Course Title: Risk and Technology Decisions

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Risk and Technology Decisions

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering

Distance / Correspondence or Face-to-Face

Sem 1 2006


City Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering

Distance / Correspondence or Face-to-Face

Sem 1 2007,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 2 2013


City Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering


Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 2 2015

Course Coordinator: Professor John Mo

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 6279

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This subject aims to develop an understanding of the systems and analysis techniques available to evaluate, decide and manage risk in engineering and technology based projects and management systems. Topic areas include risk identification, risk assessment, risk management, and risk mitigation strategies and investment decision making under risks.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

The primary objectives of the course are:

  1. To provide a through understanding of the use of system engineering and its application to risk, safety, and reliability in engineering system. 
  2. To develop a working skill of the hazard identification and fault diagnosis in the different phases of an engineering system. 
  3. To develop the adequate methodologies and procedures for risk, safety, and reliability assessment and management. 
  4. To provide an analytic structure through which some technology and investment decision can be made. 
  5. To develop a clear insight into accident investigations, safety counter measures, life cycle budgeting and technological decisions.

Overview of Learning Activities

The course will provide students with to opportunity to learn:

  1. The time value of money, and how to deal with it in investment decision making under risks. 
  2.  The significance of financial sensitivity analysis, and financial modelling. 
  3.  The following topic areas include: Systems Engineering; Hazard identification (HAZOP and ZSA); Risk assessment (include FMECA, FTA, CCA, ETA); Reliability analysis and design (include Model establishment, SORM, FORM, and index calculation and allocation); Fault diagnosis techniques; human factors and human reliability; safety and reliability feedback information system and database; and technological decision.

Students are expected to: 

  1. Undertake private studies, working in group and individual work assignments focusing on real world applications. 
  2. Submit, on time, all work for assessment as described below.

Overview of Learning Resources

Prescribed Notes:
Mo, J.P.T., Lecture notes on CD plus additional reading provided on CD.

Doukas, L., Course Guide Notes, MANU2122 Risk and Technology Decisions, School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, RMIT University

Reference Textbooks:

Viner, Derek, Accident Analysis and Risk Control, Chapter 7 pp. 125-134, 2nd Edition, 1994
Cox, S.J. and Tait, N.R.S., Reliability, Safety, and Risk Management, an integrated approach, Butterworth-Heinamann Ltd, 1991.
Smith D.J. Relaibility, Maintainabilityand Risk, Butterworth Heinmann
Samson, D., Managerial Decision Analysis, Irwin, Homewood, 1988.
Chapman, C. and Ward, S., Project Risk Management Processes, John Wiley & Sons, 1997.
Molak, V., Risk Analysis and Risk Management, 1999.
Dhillan, B., Human Reliability with Human Factors, Pergamon Press, 1986.
Canada, J. R., Sullivan, W.G., and White, J.A., Capital Investment Analysis for Engineering Management, Prentice Hall, 1996.

Articles of interest:
The Basis for O.H&S. Programs, by Malcolm Dispain, Australian Risk Management, Vol 1.1 No.3, pp.61 & 62.
On-Site Safety Management Guidelines, Australian Safety News, July 1988, p.37.
The Seeping/ Sleeping Problem’ by Stuart Basett, Australian Risk Management, Vol1.1 No.6, pp.12 & 13.

RMIT UNIVERSITY LIBRARY supports the Distance Students by providing the following ONLINE RESOURCES:

- access to online data bases 
- library catalogue searching 
- document delivery service 
- online question and answer service 
- guides and tutorials for information literacy including referencing 
- complete textbooks and journals

For more information visit the RMIT web sites: 

Prescribed Text 
A prescribed Textbook. However, we recommend that you should purchase at least one textbook from the list above.

Overview of Assessment

Minor Assignment (5%) – See end of lecture 1 notes. Tabulated answers and short descriptions only. Hand in by end of week 3.
Major Assignment 1 (30%) – See end of lecture 2 notes. Limit of 3000 words, written on A4 pages with a font size of 12. Hand in by end of week 6.
Major Assignment 2 (20%) – See end of lecture 6c notes. Limit of 2000 words, written on A4 pages with a font size of 12. Hand in by end of week 8.
Major Assignment 3 (25%) – Comparative risk analysis. Undertake major risk assessment and risk management report on a project of organisational or public interest. Limit of 2500 words, written on A4 pages with a font size of 12.
Minor Test (20%) – This is held in week 13 or arranged on RMIT Online system.