Course Title: Research Project

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Research Project

Credit Points: 18.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


120H Civil, Environmental & Chemical Engineering


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007

Course Coordinator: Dr Liam Ward

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 1713

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Room: 7.4.03

Course Coordinator Availability: TBA at First Class

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

While there are no specific pre-requisites which will prevent undertaking this course if they have not been completed successfully, this course draws upon information gained in the courses undertaken in the previous years of studies, the specific courses being dependent on the nature of the project.   

Course Description

This final year course applies the in-depth knowledge gained throughout the earlier years of your program in an integrated manner. You will enhance your knowledge and skills in a particular field of process engineering, and gain the essential generic skills of project planning, implementation and 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 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 the areas such as rheology, slurry transport, separation processes, process measurement and control, biochemical engineering, water and wastewater treatment, hydrocarbon processes, polymer processing, mineral processing, pyrometallurgy, corrosion studies, resource utilisation, environmental impact studies.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course draws upon information gained in the courses undertaken in the previous years of studies and applies it to a specific research project. As such many of the capabilities have already been developed and this course will draw together and enhance / build upon a number of these capabilities, thus providing the student with the appropriate tools for their chosen profession after completing their undergraduate studies, whether it be postgraduate research or working in an applied industrial environment.

Personal Development
1. Ability to reflect on experience, and to apply the knowledge to new situations
2. Develop the habits for engaging in lifelong learning, through the project which involves researching and report writing and good time / project management
3. Integration of knowledge from different courses (years 1 to 3)

Problem solving and decision making
1. Use data and information to support decision making
2. Analyse and evaluate data from various sources, such as data generated in the laboratory, found in the literature, and draw valid conclusions
3. Access information from a wide range of sources

Technical competence
1. Conceptualise, plan, and design experimental procedures, if appropriate, in accordance with those required for the specific project

Teamwork and leadership
This is only appropriate if the research investigation is being undertaken as part of a team in an industry based project or if students are working in pairs / team on a specific project
1. Work in a team during experimental investigations
2. Manage the tasks being done as a team
3. Understand the behaviour of teams and the different roles of members
4. Provide constructive feedback to team members
5. Resolve conflict in a team

Develop the ability to listen, observe, question and make own notes
Communicate ideas and results verbally, graphically and textually
Communicate ideas verbally to a group (within the project or at the final presentation)
Communicate processes of thinking and reflection giving feedback to the learning facilitator

On successful completion of the subject you will be able to:
(a) Complete a research or investigative project on an assigned topic by working independently
(b) Apply chemical engineering principles to the solution of industrial and applied research problems
(c) Prepare a comprehensive project report covering all relevant aspects of the study
(d) Make a short technical presentation using Powerpoint or other appropriate means.

Overview of Learning Activities

Collect, analyse and organise information
Plan and organise activities
Design experiments, collect data, analyse results, write reports
Reflect on experiences
Work independently
Make oral presentations
Participate in peer review

Overview of Learning Resources

There is no prescribed references for this course.  Any recommended references ,which will be project specific, can be discussed with your particular supervisor.  Most of the information for the literature review will be obtained by reviewing appropriate text books / journals within the RMIT library or other University libraries.  Computer based literature searches, such as using Compendex and Chemab, can be conducted via the RMIT library and information can be obtained from the library homepage (http:/

Overview of Assessment

All of your reports will be marked by your supervisor.  The final report may be marked by a second marker to ensure objective evaluation and ranking.

A late penalty will apply to all component submissions at the rate of 10% per day late.  A minimum of 30% must be obtained for each item of assessment as well as an overall mark of at least 50% to be eligible to pass this course.

The components submissions comprise: project definition, draft report, final report and an oral presentation.