CHNG1106: Engineering for a Sustainable Society (2021 - Semester 2)

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Unit: CHNG1106: Engineering for a Sustainable Society (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Junior
Faculty/School: School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Kavanagh, John
Session options: Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Co-Requisites: CHNG1103.
Prohibitions: CHNG2805.
Brief Handbook Description: This course involves the study of the fundamental concepts which underpin sustainable development, including technical and economic efficiency, environmental stewardship and social responsibility.

The course examines both the material and non-material economies from an engineering perspective. Tools such as life-cycle assessment, input-output analysis and multi-criteria decision analysis are examined and implications for resource and energy consumption, pollution and waste generation are analysed.

A number of governing sustainability frameworks are discussed to determine their suitability within the context of chemical and biomolecular engineering. A range of approaches and tools for determining the environmental impact of human activities on small and large scale are introduced as part of a sustainability framework. Energy production and use, and product design are investigated from a sustainability perspective.
Assumed Knowledge: Knowledge of mass and energy balance concepts equivalent to content of CHNG1103 or CHNG9103
Tutor/s: Brian Nichols (Coordinator & Lecturer), Rob Busby (Lecturer), Julia Ciarlini Jungers Soares (Tutor), Behdad Soltani (Tutor).
Timetable: CHNG1106 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 2.00 1 13
2 Tutorial 2.00 1 13
3 Independent Study 6.00 13
T&L Activities: Independent Study: Projects and self directed learning. Students are expected to spend about 5-8 hours of ‘self-learning’ outside the specified contact periods.

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.

(8) Professional Effectiveness and Ethical Conduct (Level 2)
1. Quantify the environmental performance of industry (with specific reference to the resource and processing sectors) using appropriate tools
2. Understand corporate responsibilities with respect to sustainability
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 2)
3. Effectively communicate sustainability arguments to all stakeholders, and interpreters of social and environmental concerns in ways which can help shape industry practice
4. Interrogate governing frameworks for sustainability to support actions within industry
(5) Interdisciplinary, Inclusiveness, Influence (Level 2)
5. Understand the trade-offs in decisions which impact on sustainability
6. Understand the role of technology in promoting sustainability
(4) Design (Level 2)
7. Understand the philosophical, social and political bases for sustainability, in addition to the technical, economic and environmental ones
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 2)
8. Understand the thermodynamic basis of the material economy in terms of resource consumption and waste generation
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Tutorial Performance Yes 25.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,
2 Project Yes 25.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,
3 Quiz No 10.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,
4 Final exam No 40.00 Exam Period 1, 4, 5, 6, 8,
Assessment Description: Attendance: Satisfactory tutorial performance

Project: 3 discrete projects which link to the lecture topics

Quiz: short T/F quizzes at start of each lecture based on previous week lecture(s) and tutorials
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.
Recommended Reference/s: Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books in the university library. Purchase is not required.

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

Week Description
Week 1 Introduction to Sustainability, Circular Economy and Systems Thinking
Week 2 Greenhouse Effect
Week 3 Frameworks: The Natural Step, Precautionary Principle, Industrial Ecology and Dematerialisation, what are they and what do they mean?
Week 4 Structuring Engineering Sustainability Problem Solving when faced with huge amounts of Data/Information/Opinions
Week 5 Waste Minimisation and Cleaner Production
Week 6 Water and Sustainability, Revision
Week 7 Pollutants and Emission Reporting
Week 8 Risk and Risk Management, Environmental Impacts Assessments and Statements
Week 9 Public Holiday, no lecture
Week 10 Business Perspectives
Week 11 A Remediation Case Study – Botany Industrial Park
Week 12 Sustainability in the Cement Industry
Week 13 Course review and revision
Exam Period Assessment Due: Final exam

Course Relations

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

Course Year(s) Offered
Chemical & Biomolecular 2021, 2022, 2018, 2019, 2020
Chemical & Biomolecular / Arts 2021, 2022
Chemical & Biomolecular / Commerce 2021, 2022
Chemical & Biomolecular / Science 2021, 2022
Chemical & Biomolecular/Science (Health) 2021, 2022
Chemical & Biomolecular / Law 2021, 2022
Chemical & Biomolecular Mid-Year 2021, 2022, 2019, 2020
Chemical & Biomolecular/ Project Management 2021, 2022
Chemical & Biomolecular/Science (Medical Science Stream) 2021, 2022

Course Goals

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

Attribute Practiced Assessed
(8) Professional Effectiveness and Ethical Conduct (Level 2) No 23%
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 2) No 23%
(5) Interdisciplinary, Inclusiveness, Influence (Level 2) No 31%
(4) Design (Level 2) No 7.5%
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 2) No 15.5%

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.