AMME5021: Capstone Project B (2019 - Semester 2)

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Unit: AMME5021: Capstone Project B (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: School of Aerospace, Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Fiford, Rod
Session options: Semester 1, Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Site(s) for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: 96 credit points from the MPE degree program or 48 cp from the MPE(Accel) program or 24 credit points from the ME degree program (including any credit for prior study)
Prohibitions: AMME5022 OR AMME5222 OR AMME5223 OR AMME5010.
Brief Handbook Description: The capstone project requires the student to plan and execute a substantial research-based project, using their technical and communication skills to design, evaluate, implement, analyse and theorise about developments that contribute to professional practice thus demonstrating the achievement of AQF Level 9.

Students are required to carry out a defined piece of independent research in a setting and in a manner that fosters the development of engineering research skills. These skills include the capacity to define a research question, showing how it relates to existing knowledge, identifying the tools needed to investigate the question, carrying out the research in a systematic way, analysing the results obtained and presenting the outcomes in a report that is clear, coherent and logically structured. Capstone project is undertaken across two semesters of enrolment, in two successive Units of Study of 6 credits points each. Capstone Project A covers first steps of thesis research starting with development of research proposal. Project B covers the second of stage writing up and presenting the research results.

Students are asked to write a thesis based on a research project, which is very often related to some aspect of a staff member's research interests. Some projects will be experimental in nature, others may involve computer-based simulation, feasibility studies or the design, construction and testing of equipment. Direction of thesis work may be determined by the supervisor, however the student is expected to make a significant contribution to the direction of the project, and the student is responsible for the execution of the practical work and the general layout and content of the thesis itself. The final thesis must be the student's individual work, although research is sometimes conducted in the framework of a group project shared with others. Students undertaking research on this basis will need to take care in ensuring the individual quality of their own research work and the final thesis submission. The thesis will be judged on the extent and quality of the student's original work and particularly how critical, perceptive and constructive he or she has been in assessing his/her work and that of others. Students will also be required to present the results of their findings to their peers and supervisors as part of a seminar program.

A thesis at this level will represent a contribution to professional practice or research, however the timeframe available for the thesis also needs to considered when developing project scopes. Indeed, a key aim of the thesis is to specify a research topic that arouses sufficient intellectual curiosity, and presents an appropriate range and diversity of technical and conceptual challenges, while remaining manageable and allowing achievable outcomes within the time and resources available. It is important that the topic be of sufficient scope and complexity to allow a student to learn their craft and demonstrate their research skills. Equally imperative is that the task not be so demanding as to elude completion. Finally the ability to plan such a project to achieve results within constraints and the identification of promising areas and approaches for future research is a key assessment criterion.
Assumed Knowledge: None.
Timetable: AMME5021 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Research 10.00 13

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation, and solution for complex engineering problems. Ability to identify opportunities for innovation and improvement. Ability to apply creative approaches to identify and develop alternative concepts and procedures. Design (Level 4)
In depth knowledge of a specfic subject area within the discipline. Familiarity with central methodology and experimental practices of the discipline and ability to make effective use of them. Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 4)
In conducting their research project, students are expected to select and apply appropriate research methods and to analyse and interpret resulting data. Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 4)
Students are expected to seek out information efficiently and effectively and to evaluate the relevance of this information and its sources to their project. Students are expected to demonstrate initiative and ingenuity in research, pointed and critical analysis of material, thoroughness of design, and innovative interpretation of evidence. The results presented and conclusions drawn are to be presented in the appropriate literature context. Information Seeking (Level 3)
Written communication will be exercised through the generation of the Progress Report and Thesis. The Seminar will give students an opportunity to practise their oral communication and presentation skills. Communication (Level 3)
Confidence in own engineering judgments through the process of engineering research. Understanding of the ethical, social and professional implications of the work they are undertaking. Professional Conduct (Level 3)
Ability to undertake a major research project. Project and Team Skills (Level 3)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

Design (Level 4)
1. Ability to formulate and plan a personal research project
2. Originality, ingenuity and initiative in dealing with critical research issues.
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 4)
3. In-depth knowledge of a specialised area within the discipline
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 4)
4. Ability to formulate an appropriate method for investigating a specific research question
5. Ability to analyse data, draw appropriate conclusions and present those conclusions in context, with due consideration of methods and assumptions involved.
Communication (Level 3)
6. Ability to document and report research work undertaken in a format appropriate for academic literature with correct referencing.
7. Ability to deliver a research presentation that is clear, confident and engaging to an academic audience.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Proposal * No 0.00 Previous Semester 1, 4,
2 Progress Report * No 10.00 Previous Semester 1, 3, 4, 6,
3 Presentation/Seminar * No 10.00 Week 11 3, 7,
4 Thesis * No 80.00 Week 13 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,
Assessment Description: Proposal (previous semester): Thesis proposal (Capstone A). The proposal should be about two pages in length and written in consultation with supervisor. The proposal includes a time schedule for the various tasks involved in the thesis work. In particular, if any workshop time is required (for building experimental equipment etc.). The proposal must include a statement that the job has been discussed with the Workshop Supervisor and the proposed time slot (give dates) and resources allocated to the job must be specified. The proposal must be submitted to your thesis supervisor by the date specified. The proposal does not carry any marks, but failure to submit a satisfactory proposal may result in discontinuation of the course for that semester.

