Course Title: Engineering Endurance Systems

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Engineering Endurance Systems

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 2 2011


City Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering

Distance / Correspondence or Face-to-Face or Internet



City Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering


Sem 2 2013,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 2 2014

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Cees Bil

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 6176

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: RMIT Bundoora East campus

Course Coordinator Availability: Appointment by email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Basic understanding of support of complex systems, service engineering, regulations and operational requirements

Course Description

A key element in the effectiveness of a system is the option to maintain and upgrade its capability at a much lower cost than replacing the complete system.  For expensive and complex defence systems, maintainability and upgrades throughout the life of the system is essential.  In this course, you will learn to design a support solution that takes into account the constraints from all stakeholders and the past history of the system being supported.  Issues that play a key role in the defence support contract environment are the ability to predict, plan and prepare in advance what the customer will encounter in using the system’s capability and ultimately develop a business case of an enduring solution.

The concept of enduring systems considers all the factors needed, including hardware and software design, procedures, data management to design and develop systems that can easily maintainable (maintaining capability) and upgraded (enhancing capability) through its operational life and in a cost effective manner.  Two distinct but important features of system endurance are: 

  • Carry out support activities while the system is in service.  There may be a degradation of capability but the system is still available for operation if emergency arises.
  • Be modified for enhancement of capability.  This is often known as mid-life upgrade and can occur several times in the lifecycle of the system by different design authorities.

The system that you are considering for enduring support issues may not be one that you have design authority. Someone in other parts of the world may have designed the system on similar but not identical criteria. Therefore, as a support solution designer working on a system where you do not have full knowledge, you need to apply the knowledge of service and system thinking, stakeholder management and commercial constraints. This could be related to costs and ownership issues, business process design, solution models, risk management and lifecycle management to architecture the most suitable solution.  


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following program learning outcomes 

1. Needs, Context and Systems

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

2. Problem Solving and Design

  • Develop creative and innovative solutions to engineering problems

3. Analysis

  • Comprehend and apply advanced theory-based understanding of engineering fundamentals and specialist bodies of knowledge in the selected discipline area to predict the effect of engineering activities 

4. Professional Practice

  •  Initiate, plan, lead or manage engineering activities
  • Understand the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of contemporary engineering practice in the specific discipline
  • 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 and language of the intended audience
  • Display a personal sense of responsibility for your work

5. Research

  •  Assess, acquire and apply the competencies and resources appropriate to engineering activities

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

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

  1. Apply system engineering practices to upgrade projects
  2. Manage system endurance problems by taking a holistic view of the system life cycle. 
  3. Manage upgrade tasks as engineering embodiment work
  4. Distinguish the system and processes between product data management and fleet baseline management
  5. Manage the impact of legacy product on fleet upgrades
  6. Manage the Engineering Life Cycle in the context of the in-service system upgrades, product and data baselines, fleet condition monitoring, design approval/design acceptance
  7. Integrate legacy designs (including COTS/MOTS); reverse engineering, testing and compliance to standards
  8. Interact with other enterprise functions such as product safety, maintenance, logistics and installation approvals
  9. Create new capabilities by combining new technologies with old technologies to achieve continuous improvement on existing system.

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities throughout the course include: Lectures, tutorials, presentations, group discussions, case study.

Overview of Learning Resources

A detailed study guide is provided to assist learning and provide insights into key concepts. It provides detailed references to the prescribed texts. 

No prescribed Text.  A list of journal articles will be used as the reading materials.

You will work either in groups or individually on projects assigned by the lecturer.  You will prepare and present your enduring system design and seek comments from staff and students.  Industry guest reviewers may be invited to provide feedback to your work.

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 task 1: Case Study
Weighting 35%
This assessment task supports CLOs: 1-9 

Assessment Task 2:  Research essay
Weighting 35%
This assessment task supports CLOs: 1-9

Assessment Task 3: Presentation
Weighting 30%
This assessment task supports CLOs: 1-9