Practical Experience

Practical experience is mandatory for students in all Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Professional Engineering courses.

If you are enrolled in these courses then you will not be eligible to graduate until you have met the requirements of ENGG4000 Practical Experience or ENGG5217 Practical Experience. (The only exception is for students who complete the MIPPS program as part of their degree, or those enrolled in BE degrees in the School of Electrical and Information Engineering whose processes are handled within their school).

Engineers Australia requires, as a condition of accreditation, that our professional engineering degree programs must include 12 weeks (or the equivalent) of appropriate exposure to professional engineering practice. The purpose of this is to facilitate entry into the profession and to develop a broad range of professional attributes, including the following (the full list is described in Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards):

  • 3. PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES
  • 3.1. Ethical conduct and professional accountability.
  • 3.2. Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.
  • 3.3. Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour.
  • 3.4. Professional use and management of information.
  • 3.5. Orderly management of self, and professional conduct.
  • 3.6. Effective team membership and team leadership.

Key Information

  1. You cannot graduate unless you have passed ENGG4000 or ENGG5217 (except for students who undertake MIPPS)
  2. The key steps for passing ENGG4000/ENGG5217 are:
    a. Obtain a practical experience position
    b. Seek approval from the Faculty for the position (by submitting the appropriate form through the relevant Blackboard site)
    c. Only once approved, undertake the experience
    d. Once the experience is complete, enrol in ENGG4000/ENGG5217, and then submit through the blackboard site – before week 6 – the full submission documenting your experience.
    e. Confirm that your report has been accepted as satisfying the experience requirements.

Requirements

Completion of the practical experience unit of study is based on the accumulation of 12 points. This can be achieved in one of two ways:

RECOMMENDED PATHWAY

A total of 12 weeks full-time equivalent (420 hours) practical experience

12 weeks = 12 points

OR ALTERNATIVE PATHWAY

This pathway involves accumulating 12 points through a combination of different elements. The first element is compulsory.

Compulsory 4 weeks, and optionally additional weeks, of full-time equivalent (1 week = 35 hours) Practical Experience

    4 weeks = 6 points
    5-7 weeks = 7 points
    8 weeks = 8 points
    9 weeks = 9 points
    10 weeks = 10 points
    11 weeks = 11 points

PLUS any of the following components to equal the accumulation of a total of 12 points

  • Attendance / participation at conference/ seminar/workshop/ professional development = 2 points with max of 3 points

    You are required to provide documentation of the professional development session with a 1 page report on how you benefited (see the report form below, under ‘forms’). The report should discuss:

    • The company/presenters topics covered in the seminar.
    • How the topics apply in an industrial situation.
    • The learning outcomes of the session and how you might apply these to experiences more effectively and efficiently.
    • Was the session positive, or did you feel there might be things that could have been covered under these topics?
  •  

  • Industry based courses within degree studies = 4 points with max of 6 points

    Approved units of study which have industry involvement can count toward to the total of required practical experience points. You must receive a passing grade in the nominated unit. Approved units include:
    AERO3465 Aerospace Technology 2
    CHNG 4802 Chemical Engineering Design A
    CHNG 4806 Chemical Engineering Design B

    In addition to the unit of study assessment you need to submit a 1 page report covering the following (see the report form below, under ‘forms’):

    • Unit Name and Coordinator
    • Name of external industry person involved in delivery or project definition
    • Name of company affiliation for above person

    Select 5 topics from the list below corresponding to generic attributes specified by Engineers Australia and relate your experience to a discussion of the topic:

    • ability to communicate effectively, not only with engineers but also with the community at large.
    • ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution.
    • ability to utilise a systems approach to design and operational performance.
    • ability to function effectively as an individual and in multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams, with the capacity to be a leader or manager as well as an effective team member.
    • understanding of the social, cultural, global and environmental responsibilities of the professional engineer, and the need for sustainable development.
    • understanding of the principles of sustainable design and development.
    • understanding of professional and ethical responsibilities and commitment to them, and
    • expectation of the need to undertake lifelong learning, and the capacity to do so.

     

  • Site Visits = 2 points with max of 3 points

    You are required to provide documentation of the visit with a 1 page report on how you benefited (see the report form below, under ‘forms’). The report should discuss:

    • The company and what they do (company wide, at that site…)
    • Type of processes they employ
    • People they employ
    • What their mission might be and what their outcomes might be
    • What kind of efficiencies did you observe during the visit and how you believe the company could work more effectively and efficiently
    • Was the working environment positive, or did you feel there might be things that could be done which would deliver benefits?

What you need to do...

