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, ELEC4702 OR ENGG5217; Practical Experience.
N.B. The only exception is for students who complete the MIPPS program as part of their degree.

APPLICATION PROCESS
ASSESSMENT PROCESS

Engineers Australia requires, as a condition of accreditation, that our professional engineering degree program must include a reasonable amount of exposure to professional engineering practice.
Engineers Australia strongly advocates that all engineering schools include a minimum of 420 hours (12 weeks) of such experience (or a satisfactory alternative) as a requirement for the granting of qualifications.
Completion of the ENGG4000, ELEC4702 and ENGG5217 unit meets the required outcomes.

Practical Experience facilitates entry into the profession and helps the development of 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


Accordingly, students must be exposed to professional engineering practice to enable them to develop an engineering approach and ethos and to gain an appreciation of engineering ethics.
The purpose of this is to facilitate entry into the profession and to develop the following generic attributes:

  1. ability to apply knowledge of basic science and engineering fundamentals
  2. ability to communicate effectively, not only with engineers but also with the community at large
  3. in-depth technical competence in at least one engineering discipline
  4. ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution
  5. ability to utilise a systems approach to design and operational performance
  6. 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
  7. understanding of the social, cultural, global and environmental responsibilities of the professional engineer, and the need for sustainable development
  8. understanding of the principles of sustainable design and development
  9. understanding of professional and ethical responsibilities and commitment to them, and the expectation of the need to undertake lifelong learning, and the capacity to do so

Key Information


The key steps for passing ENGG4000/ELEC 4702/ENGG5217 are:

  1. Obtain a practical experience position
  2. Seek approval from the faculty for the position through Sonia. Students must complete ALL of the following steps PRIOR to commencing their practical experience, in order for their practical experience to count towards ENGG4000/ELEC4702/ENGG5217:
    • Organisation Submission
    • Graduate Outcomes Table – Pre Practical Experience
    • Practical Experience Application
  1. Students should ideally have completed the above steps 2 weeks prior to their scheduled practical experience commencement date to ensure their practical experience counts towards the units.

Failure to submit any of the above forms may result in your practical experience NOT counting towards ENGG4000, ELEC4702 or ENGG5217
  1. Once approved, undertake the experience noting the following conditions
    - Undergraduate (BE) students should have completed 36 credits of 3000 level units of study before commencing their practical experience
    - Undergraduate (Combined Engineering) students should have completed 36 credits of 3000 level units of study or have 48 cp or less of their remaining degree before commencing their practical experience
    - Master of Professional Engineering students must have completed 48 cp before enrolling in ENGG5217 Practical Experience
    - Undergraduate students, with an on-going year to year internship as part of a scholarship scheme or equivalent program, will be exempt from this commencement rule. However only the experience undertaken after the student has completed 36 cp of 3000 units and higher will need to be reported for this unit. The rule for combined degree commencement will also apply here.

If you do not meet these requirements and are in your penultimate or final year of your degree, you may seek permission from your School Coordinator to waive these conditions. If your School Coordinator agrees to grant you permission, it must be in writing.

  1. Once the experience is complete, in week 6 (or earlier) of the semester your completed your placement submit through Sonia the following supporting documentation:
  • Logbook
  • Report (Two submissions are required – 1 via Blackboard TurnItIn then into Sonia with your TurnItIn receipt)
  • Certificate signed by your supervisor
  • Graduate Outcomes Table – Post Practical Experience

If you are unable to submit in week 6, please submit a “special consideration” form to justify the delayed submission to the school coordinator.

  1. Confirm that the above documentation has been accepted as satisfying the experience requirements
  2. You may also seek approval for an equivalent work experience from previous employment or degree from your School Academic Coordinator. Please refer to guidelines for ‘recognition of prior experience’.

What You Need To Do

1. Obtaining a Practical Experience Position

NOTE: Your practical experience can only be undertaken after you have completed at least 36 cp of level 3000 or higher units (for those undertaking ENGG4000) and 48cp (for those undertaking ENGG 5217), unless you are participating in a scholarship or internship requiring year to year work experience or an equivalent program.
If you do not meet these requirements and are in your penultimate or final year of your degree, you may seek permission from your School Coordinator to waive these conditions. If your School Coordinator agrees to grant you permission, it must be in writing.

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 practical experience
  • Log into Blackboards Faculty of Engineer & IT site and click on the discussion tab. Here a current list of opportunities are advertised.
  • 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
  • The University receives notices of employment through the Careers Centre, which may assist you in obtaining practical experience. 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 practical experience by making direct contact with potential organisations. This option is encouraged because organisations 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 practical 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 may also combine a series of short term practical experience to make up the required number of weeks of experience. Please obtain approval for each instance of practical experience but only submit only one final report for you total experience

Acceptable forms of practical experience
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. Submit a Practical Experience Application through Sonia

Once you have identified an appropriate position you should complete the Practical Experience Application through Sonia. Please include details of the position and submit it for approval by your proposed organisation supervisor AND the Faculty via Sonia. You MUST ensure that your proposed position has been approved by the faculty via Sonia prior to commencing the position.
If you choose to undertake any paid or unpaid work experience that is not a University approved Placement in accordance with the University’s Placement Policy, please be aware, there is a high risk that the work experience may not meet your course requirements, and you will not be granted credit for the work experience/placement.

