Course Title: Introduction to Environmental and Sustainable Systems Engineering

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Introduction to Environmental and Sustainable Systems Engineering

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


120H Civil, Environmental & Chemical Engineering


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


172H School of Engineering


Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2021

Course Coordinator: Assoc. Prof. Gavin Mudd

Course Coordinator Phone: 03 9925 3209

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 10.13.05A

Course Coordinator Availability: Send email for appointment.

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course introduces you to sustainability as a decision-making framework for design in engineering.

The first part of the course (Introduction to Sustainability) comprises a series of pre-recorded Presentations and recommended readings. The second part is a problem-based learning (PBL) project that focuses on the application of sustainable design in current engineering practice.  You will work in a group on a specific local project. You must recommend a design suitable for the project scope. The project is open ended and aims to integrate your knowledge from concurrent first year courses. It helps you identify and develop those generic skills that you will need in your future career. These include skills such as teamwork, communication, computing, drawing, research and reflection.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for BH080 Bachelor of Engineering (Environmental Engineering) (Hons):

1.5. Knowledge of contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline.
1.6. Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of contemporary engineering practice in the specific discipline
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 demeanour.
3.4. Professional use and management of information.
3.5. Orderly management of self, and professional conduct.
3.6. Effective team membership and team leadership.

On completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Reflect upon your goals, learning and time management skills and apply a systematic approach to engineering problem solving which includes evaluation of sustainability issues.
  2. Recognise and appreciate the range of environmental, technical and social elements involved in engineering tasks/problems.
  3. Demonstrate skills in giving and receiving feedback in a team environment.
  4. Apply skills in accessing, evaluating and summarising information to communicate ideas and present arguments.                                                
  5. Use a range of communication skills (speaking, writing, drawing and listening).
  6. Display effective team membership through the life of the project.

Overview of Learning Activities

Pre-recorded presentations will focus on the development of environmental problems and key concepts of sustainability over the last two centuries. You will work in groups to investigate and report on potential engineering solutions to identified problems and present your project outcomes to peers in class. You will collaborate to increase proficiency in engineering skills and methods. Tutorial sessions will focus on supporting your group project progress.
A field class will take place at the start of the project.

Total study hours: Four (4) hours per week for one semester comprising pre-recorded presentations, tutorial sessions and online activities. It is expected that you will undertake an equivalent six (6) hours per week of independent study, including team meetings outside of class time to progress your project.

Overview of Learning Resources

A textbook, recommended readings, selected videos, pre-recorded presentations and weekly practical instructions in paper and online.

RMIT Library Subject Guide:

Overview of Assessment

☒This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks:

Assessment Task 1:  Project presentations (individual presentation within team presentation)

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 4,5,6

Assessment Task 2: Project report

Weighting 40%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Assessment Task 3: Concepts Tests

Weighting 40% 

This assessment supports CLOs 1,2,5