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ENG1004 Engineering Problem Solving Principles

Semester 1, 2021 Online
Short Description: Eng Problem Solving Principles
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 039999 - EnginTech not classified
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Craig Lobsey

Other requisites

Students who have completed ENG1101 or ENG2102 cannot enrol in this course


Problem solving skills are essential to practicing engineers. Students need to develop, early in their program of studies, the personal attributes, the basic technical knowledge, information literacy, communication skills, team skills, critical and analytical skills, and reflective skills they will rely on as engineering problem solvers. This course prepares students to address the problems that they will encounter in subsequent courses and throughout their career.


The course covers the fundamental principles of engineering problem solving. It emphasises the development of skills in problem solving, critical and analytical thinking, reflective thinking, data analysis, information literacy, communication, time and resource management, and teamwork. It introduces students to the problem solving cycle and to a number of analytical tools and approaches for solving problems. Completion of a team-based project allows students to demonstrate and reinforce the skills and knowledge acquired during the course.


Upon completion of this course, students will have:

  1. Explained the nature of engineering problems and characterised them on the basis of their complexity, time constraints, ambiguity, open-endedness, the quality of their definition, analysis and their acceptable solution space;
  2. Used a computer spreadsheet and written computer scripts for analysing, summarising and graphical representation of numerical and categorical data;
  3. Carried out hypothesis testing and determined confidence intervals;
  4. Discussed the errors that can result from interpolation, extrapolation or regression and performed a sensitivity analysis on the proposed solution(s) to a given problem;
  5. Demonstrated critiquing skills, reflective writing skills, information literacy skills and communication skills;
  6. Produced and interpreted graphical representations such as flow-charts, engineering schematics and flow diagrams;
  7. Explained the roles of brainstorming, conceptual design, proof-of-concept, systems thinking, analogy, reverse engineering, modelling and simulation trial and error, and project management within the problem solving cycle;
  8. Acquired the basic skills needed to work effectively within a problem solving team and produced problem solving interim and final reports in a professional manner with appropriate referencing.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Characteristics and types of engineering and spatial science problems 5.00
2. Acquisition of information and knowledge for problem solving 10.00
3. Mathematical approaches to problem solving 35.00
4. Approaches to problem solving and the problem solving process 20.00
5. Managing time and resources 5.00
6. Team dynamics and conflict resolution 10.00
7. Project documentation and reporting 15.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Dowling, David 2019, Engineering Your Future: An Australasian Guide, 4th edn, Wiley.
Moaveni, S 2019, Engineering Fundamentals: An Introduction to Engineering, 6th SI edn, Cengage Learning, Stamford, CT.
(REQUIRED) Students will need access to a computer for this course with the following facilities: reliable access to the Internet , email, and (desirable) videoconferencing on at least a weekly basis; and Office authoring software (word processor, spreadsheet, etc) or similar. Course StudyDesk page on UConnect.

(INFORMATION) Incarcerated students need to enquire with the course examiners regarding facilities to study this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Berk, KN & Carey, PM 2010, Data analysis with Microsoft® Excel, 3rd edn, Brooks/Cole, Boston, MA.
Eide, AR, Jenison, RD, Mashaw, LH & Northup, LL 2002, Introduction to engineering design and problem solving, 2nd edn, McGraw Hill, Boston, MA.
Gottfried, BS 2019, Spreadsheet tools for engineers using Excel, 4th edn, McGraw Hill, Dubuque, IA.
Messler, W R 2012, Engineering Problem-Solving 101: Time-Tested and Timeless Techniques, McGraw Hill, New York.
Smith, KA & Imbrie, PK 2013, Teamwork and project management, 4th edn, McGraw Hill, Boston.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 80.00
Online Discussion Board 13.00
Online Lectures 26.00
Online Tutorials 13.00
Private Study 23.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
Assignment 1 - Quiz 200 20 06 Apr 2021 2,3,4
Assignment 2 400 40 30 Apr 2021 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
Assignment 3 400 40 04 Jun 2021 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures and tutorials) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item. To be eligible for a supplementary grade students must submit all assessment items, therefore it is highly recommended that all students submit and participate in all assessments. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.
    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no exam for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There is no exam for this course.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Students must familiarise themselves with the USQ Assessment Procedures (

  2. Referencing in Assignments must comply with the Harvard (AGPS) referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (APGS) style to be used is defined by the USQ library's referencing guide. These policies can be found at

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University's aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:
1.conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.
2.forms part of the Bachelor of Engineering(Honours) and is benchmarked against the :
o internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent t accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (ii i) regular and rigorous review.; and
o professional accreditation standards of Engineers Australia.

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access:
    Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at

  2. Students will require reliable and regular access to email and Internet for communication, video conferencing (desirable), and for access to UConnect for this course.

  3. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in this course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect the same grades as those students who do possess them.

Date printed 18 June 2021