Progress Report (previous semester): Progress Report (Capstone A). The report should include an introduction and literature survey in a form similar to that which will appear in the final thesis and a report of not more than 1000 words on the work carried out thus far. The thesis supervisor should be contacted when preparing this report for advice regarding content and structure. The progress report must be submitted directly to the thesis supervisor. The progress report will be marked out of 10 by your supervisor and the marks will contribute 10% of the final Thesis mark. Late submissions will result in a penalty of 0.5 marks (out of 10) per working day up to a maximum of the mark awarded.

Presentation/Seminar: Seminar (Capstone B). This is an opportunity to present their work to other students and staff. It is a compulsory part of Capstone Project. Evaluation will be based on the quality and coherence of the presentation, quality of subject matter and the handling of questions from the audience. Late penalty applies to late seminar abstract submission of 2% per day.

Thesis: Thesis submission (Capstone B). An electronic copy of the Thesis (PDF format) must be submitted through the Canvas site via Turnitin on the due date, Thursday 3pm week 13. Two hard-bound copies of the Thesis must also be submitted to Room 442 by Wednesday 3pm of week 14 (stuvac) . Penalty 5% per day (including Sat, Sun) applies for late submission of both online and physical copies. Statement identifying the specific contributions of the student and others must be included. Thesis content requirements are set out in the School`s Marking Sheet, which provides the basis for thesis marking. Students should note that there are no marks for length . The postgraduate thesis should not exceed 75 pages (approximately 30-35,000 words - excluding preliminary pages, references and appendices), but may be considerably less. Capstone Project is about quality not quantity. Students should closely consult their supervisor as well as the Marking Sheet regarding the appropriate content, organisation and formatting. Students are encouraged to examine theses from previous years (available in the thesis library in Room 444) to get an idea of acceptable formats and styles. Students are reminded that there are severe penalties for plagiarism and should be careful to correctly reference any work that is not their own.

Marking grades for the Capstone project will be as follows :

A mark > 85% (HD) should only be awarded for work which can be published in a reputable journal or high ranking international conference.

A mark of >75 and < 84% should be awarded for work which can be published at a national conference.

A mark of 65% to 74% (CR) indicates work that could form part of conference paper, and a mark of 50% to 64% indicates work that has been competently carried out but is not publishable.

* indicates an assessment task which must be repeated if a student misses it due to special consideration
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.

For the written thesis, the Faculty of Engineering and IT Postgraduate Studies Committee adopted the following guidelines in 2012 for capstone research project marks:

• A mark > 85% (HD) should only be awarded for work which can be published in a reputable journal or high ranking international conference.

• A mark of >75 and < 84% (DI) should be awarded for work which can be published at a national conference.

• A mark of 65% to 74% (CR) indicates work that could form part of conference paper, and

• A mark of 50% to 64% (PS) indicates work that has been competently carried out but is not publishable.

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Independent research.
Week 2 Independent research.
Week 3 Independent research.
Week 4 Independent research.
Week 5 Independent research.
Week 6 Independent research.
Week 7 Independent research.
Week 8 Independent research.
Week 9 Independent research.
Week 10 Independent research. Thesis Draft to supervisor.
Week 11 Independent research.
Assessment Due: Presentation/Seminar *
Week 12 Independent research.
Week 13 Independent research. Thesis final submission.
Assessment Due: Thesis *
Previous Semester Assessment Due: Proposal *
Assessment Due: Progress Report *

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Aerospace) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Biomedical) 2019
Master of Professional Engineering (Aerospace) 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Mechanical) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Biomedical) 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Master of Professional Engineering (Mechanical) 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Engineering 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Engineering (Biomedical) 2012
Master of Engineering (Mechanical) 2012

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Project and Team Skills (Level 3) Yes 0%
Design (Level 4) Yes 29.17%
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 4) Yes 20.84%
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 4) Yes 29.17%
Communication (Level 3) Yes 20.84%
Information Seeking (Level 3) Yes 0%
Professional Conduct (Level 3) Yes 0%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.