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CIVL5020: Capstone Project A (2019 - Semester 2)

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Unit: CIVL5020: Capstone Project A (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: Civil Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Proust, Gwenaelle
Session options: Semester 1, Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Site(s) for this Unit: http://learn-on-line.ce.usyd.edu.au/
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: 96 cp from MPE degree program or 48 cp from the MPE(Accel) program or 24 cp from the ME program (including any credit for previous study)
Prohibitions: CIVL5222 OR CIVL5223.
Brief Handbook Description: Capstone Project provides an opportunity for students to conduct original research. Students will generally work individually and an individual thesis must be submitted by each student.

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.

Capstone Project provides an opportunity for students to conduct original research. Students will generally work individually and an individual thesis must be submitted by each student.

Capstone Project is a major task and is to be conducted with work spread over most of the year, in two successive Units of Study of 6 credits points each, Capstone Project A (CIVL5020) and Capstone Project B (CIVL5021). This particular unit of study, which must precede CIVL5021 Capstone Project B, should cover the first half of the work required for a complete Capstone Project. In particular, it should include almost all planning of a research or investigation project, a major proportion of the necessary literature review (unless the entire project is based on a literature review and critical analysis), and a significant proportion of the investigative work required of the project.

A thesis at this level will represent a contribution to professional practice or research, however the timeframe available for the thesis also needs to be 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.

Capstone Project is a major task and is to be conducted with work spread over most of the year, in two successive Units of Study of 6 credits points each, Capstone Project A (CIVL5020) and Capstone Project B (CIVL5021). This particular unit of study, which must precede CIVL5021 Capstone Project B, should cover the first half of the work required for a complete Capstone Project. In particular, it should include almost all planning of a research or investigation project, a major proportion of the necessary literature review (unless the entire project is based on a literature review and critical analysis), and a significant proportion of the investigative work required of the project.
Assumed Knowledge: None.
Timetable: CIVL5020 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 1.00 1 1
2 Research 10.00 13
3 Meeting 1 13
T&L Activities: Research: It is expected that students will spend at least one full day per week undertaking background research work, organizing their plan of work and preparing their research program.

Meeting: Weekly meetings with supervisor are required, unless otherwise agreed.

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
Formulating an original problem. Identifying opportunities for innovation and improvement. Design (Level 4)
Developing in-depth knowledge of a specialist area in civil engineering. Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 4)
Training in scientific/engineering research and investigation practices, in preparation for potential postgraduate study or advanced consultancy work. Conducting a literature review. Investigation of an original problem using various research methods. Developing initiative in sourcing ideas, data and knowledge from self and others. Information Seeking (Level 4)
Experience and training in the preparation of a high quality formal report, with emphasis on correctness, quality & succinctness. Communication (Level 4)
Experience working in a small team, including allocation of tasks, resolution of priorities. Time management training on an extended project, working to a series of deadlines. 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 4)
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 Progress Report No 15.00 Week 10 1, 3, 4, 6,
2 Presentation/Seminar No 10.00 Following Semester 3, 7,
3 Thesis No 75.00 Following Semester 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,
Assessment Description: Progress Report: Research Plan & Progress Report (Project A). A Research Plan and Progress Report of around 15 pages is required from each student. Should include problem/task specification, literature survey, proposed methodology, expected outcomes, progress in first semester and proposed timeline.

Presentation/Seminar: Oral Presentation and Poster (Project B). Each student will be required to participate in an individual oral and poster presentations. Presentations will be approximately 15-20 minutes duration, scheduled in parallel sessions according to field of specialisation. Poster should be printed on an A1 page and summarise the groups`s research work, including the main conclusions.

Participation in presentations is compulsory. Failure to deliver a scheduled seminar will result in a fail grade for the thesis units.

Participation: Management of Research Project (Project B). Thesis projects are undertaken in groups but marking of project management component is based on individual contributions.

Thesis: Final Thesis (Project B). Two hard-bound copies of the Thesis should be submitted for marking to the school administration office by end of Week 13, Semester 2. Statement identifying the specific contributions of the student and others must be included. Maximum length is 50 pages (including tables, figures and references, but not appendices). The Thesis must contain a page stating the specific contributions of the student and that of others involved. While the thesis project work is conducted in groups, the final thesis itself musts be written and submitted individually. Students should closely consult Thesis Guidelines handout and Thesis Marking Sheet for content and formatting requirements.
Grading:
Grade Type Description
Special Conditions to Pass UoS Students will receive a mark of UCN (Unit Continuing) for Capstone Project A if they have shown sufficient progress to warrant continuing on to Capstone Project B. The final grade for Capstone Project A and B is based on the work done in Capstone Project A and B as a whole. Any marks awarded in Capstone Project A will be incorporated into calculations for the final grade of the two units.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at http://sydney.edu.au/engineering/student-policies/ 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.
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: http://learn-on-line.ce.usyd.edu.au/

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar https://web.timetable.usyd.edu.au/calendar.jsp

Week Description
Week 1 Selection of topics and assignment of thesis supervisor. Topic registration form due.
Week 2 Thesis project work.
Week 3 Thesis project work.
Week 4 Thesis project work.
Week 5 Thesis project work.
Week 6 Thesis project work.
Week 7 Thesis project work.
Week 8 Thesis project work.
Week 9 Thesis project work.
Week 10 Thesis project work. Research Plan & Progress Report due.
Assessment Due: Progress Report
Week 11 Thesis project work.
Week 12 Thesis project work.
Week 13 Thesis project work.
Following Semester Assessment Due: Presentation/Seminar
Assessment Due: Thesis

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) (Civil) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Fluids) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Geomechanical) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Structural) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Civil) 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Fluids) 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Geomechanical) 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Structural) 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Engineering 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Engineering (Environmental Fluids) 2012
Master of Engineering (Geotechnical) 2012
Master of Engineering (Structures) 2012
Master of Engineering (Civil Engineering) 2012

Course Goals

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

Attribute Practiced Assessed
Design (Level 4) Yes 28.76%
Engineering/IT Specialisation (Level 4) Yes 21.25%
Maths/Science Methods and Tools (Level 4) No 28.76%
Information Seeking (Level 4) Yes 0%
Communication (Level 4) Yes 21.25%
Project and Team Skills (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.