1. Obtaining a Practical Experience Position

NOTE: Your practical experience can only be undertaken after you completed at least 18cp of level 3000 or higher units.
You are personally responsible for ensuring that you satisfy all the practical experience requirements needed to obtain your qualification.
You may obtain work experience (preferably through paid employment) in various ways:

  • A good place to start your search is the Engineering Sydney (http://sydney.edu.au/engineering/engineeringsydney/opportunities/index.shtml) website which lists companies who have expressed an interest in offering vacation placements.
  • Log in regularly to the Engineering and IT Electronic Noticeboard (http://web.aeromech.usyd.edu.au/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl). Current positions and opportunities are posted here.
  • Speak with the practical experience contact person in your School (check with the School Administration office).
  • The University receives notices of employment through the Careers Centre, which may assist you in obtaining employment. You should contact the Careers Centre for more information (http://sydney.edu.au/careers). The Careers Centre also can help with getting your resume into shape or brushing up your job interview skills.
  • You may obtain employment by making direct contact with potential employers. This option is encouraged because employers appreciate students showing initiative. You are advised to make inquiries in writing and should attach a curriculum vitae or resume to the letter.
  • You also have the option of obtaining unpaid work experience in a suitable professional engineering environment.
  • Use your own contacts and networks.
  • If you are an International Student you are able to complete approved practical experience in your home country.

You must ensure that the practical experience position is appropriate for a graduate engineer. The position should give you the opportunity to be exposed to engineering practice and to work with practicing engineers.

2. Seeking approval for the Position

Once you have identified an appropriate position you should complete the Practical Experience Form (see the forms below) with the details of the position, get it signed by your proposed industry supervisor) and then submit it for approval. You should ensure that your proposed position has been approved by the Faculty prior to commencing the position. This is both to ensure that your work will meet the requirements, but also so that you are covered by the University’s insurance.

You may take leave at any time during the period of work experience, subject to agreement with the organisation, provided you are able to complete the stipulated period of training. If you are unable to complete the training over a vacation period, you should contact your industry supervisor to determine suitable arrangements for the completion of your period of experience.

Detailed steps for completing and submitting the Practical Experience Approval Form for approval are:

  1. When you have found a practical experience position complete the “Engineering Industrial Experience” form. The supervising engineer should complete and sign the appropriate section of the form to confirm you have been offered a position for the time period agreed. If you have any correspondence with the organisation confirming your offer of a position please include that with your form.
  2. Early each semester the Faculty will identify those students who have become eligible to undertake the practical experience (i.e. have completed at least 18cp of level 3000 or higher engineering units) and add these students to the “BEng – Engineering Practice” Blackboard site. You should select this site and then submit your completed form (as a PDF) to the relevant assignment on the site. You will be able to monitor the site to see when the form has been approved.
  3. Once the proposal has been assessed, a mark of 0 or 1 will be given. A mark of 0 means it has not been approved (the comments should explain why), and a mark of 1 means it has been approved and you can undertake the practical experience.
  4. Once approved, you will then be to undertake the practical experience.

3. Completing the practical experience

Once you have received approval you will be able to commence your practical experience.

During your employment you need to:

  • Complete the Site Induction and Safety Procedures Form
  • Keep a log for the duration of your employment as outlined in the Report Guidelines below. This log will need to be submitted with your report.

Insurance: If you are employed in Australia for a period of practical experience, your employer is legally responsible for the relevant insurance, including cover for Worker’s Compensation. If you undertake unpaid practical experience in Australia and you are not an employee or worker of the organisation for the purposes of Worker’s Compensation legislation, the University provides insurance cover including public liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance and personal accident insurance. Students who have secured an approved practical experience position in another country must ensure they have appropriate insurance coverage.

Details of the University insurance policies are at: http://sydney.edu.au/audit_risk/insurance/students/index.shtml

4. After completing the Practical Experience – Finalising your ENGG4000/ENGG5217 Result

Once you have completed the practical experience period you must enrol in ENGG4000/ENGG5217 and then submit your final report and associated documents. This report will be assessed and a result will be recorded for ENGG4000/ENGG5217.

Detailed steps for completing the Practical Experience requirements are:

  1. Enrol in the relevant unit for your course (usually ENGG4000 or ENGG5217) in the semester that you complete the requirements.
  2. Login to the Engineering practice eCommunity site and submit your report (see details below) to the appropriate assignment. This must be submitted as a single PDF document. (If you do not have access to the eCommunity site then self-register as described in section 3 above),
  3. Once the report has been assessed a mark between 0 and 12 will be awarded. This mark will reflect the number of weeks (or points, if you are completing it through a mix of different components) that you have been credited with. This means that you will not be considered to have passed the Engineering Practice requirements until you have a mark of 12. If you have less than a mark of 12 then you will need to complete further requirements and resubmit your report.
  4. Once your mark for the report is showing “12” you will have completed the engineering practice requirements. A pass mark will be added to ENGG4000 or ENGG5217 as part of normal processing of the results. If you mark is less than 12 you will need to complete additional requirements and resubmit your report.

