Proceedings of International Conference on Advancements in Engineering Education (iCAEED 2018), Sydney, Australia (2018)

ISBN: 978-0-6480147-9-9

Abstract: Literature review is an important component of the learning and teaching associated with a higher degree research (HDR) study. As a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) student in civil engineering at Western Sydney University, the first important task by the first author was conducting a literature review on her research topic - Regional Flood Frequency Analysis (RFFA) under the guidance of her supervisors. Accordingly, this paper presents challenges and opportunities in the literature review on RFFA faced by the first author. A literature review in RFFA field covers relevant scholarly journal articles, book chapters, conference papers and other relevant online sources and provides an overview, summary, analysis and interpretation of each source. Furthermore, a successful literature review interprets old researches and identifies critical knowledge gaps to create a path for a new research and outcomes. It has been found that publishing a literature review in an international journal needs significant knowledge, writing skills and commitment from the research student and his/her supervisors to make it comprehensive, complete and innovative. Download

Abstract: Due to the introduction of computer based program and reduction of face-to-face contact hours, many higher education institutions are cutting site visits and field works from their curriculum. But engineering is an applied science to the real-world problems and the engineering education needs hands-on training. Because of this, fieldworks and site visits are essential components of engineering course curricula. Upon completion of lecture on dam engineering, a visit to a dam site was conducted for final year civil engineering students, which was followed by an open book assessment after one week of visit. In order to investigate the student learning on hydraulic engineering from site visit and its subsequent open book assessment, a questionnaire survey was conducted after the open book test. The survey instruments consist of two sections. One section has 9 questions on student learning from site visit and second section consists of 10 questions on learning from open book assessment. The results revealed that students are motivated (87% agreement; n=39) for site learning because it provides work-integrated learning experiences (also 87% agreement; n=39). It also shows that an open book assessment is an excellent way of learning to be a professional engineer (92% agreement; n=48). Student performances on site learning show that 78% of the students got mark more than 70% in the test achieving significant learning outcomes. This also indicates that the open book assessment motivates students’ independent learning but there is a need to train students what information they need to bring because many of them found wasting times flipping through the site visit notes/books. Download

Abstract: It has been proposed that innovation is a process and can be conceptualized as two stages - “ideas generation” and “idea implementation”. However, the factors that shape the relation between creativity and idea implementation still remain undetermined and disputed. This paper will outline what is being done on the implementation of ideas of engineering design process in mechanical engineering at Tatung University. A course module was designed to inspire students to create ideas, design thinking and product-making potential based on the knowledge of kinematics and dynamics principles. The work for idea implementation was carried out in “Kinematics and Dynamics” course at Mechanical Engineering. This course provides students with a solid understanding of the key concepts of mechanics required for design and analysis of mechanisms and mechanical devices. The present program complies with the principle of “learning by doing” with design and process techniques training based on “customer orientation”.
In this program, students in groups have to make “toy” machines, which can be moved without electrical sources and motors by the end of this course. They can make the machines by various ways such as 3D printing and laser machining. These toy machines could be simple in operation, with simple game rules, and interesting and funny to play for kids. There were 40 sets of unique toy machines made by those students in the class by the end of the class at spring semester in 2017. About 200 primary students were invited to evaluate and gave the score of the designed products. Students have to present their “machine” to the faculty and kids, and leave the kids to operate this machine by themselves in a safe state. The faculty and kids gave feedback on both the mechanics of presentation as well as the practicality of the ideas. Download

Abstract: The University of Southern Queensland delivers a number of coursework postgraduate engineering programs to technologists wishing to upgrade their qualifications and qualified professional engineers desiring to develop their engineering knowledge and skills. As well as technical engineering courses, these programs offer a number of courses in engineering management. These courses teach engineering management knowledge and skills in topic areas like asset management, project management and risk management. All are taught in a blended learning environment, in which on-campus classes are delivered to learners who study at the University’s main campus at Toowoomba, Queensland and online course materials are provided to learners who are primarily part-time, are often engaged in industry and are located throughout Australia and internationally. All learners use a common interactive Study Desk on which material is made available by the teaching team. This material includes printed study material, lectures, tutorials, readings and videos. A challenge in effectively delivering these courses is to meaningfully engage a wide range of learners who study in different modes, and who have a range of educational and work experiences. The approach used to achieve this goal is to utilise good teaching principles, such as student centred learning, authentic assessment tasks and experiential learning processes. While these methods have been quite successful at engaging learners, there are also other opportunities for improving learner interaction and development. One approach that is currently being used is to utilise industry guest lecturers, using high quality recorded video communication that is delivered at a time selected to best suit online learners. There are also opportunities to develop additional real world examples, use advances in information systems for tasks like simulation of real projects and processes, utilise data analytics to improve the assessment and development of learner engagement, and make other improvements.

