The ability to plan, systematically conduct and report on a major project, involving both research and design, is an important skill for professional engineers. The final year thesis units (Thesis A and Thesis B) aim to provide students with the opportunity to carry out a defined piece of independent research and design that fosters the development of engineering skills. These skills include: the capacity to define a problem; carry out systematic research in exploring how it relates to existing knowledge; identifying the tools needed to address the problem; designing a solution, product or prototype; analysing the results obtained; and presenting the outcomes in a report that is clear, coherent and logically structured. The thesis is undertaken across two semesters of enrolment. Taken together, Thesis A covers initial research into the background of the problem being considered (formulated as a literature review), development of a detailed proposal incorporating project objectives, planning, and risk assessment, preliminary design, modelling and/or experimental work, followed by the detailed work in designing a solution, performing experiments, evaluating outcomes, analysing results, and writing up and presenting the outcomes. The final grade is based on the work done in both Thesis A and B, and will be awarded upon successful completion of Thesis B. While recognising that some projects can be interdisciplinary in nature, it is the normal expectation that the students would do the project in their chosen area of specialisation. For student who are completing a Major within their BE degree, the thesis topic must be within the area of the Major. The theses to be undertaken by students will very often be related to some aspect of a staff member's research interests. Some projects will be experimental in nature, others may involve computer-based simulation and analysis, feasibility studies or the design, construction and testing of equipment. All however will require students to undertake research and design relevant to the topic of their thesis. The direction of thesis work may be determined by the supervisor or be of an original nature, but in either case the student is responsible for the execution of the practical work and the general layout and content of the thesis itself. The thesis must be the student's individual work although it may be conducted as a component of a wider group project. Students undertaking research on this basis will need to take care in ensuring the quality of their own research and design work and their individual final thesis submission. The thesis will be judged on the extent and quality of the student's original work and particularly how critical, perceptive and constructive they have been in assessing their work and that of others. Students will also be required to present the results of their thesis to their peers and supervisors as part of a seminar program. Whilst thesis topics will be constrained by the available time and resources, the aim is to contribute to the creation of new engineering knowledge, techniques and/or solutions. Students should explore topics that arouse intellectual curiosity and represent an appropriate range and diversity of technical and conceptual research and design challenges.
Through semester assessment (100%)
30 Credit points of at least 3rd year units of study