IMPORTANT NOTE 1: Enrolling in the units of study is separate from being registered on blackboard. Being registered on blackboard lets you submit your proposal and report. Enrolling in the unit of study is required for formally recording the result on your academic record. If you do not enrol in the units of study (ENGG4000 or ENGG5217) then you may not be able to graduate.

IMPORTANT NOTE 2: Your report should be submitted by week 6 of the semester in which you enrol in ENGG4000/ENGG5217. Students missing the due date for the report will be deemed to have failed the unit and will be required to re-enrol in the unit in a subsequent semester (except where they have received written approval from the relevant school coordinator, based on circumstances that were beyond their control and precluded on-time submission). Also, if you are due to graduate you must submit your report at least 10 weeks before the graduation ceremony to ensure your inclusion, otherwise you may not be able to graduate until the following semester.

Engineering Practice Report...

Your Engineering Practice Submission must include:

  • a 6000 word report outlining your professional development during the practical experience
  • a log of daily activities.
  • The completed industrial experience certificate (this must be signed by the supervising engineer to indicate you have completed your work satisfactorily.

Your full submission (including the report, the log, and the industrial experience certificate) should be merged into a single PDF document prior to submission.

Report Details

The report shall be 6,000 words (±10%), plus figures, references and appendices and include:

  1. Title page, your name, school and student number
  2. Experience details. For each period of work experience (there may only be one) list:
    a) Name of employer
    b) Type of business
    c) Your job title
    d) Dates of the experience
    e) Contact details of your supervisor (name, position, email, phone number)
    f) Practical experience certificate
  3. Professional Engineering skills development. In relation to the 7 broad areas on the attached “Graduate Outcome Table”:
    a) Identify the specific skills that were most important for you during the practical experience, and why.
    b) Use a specific example from your practical experience to show how you have developed/improved in one or more of these skills. You should make particular reference to the activities you undertook in this example.
    c) Fill in the “Graduate Outcomes Table” (see the list of forms below) making an assessment of your current stage of development
  4. The engineering professional context. Choose any 2 of the following professional practice issues: (1) Teamwork; (2) professional standards and ethics; (3) risk; (4) sustainable design. Use a specific example from your work experience to outline how your understanding and appreciation of the issues has developed as part of your work experience.
  5. Your current direction as an engineering student. Based on your experience, answer the following with specific reference to activities during work experience
    a) Is there anything that you plan to change in your study approach, or wish that you had changed earlier?
    b) Is there anything you would like to change in the design, teaching or syllabus of your degree program?
  6. Your future direction as an engineering graduate. This may mean the kind of engineering challenges or work environments that attract you, or the kind of person that you see yourself becoming in the engineering world. Describe:
    a) How have your ideas about your future direction developed during the practical experience?
    b) What specific activities or other aspects of the practical experience have most affected your thinking on this subject?

References should include all documents you have used which are publicly available, or which you expect the reader to be able to obtain. Private communications and confidential documents should not be included; however they should be mentioned in footnotes. Include any books and other technical references used (but not dictionaries and style books) and sufficient information (publisher, date etc.) for references to be identified and assessed. Format should be consistent in following a single standard referencing style.

Practical Experience Log Details

The experience log records the daily breakdown of tasks undertaken at a standard acceptable for business accounting purposes. The log should record date, time and hours required for each task, along with a short task description explaining significance of the task and relationship with other work conducted plus comments on progress achieved, work remaining and issues arising. The log should follow, as far as possible, whatever reporting format is customary in the host organisation.

Forms...

Forms for initial proposal

Practical Experience Form

Forms for final report

Site Induction and Safety Procedures Form - Hand in with written report.
Graduate Outcomes Table – Hand in with final report
Practical Experience Certificate - Hand in with written report.

Additional forms

Professional Development Event Form/Report Cover Sheet
For use when you use professional development events as part of satisfying the requirements.
Industry Based Course Report Cover Sheet
For use when you use industry based courses as part of satisfying the requirements.
Site Visits Form/Report Cover Sheet
For use when you use site visits as part of satisfying the requirements.

Please keep in mind that when undertaken practical experience you are representing the Faculty and the University of Sydney, so at all times you are expected to act in a professional manner. Your conduct will impact on future students who follow you when they seek a position with the organisation.

Need more information or advice?

Enquiries: engineering.practical.experience@sydney.edu.au