Abstract: Master of Engineering Project (MEP) is one of the core subjects in Master of Engineering program in Western Sydney University. This subject aims to consolidate the entire study over two years and allows a student to develop necessary skill sets and learning capabilities in a specialised field to devise an innovative solution to a given problem. In this paper, the authors present their learning and teaching experiences in MEP, where the first author completed his MEP as a student under the supervision of the second author. It has been found by the first author that a blended learning approach assisted him in completing the MEP successfully with the production of two refereed conference articles based on his MEP. The second author identified that many of the MEP students had notable lacking in research writing which prevented them from producing refereed publications based on their MEP studies. Download

Abstract: Embarking on a three year journey of a PhD research can be a daunting task, especially when one is not entering into a pre-defined topic and when that research is in an area that one is not yet an expert in. At the beginning stage of the PhD research, advice from supervisors and peers becomes very meaningful, even small comments are helpful from fellow researchers who have experienced what one is going through. The relationship with, direction and advice from the supervisors and professionals in the field that one comes in contact with, at conferences for example, are very important for developing a professional understanding of one’s topic area. Meetings and discussions with the supervisors and industry partners, networking with others in one’s field at this stage is crucial to complete an effective literature review.
The results of the literature review include a deep and encompassing understanding of one’s topic, familiarity with experts in the field and with the work they have done. One also gains an understanding of the state of knowledge and, importantly, discovers the current research gaps. The process of looking for research gaps enhances one’s critical analysis of the literature. Moreover the review process helps put the topic into perspective, locates it within the broader field of research, and helps one appreciate the potential benefits that the current research could offer to humanity. The literature review stage of a PhD candidature is unique. One has time to read and review numerous papers and this is a time when supervisors generally provide important input for developing the student’s knowledge base. The supervisors are often busy with more advanced tasks and will probably not have the time to do such extensive perusing of all the literature to sieve out the important new developments. In this way the PhD student becomes a great assistant to their supervisors by bringing to their attention to the highlights of important new developments in their field. While the supervisor with experience can direct the candidate, as to whether or not the developments are really new, relevant and valid in light of the doctoral research topic. Download

Abstract: Rapid evolution of power electronics and their applications in the real world, specialised courses are available in educational institutions to allow learning and understanding them from basic to advanced level. However, pure course work involves conceptual abstraction, often accompanied by large mathematical exercises and calculations. These can require substantial computation steps. To eliminate this educating problem, software simulation packages have been developed over years to help learn the behaviour of power electronic devices. Multisim and Matlab are two commonly used packages in the educational space. A comparative study has been undertaken earlier at the University of South Australia, comparing these simulation packages, however limiting the scope to only rectification devices. This paper broadens the scope to accommodate inverse rectification devices i.e. inverters, to help further investigate the packages. In this regard, key requirements that forms the base of this investigation includes simplicity in design modelling, discrepancies in simulation outputs with respect to theoretical benchmark, user friendliness of graphics interface and accessibility within educational workspace. Every simulation package has its strengths and weaknesses. It is essential to investigate the features, capabilities and attributes comprehensively at a user experience level. This helps to open avenues for further development to keep up with advancing learning needs. Download

Abstract: Accident likelihood is growing due to a correlation for gas and electricity installed in the area of dense energy consumption like traditional market and underground shopping center. In order to prevent accident risks related to gas and electricity in this area, it should be monitored and predicted for factors of gas leak or electricity. Accident risks related to gas and electricity are divided to two cases in the area of dense energy consumption. First case for accident risks is gas leak due to several factors. Then fire and explosion occur from a source of ignitions among many factors. The other case for accident risks is fire caused by several factors. Then gas leak due to damage of gas facilities causes fire spreading and explosion. In this study, gas leak CFD(Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulation was conducted to analyze accident risks related to gas leak. Because of no data for gas density, gas leak simulations were carried out to analyze gas density variation characteristic at gas detector position. Then, the gas accident prediction technique was developed based on variation characteristic of gas leak by using regression and statistic method. Download