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 Application for approval are:

  1. Organisation Submission (via Sonia)

When you have found a practical experience position login to Sonia and complete an ‘Organisation Submission’. Completing this step signals to the placement team that you are now ready to commence practical experience. This can be submitted any time in advance, however ideally no later than 2 weeks before your start date to ensure it is approved in time. This form should only take approx 1 minute to complete.

  1. Practical Experience Application (via Sonia)

When approved you will receive an email notifying you of preliminary approval of your proposed organisation and you now can complete, complete a “Practical Experience Application” form through Sonia. The supervising engineer will be provided login details to Sonia by the Faculty to complete their section of the form. You should notify your proposed supervisor they will be receiving an email from the Faculty to complete an online form outlining insurances, WHS and further details of the practical experience. It is essential for them to approve the form for your practical experience to commence.
Once the application has been approved by your supervisor and the Faculty, you will again receive an email notification. Students, SHOULD NOT commence practical experience until they have received an email notification stating that their application has been approved.

  1. Graduate Outcomes Table – Pre Practical Experience (via Sonia)

Students MUST complete the Graduate Outcomes Table prior to practical experience. If you have not done this, you will not be granted access to the Practical Experience Application and therefore may be delayed in starting your practical experience.

  1. Once approved, and if you meet the prerequisites (i.e., 36 cp of level 3000 or higher units for those undertaking ENGG4000 & ELEC4702 and 48cp for those undertaking ENGG 5217), or have a signed letter from your School coordinator stating otherwise, then you can commence the practical experience. This letter must be uploaded with your proposal application.

3. Completing the practical experience

During your employment you need to:

  • Keep a log for the duration of your employment as outlined in the Report Guidelines. This log will need to be submitted with your report

Insurance: The following are the conditions for insurance coverage during your employment:

  1. 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
  2. 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/volunteers.shtml The most recent letter referencing the insurance certificate is available here

4. After completing the Practical Experience – Finalising your ENGG4000/ELEC4702/ENGG5217 Result

Once you have completed the practical experience, submit your final report and associated documents within 6 weeks of the semester in which you are enrolled. This report will be assessed and a result will be recorded for completing your practical component which you will be notified by via email of your result.

Detailed steps for completing the practical experience requirements are:

  1. Enroll in your unit of Study
  2. Log in to BEng Engineering Practice site and upload your report into TurnItIn
  3. Log in to Sonia and submit your report. This must be submitted as a single PDF document. Enter your receipt from TurnItIn
  4. Fill in the Practical Experience timesheet attaching your log book, certificate/s reports from Site visits or professional events.
  5. Once the report has been assessed depending on your school, a mark between 0 and 12 or S for Satisfactory will be awarded. This mark will reflect the number of hours or weeks (or points, if you are completing it through a mix of different components) that have been approved. This means that you will not be considered to have passed the Engineering Practice requirements until you have a mark of 12 or S. If you have less than a mark of 12 or no S then you will need to complete further requirements and resubmit your report. See user guide manual on how to resubmit a report.
  6. Once your mark for the report is showing “12” and/or ‘S” you will have completed the engineering practice requirements. An email notification will be sent to you confirming that you have the requisite grade to pass ENGG4000/ELEC4702 or ENGG5217. A pass mark will be added to ENGG4000, ELEC4702 or ENGG5217 as part of normal processing of the results through Sydney Student.



IMPORTANT NOTE: (Submission deadline): Your report should be submitted in week 6 of the semester in which you enroll in ENGG4000, ELEC4702 or ENGG5217. If you are unable to submit your report by week 6, submit a “special consideration” form to justify the delay to the school coordinator. 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).

I NEED HELP!

At any stage of the process you can contact us. To ensure your query is addressed quickly please email feit.professionalengagement@sydney.edu.au, using one of the following subject headings and include which school of engineering you are from;
Inquiry about Student Practical Experience Form
Organisation Submission was declined
It has been over 10 days since I submitted my Practical Experience and it has not been approved
Practical Experience Application was unsuccessful
I’m having problems uploading my documents to Sonia
I have question regarding my assessments

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.

  1. Compulsory 4 weeks (140 hours), and optionally additional weeks, of full-time equivalent (1 week = 35 hours) practical experience
    weeks = 4 points with max of 6 points
    PLUS any of the following components to equal the accumulation of a total of 12 points

 

  1. Attendance / participation at conference/ seminar/workshop/ professional development = max of 3 points (Note: This experience must be assessed based on its equivalence to practical experience by the school coordinator before being undertaken as part of the practical experience)
    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?
  1. 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 Design 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 multidisciplinary and multicultural 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

  1. Site Visits = max of 3 points (Note: This experience must be assessed based on its equivalence to practical experience by the school coordinator before being undertaken as part of the practical experience)


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 (companywide, 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?

Practical Experience Report

Your practical experience submission must include:

  • a 6,000 word report outlining your professional development during the practical experience
  • a log of daily activities
  • The completed practical experience certificate (this must also be completed by the supervising engineer to indicate you have completed your work satisfactorily)
  • Completion of the Graduate Outcomes Table – Post Practical Experience
  • Your report must firstly be submitted into TurnItIn via BEng Engineering Practice site to receive your TurnItIn receipt

    Then login toSoniaand complete the Practical Experience timesheet, upload your report with your TurnItIn receipt, log and the certificate must also be completed through Sonia. 

    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 practical 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)
  3. Professional Engineering skills development. In relation to the 7 broad areas on the “Graduate Outcomes 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.
  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 practical 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.