Designing a new course by considering the inherent inter-relatedness of Systems Engineering, Project Management and Sustainment topics

This was the first introduction to this course. I along with a few colleagues developed the course “Systems Engineering/Management” (course code ZEIT3506) from two earlier courses, “Systems Engineering” (ZEIT4222) and “Engineering Management” (ZEIT3694). Those two courses covered subject matter important to the degree programs, but the program structure meant that they were not well integrated into the engineering programs and did not provide as much benefit to students as they might. Further, SEIT recognised the inherent inter-relatedness of Systems Engineering, Project Management and Sustainment topics and so assigned us to create the combined offering as a core third year/fourth-year course for the Aeronautical, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering programs. This provided the following benefits:

  • Giving students a common grounding in the topics, and so improving the consistency of graduates
  • Emphasising the importance of integrated Systems Engineering, Project Management and Sustainment to project and capability management
  • Better preparing graduates, particularly those from Defence, for their likely roles in project management teams
  • Providing students with Systems Engineering and Project Management knowledge in time for it to contribute to their final year projects

From a background in Operations Research, Project Management and Systems Engineering, my contribution was to develop the contents for project management and embed them in a system engineering framework. My active engagement was on developing contents, course learning outcomes, course outline and most importantly assignment components. I along with my colleague developed quiz questions, exam papers, artefacts, exemplars and all supporting resources to aid student learning. All those assignment components were designed based on the course and program learning outcomes. Despite the first offering in Semester 2-2019 and a whole lot of new and integrated contents, I got very good feedback from the student. My MyExperience Lecturer score was: Mean 4.59 out of 6.00 with median 5.0 and standard deviation 0.96 (Percentage Agreement: 95.5%). However, the course got a bit low score (Mean 3.00 out of 6.00 with median 3.0 and standard deviation 1.45 (Percentage Agreement: 47.8%)) which had provided further opportunities to improve.