Note: This unit version has not been officially published yet and is subject to change!

CIVL4815: Project Formulation (2019 - Semester 1)

Download UoS Outline

Unit: CIVL4815: Project Formulation (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Senior Advanced
Faculty/School: Civil Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Liu, Li
Session options: Semester 1
Versions for this Unit:
Site(s) for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: CIVL3805 AND (CIVL3812 OR CIVL2812).
Brief Handbook Description: The aim of this UoS is to develop students’ ability to formulate projects through critically assessing & developing business case and project plan for a real-life engineering construction project. This UoS is relevant for students who intend to pursue career related to construction management. The learning activities focus on the project’s viability and early stage planning. Strategic needs and possible project options are identified and assessed based on potential benefits, costs and the strategic context. Suitable site/route needs to be selected for the project based on technical and business considerations. Due consideration should also be given to the project’s impacts on environment and communities. The project’s viability can be indicated using Benefit-Cost ratio as well as non-financial indicators such as number of jobs created and the number of life saved. In deriving these indicators, it is important to take project uncertainties into consideration through using techniques such as sensitivity analysis, decision-tree analysis, probabilistic modelling and Monte Carlo simulation. The objective is to justify investment decisions based on business needs and recommend the most appropriate course of actions to address the business needs.

The early stage planning concentrates on defining project requirements and project delivery strategy. The objective is to seek approval/support for project delivery or to critically evaluate the current project plan, depending on the current stage of the project. The exercise is to develop a plan guide project delivery and transition to operation. The plan should cover, but not limited to, the feasibility analysis, project deliverables, plan of activities necessary to move the project to the next stages, procurement strategy, what’s needed to enable delivery (e.g. stakeholder management plan, planning and other approvals, funding, time, control processes, community and environment management plan, marketing and sales plan, and risk management plan) and, what is required to complete delivery and transition to operation stages.
Assumed Knowledge: None.
Lecturer/s: Locke, Martin
Tutor/s: John Wang
Timetable: CIVL4815 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 4.00 2 13
2 Independent Study 6.00 13
T&L Activities: There will be two lecture/tutorial sessions each week during 2-4pm on Thursdays and Fridays, respectively. This course is designed primarily as project-based learning through conducting independent, team-based research and the application of knowledge to a real-life project. As in the real-world, students work in teams to work on the project. Lectures will be primarily delivered by experienced practioners from the related industries such as project finance and Transport for NSW. Since the lectures are mainly based on the practitioners' life experiences, it is ciritical for students to attend the lectures and interact wtih the lecuturers during the lectures/tutorials.

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.

(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 3)
1. Identify objectives, tasks, data collection needs, constraints for a project and be able to critically assess project plans for the definition, procurement and delivery of the project, and transition to operation.
2. Identify objectives, tasks, data collection needs and issues (e.g. social, political, organisational, financial, etc.) for assessing the feasibility of a case project and explain how they influence assessment outcomes.
3. Present the project proposal to a panel of industry experts
(5) Interdisciplinary, Inclusiveness, Influence (Level 3)
4. Understand concepts around funding and financing projects.
5. Demonstrate good understanding of the due diligence process and the information needs of financiers of the project.
(4) Design (Level 3)
6. Identify major project risks, evaluate their impacts on project outcomes, and assess risk management plans.
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 3)
7. Identify and evaluate the effects of non-financial factors (e.g. environmental and social) that are critical to the delivery of the project, and critically assess implementation plans.
8. Comprehend and relate to real-life examples the fundamental concepts in project formulation.
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 3)
9. critically assess the business case of complex engineering projects.
(1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 2)
10. Analyze potential project solutions using economic benefit-cost analysis and other financial tools to determine financial and/or economic viability
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Participation No 10.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
2 Quiz 1 No 15.00 Week 7 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10,
3 Quiz 2 No 15.00 Week 10 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
4 Project Report Yes 40.00 Week 11 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
5 Presentation/Seminar Yes 20.00 Week 13 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
Assessment Description: The assessment is based on the quality of a series of quizzes, a team assignment, the final presentation to an expert panel at the end of the semester and the participation in class/tutorial/meeting discussions. An individual’s final mark is the sum of the individual’s mark (quizzes + participation) and the sum of marks for the two team deliverables moderated by the individual’s contribution factor. The contribution factor will be decided by the course coordinator based on the individuals’ contribution to the teamwork. Every team member should submit peer evaluations using CATME—a website for peer evaluations.

Overall Mark = Participation (10%) + Quiz 1 (15%) + Quiz 2 (15%) + Contribution factor* [Team Report (40%) + Boardroom presentation (20%)]

Participation (10 marks)

Team & work plan (no mark)

Quiz 1 (15 marks)

Quiz 2 (15 marks)

Team Report (40 marks)

Final boardroom presentation (20 marks)

Contribution factor Used to moderate individual marks

Total (Individual Mark) (100 marks)

Please note that there may be moderation and/or scaling of the raw marks in each assessment component when combining them to get the final mark in this unit of study.

