Note: This unit version is currently being edited and is subject to change!

ENGG1000: History and Philosophy of Engineering (2020 - Semester 1)

Download UoS Outline

Unit: ENGG1000: History and Philosophy of Engineering (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Junior
Faculty/School: School of Aerospace, Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Fiford, Rod
Session options: Semester 1
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Brief Handbook Description: ENGG1000 is a unique course that aims to provide students with an understanding of the historical development of Engineering with relation to societal expectations of the period. Engineering as a field of study and profession has developed over millennia from simple (yet significant) advances in technology such as the lever and wheel, to modern day examples such as advanced computers, nanomaterials and space flight.

Interaction between human society and Engineers has helped develop and guide the advancement of engineering technology; with society posing problems for Engineers to solve and Engineers developing new technology that changed the course of human history, and helped shape the world we live in.

The general philosophy behind Engineering is that Engineers work to fulfill the needs of society (water, electricity, technological improvements etc.), and as such Engineers are expected to act ethically towards society. The role of Engineers in society will be analysed and discussed from a humanistic perspective, with relation to the current Engineers Australia code of ethics. Other relevant philosophical analyses of Engineering as a skill and profession will also be examined such as, aesthetics, creativity, the epistemology of Engineering and more.

This course will use online resources extensively and help develop research and communication skills of students, whilst providing an overview of the historical significance of Engineers in society, and what it means to be an Engineer.
Assumed Knowledge: None.
Lecturer/s: Dr Fiford, Rod
Timetable: ENGG1000 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lectorial 2.00 1 13
2 Independent research/study 4.00 1 13
3 E-Learning 2.00 1 13
T&L Activities: Class sessions are run as `Lectorials` and do not follow the traditional lecture/tutorial arrangement, but rather operate as a fluid mixture of traditional learning formats. These sessions are not recorded and students are advised to not enroll in the unit if they do not intend to attend the lectorials.

Students are also expected to spend a significant amount of time conducting their own reading and research to supplement the in class material.

In class and online discussion forms an integral part of the learning in this unit and is assessable.

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
Students will need to conduct independent research to participate in tutorial discussions and activities. Topics relate to history and philosophy of Engineering and the interaction between Engineers and society.
Students will need to actively participate in tutorial discussions and activities, with both written and oral communication being utilised in tutorials and assessment tasks.
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 2)
This unit of study will explore the expectations of society with regards to the moral and ethical behaviour of professional engineers, with specific reference to the Engineers Australia Code of Conduct. (8) Professional Effectiveness and Ethical Conduct (Level 2)

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.

(8) Professional Effectiveness and Ethical Conduct (Level 2)
1. Students will be exposed to the Engineers Australia code of conduct and develop an awareness of the professional conduct expected from society in an Australian and international context. The relationship between Engineering and the needs/expectations of society is investigated and discussed.
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 2)
2. Students will develop and improve their skills in both oral and written communication (reports and examination). Students will also make extensive use of online discussion forums.
3. Student will develop skills in effectively researching information from a variety of sources, including through interpersonal communication.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Active participation in class discussions No 10.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 3,
2 Online participation in discussion forums No 10.00 Multiple Weeks 2, 3,
3 Oral Presentation* No 10.00 Week 5 (During your timetabled class) 1, 2, 3,
4 Written Report* No 20.00 Week 9 (Sunday, 11 pm) 1, 2, 3,
5 Online Blog* No 20.00 Week 12 (Sunday, 11 pm) 1, 2, 3,
6 Exam* No 30.00 Exam Period 1, 2, 3,
Assessment Description: * Indicates an assessment task which must be repeated if a student misses it due to special consideration

Assessment from participation requires active participation in both online and physical in class discussions related to unit of study subject matter.

Oral presentations focus on a case study chosen by the student related to the historical significance of a major engineering event/invention/breakthrough and subsequent impact on human society.

Written report involves students discussing the interaction between engineering and society in both present, past and future scenarios.

Online task consists web `blog`using various forms of media to discuss and analyse the impact of a chosen technology on society.

Written exam examines students` knowledge and understanding of all subject material, potentially including other students` blogs and oral presentations.


1. There may be statistically defensible moderation when combining the marks from each component to ensure consistency of marking between markers, and alignment of final grades with unit outcomes

2. Written work submitted after the due date/time will be considered to have been submitted late. For every calendar day up to and including ten calendar days after the due date, a penalty of 5% of the maximum awardable marks will be applied to late work. The penalty will be calculated by first marking the work, and then subtracting 5% of the maximum awardable mark for each calendar day after the due date. For work submitted more than ten calendar days after the due date a mark of zero will be awarded.

3. Oral presentation and exam have 100% late penalties.

4. Text based similarity detecting software (Turnitin) will be used for all text-based written assignments.
Assessment Feedback: Feedback will aim to be generated and returned within 10 working days of the task due date.
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.

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

Week Description
Week 1 Lecture/Tutorial: Course Introduction/what is Engineering?
Week 2 Lecture/Tutorial: History of Engineering 1
Week 3 Lecture/Tutorial: Methodology and philosophy of Engineering, critical thinking
Week 4 Lecture/Tutorial: History of Engineering 2
Week 5 Assessment Due: Oral Presentation*
Week 6 Lecture/Tutorial: Ethics, Engineering and society
Week 7 Lecture/Tutorial: History of Engineering 3
Week 8 Lecture/Tutorial: Epistemology of engineering, professional development
Week 9 Lecture/Tutorial: History of Engineering 4
Assessment Due: Written Report*
Week 10 Lecture/Tutorial: Socio-politics of engineering and technology
Week 11 Lecture/Tutorial: History of Engineering 5
Week 12 Lecture/Tutorial: Engineering and society - what does the future hold?
Assessment Due: Online Blog*
Week 13 Lecture/Tutorial: Course revision
Exam Period Assessment Due: Exam*

Course Relations

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

Course Year(s) Offered
Flexible First Year (2016+) 2016, 2017, 2018
Flexible First Year 2016+ / Arts 2016, 2017, 2018
Flexible First Year 2016+ / Commerce 2016, 2017, 2018
Flexible First Year 2016+ / Medical Science 2016, 2017
Flexible First Year 2016+ / Music Studies 2016, 2017
Flexible First Year 2016+ / Project Management 2016, 2017, 2018
Flexible First Year 2016+ / Science 2016, 2017, 2018
Flexible First Year 2016+ / Science (Medical Science Stream) 2018
Flexible First Year 2016+ / Law 2016, 2017, 2018
Aeronautical (till 2014) 2014
Aeronautical (Space) (till 2014) 2014
Aeronautical 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Aeronautical (Space) 2015
Mechanical Mid-Year 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Mechanical 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Mechanical / Project Management 2015
Mechanical (Space) 2015
Mechatronic Mid-Year 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Mechatronic 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Mechatronic (Space) 2015
Mechanical (till 2014) 2014
Mechanical Engineering / Project Management 2014
Mechanical (Space) (till 2014) 2014
Mechatronic (till 2014) 2014
Mechatronic (Space) (till 2014) 2014
Biomedical Mid-Year 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Biomedical 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Aeronautical Mid-Year 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

Course Goals

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

Attribute Practiced Assessed
(8) Professional Effectiveness and Ethical Conduct (Level 2) Yes 30.5%
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 2) Yes 69.5%

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.