Course Title: Systems Engineering Design Tools

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Systems Engineering Design Tools

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering

Distance / Correspondence

Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 1 2014


City Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 2 2009

Course Coordinator: Dr Arun Kumar

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 4328

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course provides an introduction to performing project management and system engineering activities using system design tools. Participants are shown how traditional project management practices are now changing to include systems engineering and logistics concepts such as Life Cycle Costing. The course includes an introduction to project management using Microsoft Office Project and life cycle costing using a Microsoft Office Project Add-in called Pipercove System Analysis.

The course commences with an introduction to Microsoft Office Project and project management concepts. Project management principles and the evaluation and optimisation of project alternatives are considered. Systems engineering and logistics in the context of life cycle costing are then introduced. The relevant reliability engineering, finance and risk management concepts are then introduced. The course then addresses the concepts and methods of life cycle costing. 

The concepts and methods are introduced using a hands-on approach, using Pipercove System Analysis and Microsoft Office Project, so that participants, upon completion of the course, may immediately apply these tools to their projects.  Pipercove System Analysis is used to apply key concerns of project management (tasks, resources, time and money) to a life cycle costing analysis of the project alternatives defined in the Microsoft Office Project environment. The tool is used to perform a Monte Carlo life cycle cost risk analysis, provide detailed risk reports, and carry out baseline comparisons of Microsoft Office Project models. This is a breakthrough approach to the conduct and use of life cycle costing. 

A strongly workshop-based, hands-on approach throughout the course provides course participants with the opportunity to learn by doing. Two case studies play a major role in the course. The case studies include all normal aspects of a project, including task and resource allocations, time and money considerations. 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

This course contributes to the following program learning outcomes: 

Needs, Context and Systems

  • Exposit legal, social, economic, ethical and environmental interests, values, requirements and expectations of key stakeholders

Problem Solving and Design

  • Anticipate the consequences of intended action or inaction and understand how the consequences are managed collectively by your organisation, project or team


  • Apply underpinning natural, physical and engineering sciences, mathematics, statistics, computer and information sciences.

Professional Practice

  • Initiate, plan, lead or manage engineering activities
  • Communicate in a variety of different ways to collaborate with other people, including accurate listening, reading and comprehension, based on dialogue when appropriate, taking into account the knowledge, expectations, requirements, interests, terminology



  • Demonstrate professional use and management of information.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

Upon successful completion of the course you should be able to:

  1. Review whole of life project management, with an introduction to the analysis of alternatives, cost and risk management. 
  2. Recognise failure management principles in project management.
  3. Identify key cost, sustainability and environmental factors for a system 
  4. Apply techniques for life cycle costing and preparation of reports for project participants and enterprise executives. 
  5. Compare and conduct sensitivity analysis, using Monte Carlo in system analysis and life cycle costing. 
  6. Conduct case studies in project management and system analysis using Pipercove System Analysis and Microsoft Office Project. 
  7. Demonstrate the process of selecting, dismissing or refining the outcome over the conceptual, preliminary and detailed design stages. 
  8. Evaluate the roles and responsibilities of key staff in the information gathering and dissemination process. 

Overview of Learning Activities

Student learning occurs through the following experiences and evaluation processes: 

• Lectures: Technical material will be addressed in lectures. Specific reading will be assigned each week for preparation for the following week. Attendance at lectures is not compulsory, but it is strongly recommended since the material presented in lectures provides much of the information required for assignments and examinations 
• Assignment: Designed to allow the student to explore aspects of the subject in depth. The assignment is assessed to determine a grade. 
• Supervised Laboratories: Technical skills and understanding will be addressed in two supervised laboratories. Students should review lecture material and assigned reading in preparation for laboratories. Attendance at these laboratory sessions is compulsory. Laboratory reports are assessed to determine a grade. 
• Unsupervised Laboratories: Provide the opportunity to develop and reinforce the understanding and skills the student is attempting to acquire

Overview of Learning Resources

Learning resources include a learning guide, lecture notes, and software.

Overview of Assessment

X This course has no hurdle requirements.

☐ All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching).


Assessment tasks

Assessment item 1: Workshop report
Weighting of final grade: 35%
This assessment task supports CLOs :1, 2, 3, 4 

Assessment item 2: Laboratory reports
Weighting of final grade: 50%
This assessment task supports CLOs: 5, 6, 7, 8 

Assessment item 3: Threaded discussions
Weighting of final grade: 15%
This assessment task supports CLO: 3, 4, 5, 6