Abstract: Engineering bachelor degree course generally consists of a final year major project/ thesis in a four-year study. In many universities, this is undertaken as a design project, either by a single or group of student(s). Many engineering schools have an embedded honours component where the project/thesis is integrated in the final year of study. In contrast, university science course is typically of three-year duration, followed by an additional year of honours study by the academically outperforming students. To enhance honours program, the former College of Health and Science, Western Sydney University (WSU) in Australia undertook a major benchmarking exercise of its honours programs in 2009. The author as the then School of Engineering Honours Coordinator compared honours courses in a number of major engineering schools in Australia and made wider consultation with relevant WSU academics and committees to make a submission to the honours benchmarking committee. The outcome of this exercise resulted in the implementation of an engineering honours program in WSU comprising of a thesis component worth 40 credit points. In this paper, the author, as the School Honours Coordinator and as supervisor of honours students presents his coordination, supervision and learning experiences of engineering honours thesis at WSU. It has been found that the 40 credit points honours thesis in WSU enhanced the learning outcomes of the students, which was demonstrated by the students’ increased recognition in the state competitions, HDR enrolments and peer-reviewed publications. Download

Abstract: Doctoral study is the highest level of study where the best academically performing students carry out specified research under an expert supervisory panel in a university. The role of a doctoral supervisor is to train a student having little/no experience in research (novice) so that the student becomes an independent researcher at the end of his candidature. The paper presents the author’s experiences in supervising doctoral students in Western Sydney University during the last seven years. The author highlights the common difficulties faced by the doctoral students. It has been noted that the doctoral students face significant difficulty in literature review, research writing and statistical analysis in the field of statistical hydrology (author’s area of expertise). However, a strategic supervision can make a student successful in gaining necessary skills to publish high quality journal articles and to write an excellent thesis. Download

Abstract: Construction educators continue to assess and refine their approach to the classroom. Most instructors know the credible models of teaching, learning, and assessment; however, not all have been applied to the construction classroom. In this paper, the researcher specifically applies the formative approach to management courses of the built environment with the specific intent of producing four general learning outcomes: a) vocabulary mastery b) concept framework understanding c) iterative problem-solving d) writing skill advancement. Each of these gives students a management skill set that is valuable to many construction firms. This formative approach is focused on the process of teaching, learning, and assessment. It does not change the content in any construction course. It emphasizes skills which are professionally valuable to both student and the industry they may work in. Download

Abstract: Water is vital source of life, indeed, if there is no water, there is no life. Access to adequate water is essential for every living being, maintaining sustainable development and ensuring healthy ecosystem. Water demand is increasing for expanding cities, industries and agricultural activities, and consequently, leading to water crisis worldwide. In most cases, either people do not care or pay less attention on the issues related to water and the processes that lead to its contamination. According to the UNESCO (Sources No 84, November 1996), the supply of fresh water will fall short to the demand by 2030 if we continue businesses as usual. It is also reported that more than one-third of the world's population are suffering from either getting access to the pure water or diseases associated with polluted water. The statistics is alarming, and related not only to polluted water but also individuals’ limited knowledge regarding water contamination. Therefore, the urgency of learning about sustainable water system has been felt crucially all over the world and there is a pressing need to create awareness and educate community people ranging from primary school children to the high profile professionals about the importance of sustainable water use. The aim of this study is to present few case studies on water contamination to show the seriousness of the problem. It also presents how we can educate our engineering students to find innovative solutions to tackle global water problems. A comparison on tertiary education systems in Bangladesh and Australia has been presented to identify the differences in terms of student learning in water engineering at undergraduate levels in these two countries. Download

Abstract: Students usually find water engineering concepts difficult to grasp. This problem gets compounded once they move to senior level water related subjects. Undergraduate Civil Engineering students usually undertake subjects covering basic fluid mechanics and engineering hydraulics in junior years. This is followed by a subject in engineering hydrology in the senior year. It is during the senior year where a large proportion of students tend to struggle with the concepts presented in engineering hydrology. But the rapid urbanization trend caused by an ever-increasing population growth around the globe has necessitated all Civil engineering graduates to have a working knowledge of engineering hydrology. This is because of the increase in frequency and magnitude of floods and the potential for higher damages as a result of urbanization. This also means the increasing need for hydrology concepts to be covered in an undergraduate Civil engineering degree curriculum.
The rapid advancement in information technology has been a blessing to engineering educators willing to take the plunge and make use of these technologies to address the challenges to improve student understanding of hydrology concepts. This paper discusses some of the techniques that can be used to improve student engagement and learning outcomes in engineering hydrology education. Examples on the author’s experience on how these techniques have been developed using sound pedagogy and implemented using the IT tools are presented. Download

