources such as library searches, internet searches and various correspondence
  3. Communicate ideas, concepts, design issues and project findings
  4. Apply chemical engineering principles, collate necessary data for the project and develop a research methodology and a plan to arrive at a solution to the specific problem
  5. Prepare a comprehensive and professional engineering project report covering all aspects of the study


Overview of Learning Activities

Research method lectures, independent (or in pairs) research, guidance by your supervisor, project meetings with your project supervisor, self-directed research will engage you in this course.

Classes on Research Methods will be recorded using Echo 360 or other lecture capture resources and made available to students via the RMIT learning management system, Class notes and other relevant course material will be made available via the learning management system.


Overview of Learning Resources

There are no prescribed references for this course. Class notes and recordings for the research methods component will be made available via the RMIT learning management system.

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

X This course has no hurdle requirements.

Early Assessment Task: Project Plan and Definition
Weighting 0%
This assessment task supports CLO 1

Assessment Task 2: Research Methods Assignment
Weighting 10%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2

Assessment Task 3: Progress Report
Weighting 20%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Assessment Task 4: Final Report
Weighting 60%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,

Assessment Task 5: Presentation
Weighting 10%
This assessment supports CLOs 3, 4,

Assessment rubrics and marking criteria are available for the Research Methods Assignment, Progress Report, Final Report and Presentation. Feedback, both formative and summative, is provided to the students via the Supervisor – Student consultation period.