The schedule of submissions specified in the schedule of lectures below must be strictly adhered to. Up to 10% per day penalty mark might be deducted for late submissions.

You are expected to attend all lectures, team meetings with lecturer/tutors and tutorials; and be well prepared and contribute meaningfully to class/tutorial/meeting discussions. Your attendance and quality of contributions to discussions in tutorials/lectures/meetings will count towards 5% of the total mark. The remaining participation mark (5% of the total mark) will be measured using Peerwise--a website for the development of multiple choice types of questions and answers. You are required to develop at least 5 multiple choice questions with both questions and answers reflecting learning during lectures. Meanwhile, you are also required to answer and comment on other students’ question sets (at least on 15 sets). Your participation in this activity and quality of contributions will accounts for 5% of total mark. This exercise will start after the census date.

The requirements for the three team deliverables: team & work plan, team report and final boardroom presentation are set out in a separate document—requirements for assignments. The three deliverables account for 60% of the total mark. Since the three deliverables are all team-based, the team mark will be moderated by a contribution factor to derive individual marks.

The contribution factor is based on a student’s quality of work in each of the assessable team components and the load of administrative responsibilities. Each team member will receive an invitation to evaluate team members’ contributions using CATME, which is a peer evaluation system. The scores from CATME will be used as the contribution factor. The evidence for contribution to teamwork may be demonstrated from a variety of sources such as the quality of sections in an assignment for which the student is responsible, knowledge of the team’s progress, difficulties, approaches, assumptions, solutions and plans for team assignments.
Assessment Feedback: Written as well as verbal feedback on group assignment, quizzes and presentation.
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.
Online Course Content:

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

Week Description
Week 1 Introduction --Li Liu
Introduction to PPP and business case--Martin Locke
Week 2 case study of project feasibility-Martin Locke
Feasibility of social infrastructure-Brian McGlynn
Week 3 Spreadsheet modelling--Brian McGlynn
Parramatta Light rail project--Tim Poole (TBC)
Week 4 Examining and quantifying risks—Mr. Brian McGlynn
Project risk modelling and management—Shane Geha
Week 5 Tutorial: project procurement options—Professor Martin Locke and Ms. Alison Li
Project Procurement and Tendering – Professor Martin Locke
Week 7 Financial Structuring--Professor Martin Locke
Commercial Structuring--Professor Martin Locke
Assessment Due: Quiz 1
Week 8 Tutorial: Risk allocation—Professor Martin Locke and Mr. Brian McGlynn
Tutorial: Commercial and Financial Structuring. Professor Martin Locke
Week 9 Evolution of PPPs-- Professor Martin Locke
Tutorial: financing plan for mega infrastructure projects—Professor Martin Locke and Mr. Brian McGlynn
Week 10 How the digital engineering could revolutionise the construction industry?

Mr. Simon Voux, T4NSW
Project Governance—practical application. Professor Martin Locke
Assessment Due: Quiz 2
Week 11 Lecture to be confirmed
Assessment Due: Project Report
Week 12 Lecture by Peter Thornton (Topic to be confirmed)
Feedback session on project group as per schedule
Week 13 Board Room Presentation II
Boardroom presentation I
Assessment Due: Presentation/Seminar

Course Relations

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

Course Year(s) Offered
Project Engineering and Management (Civil) (till 2012) 2010, 2011, 2012
Project Engineering and Management (Civil) / Arts 2011
Project Engineering and Management (Civil) / Commerce 2010, 2011
Project Engineering and Management (Civil) / Science 2011
Civil (till 2014) 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil Engineering / Arts 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil Engineering / Science 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil (Construction Management) (till 2014) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil (Environmental) (till 2014) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil (Geotechnical) (till 2014) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil (Structures) (till 2014) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Civil/ Project Management 2019, 2020
Civil 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Civil / Arts 2015, 2016, 2017
Civil / Project Management 2016, 2017, 2018
Civil / Science 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Civil/Science (Health) 2018, 2019, 2020
Civil (Construction Management) 2015
Civil (Environmental) 2015
Civil (Geotechnical) 2015
Civil (Structures) 2015
Civil Mid-Year 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Civil/Science (Medical Science Stream) 2018, 2019, 2020
Flexible First Year (Stream A) / Science 2012
Civil Engineering / Design in Architecture 2010
Civil / Commerce 2015
Civil / Design in Architecture 2015
Civil / Medical Science 2015

Course Goals

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

Attribute Practiced Assessed
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 3) No 31%
(7) Project and Team Skills (Level 3) No 0%
(8) Professional Effectiveness and Ethical Conduct (Level 3) No 0%
(5) Interdisciplinary, Inclusiveness, Influence (Level 3) No 16.25%
(4) Design (Level 3) No 12.75%
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 3) No 19.5%
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 3) No 10.5%
(1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 2) No 10%

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.