Abstract: Electrical Engineering is a well-established field of study and power engineering is the oldest sub-discipline of it. Electrical Engineering field has expanded much rapidly over the last few decades. The traditional developments were large power stations, very long high voltage (HV) transmission lines and even across national boundaries. With increasing concerns about global warming and greenhouse gases, the electricity energy generation, conversion and utilization has accelerated developments in smart and micro-grids, distributed generation and localized renewable energy generation. Due to new developments, power engineering programs are being modernized to include new areas such as smart grids and distributed generation, renewable and sustainable generation, smart and micro grids with smart and two-way communication. It is expected that the future of power engineering will concentrate on alternative electrical energy sources, smart power conversion, DC power systems, smart drive systems, distributed generation, electric vehicles and distributed storage, superconductors and other highly efficient and smart materials. Electric vehicles (EV) and associated battery storage will require new approaches to operate the modern power systems. EVs would be acting both as consumer and provider of energy to power grid. Future graduates will have extensive knowledge in new and emerging power systems, communication and smart and two way power flows. This paper will outline these new and emerging fields and future directions in Power Engineering. Download

Abstract: This paper analyses the impacts of battery energy storage located in typical low and medium voltage radial distribution networks. Various options for battery capacity and location have been considered and the resulting feeder loads and voltage drops modelled on a radial load flow program. Both a generic 10-node low voltage feeder off a 10-node medium voltage feeder and an actual 77-node low voltage feeder were modelled. Consistent results were obtained with both models. The paper concludes that a solution that is near optimum and offers economy of scale is to share storage among a group of about 25 to 30 residential units. Energy storage pricing issues are also discussed, and the conclusion reached that a flat net energy tariff regime, coupled with a power/energy type price structure would be the simplest and easiest to implement. Download

Abstract: Over the last several years conceptual surveys have been used to assess students’ initial knowledge and misconceptions of various aspects of science and in particular physics and engineering. A study of the conceptual knowledge and common sense understanding of electricity and magnetism was conducted on a group of 40 first year engineering physics students who were intending to pursue electrical engineering studies at the university level to qualify as electrical engineers. A pre-test and a post-test were conducted to ascertain whether there would be a change in their conceptual understanding by adopting interactive methods and online conceptual tutorials on electricity and magnetism. The findings revealed that interactive methods of teaching play a useful role in changing students common sense ideas of phenomena to explaining them in terms of scientific and engineering concepts. Download

Abstract: The teaching and learning of thermal fluids courses are always challenging due to its complex and abstract nature, and the mathematics involved. With diminishing resources (continuous funding cut, frequent professional/academic staff career movement, lack of competent professional staff, inadequate laboratory infrastructures, teaching and learning thermal fluid courses become harder. It is progressively becoming difficult to teach thermal fluids courses effectively. As a result, students cannot achieve effective learning outcomes. To overcome these challenges, a three-step teaching approach has been developed to enhance students’ learning outcomes. This approach is cost effective, user-friendly and attractive. The method comprises a real laboratory video clip, conduction of a real laboratory experiment and a computer simulation/modelling. The developed three-step teaching and learning approach can be applied to not only thermal fluids courses but also other courses. Download

Abstract: Water is one of the most vital substances for all living creatures on earth. Access to safe water is the primary requirement for survival of human being. Water pollution is caused by multitude of factors including both natural and anthropogenic ones. To build a sustainable world, water/wastewater needs to be well managed and in many cases need to be treated to remove the undesirable pollutants before human consumption or release to natural environment. To that end, water and wastewater treatment is regarded as an important subject in the study of engineering. Subjects related to wastewater treatment are taught in Civil, Chemical and Environmental Engineering at undergraduate level in Australia which requires fundamental understanding of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. It is incredible to see that many of the undergraduate students who have completed their higher secondary studies from different Australian high schools and enrolled in these engineering courses at various universities do not have sufficient prerequisite knowledge on these subjects. As a result, they often struggle to learn the concepts and science involved in the water and wastewater treatment process. This paper highlights and discusses the level of knowledge required to understand water and wastewater treatment processes. It also proposes a strategy which could be useful to struggling students in grasping the concept of water and wastewater treatment processes. Download

Abstract: Water is a vital source of life. In developed countries, we are extremely fortunate to be able to access water at our fingertips, with little cost. Consequently, our water use is so much, that per capita, per day water demand in Sydney is about 303 litres. In contrast, about 1 billion of the world’s population does not have access to as little as 5 litres of safe drinking water per day. Access to safe drinking water is regarded as a basic human right, but to our surprise, about one-fifth of the world population does not have access to safe drinking water. Water is also an integral part of the ecosystem. Educating our school students about water is important so that this precious resource is preserved and enhanced for all the human beings. This paper presents an overview of water education in New South Wales. It has been found that New South Wales school children receive basic education on water such as learning about the hydrologic cycle and water recycling, but limited mathematical aspects of water management are covered. Due to climate change, increasing water demand and increasing pollution, water accessibility will be a challenging issue in the near future. Water education will assist to achieve sustainable water development in Australia. Download

Abstract: Academic writing skills are essential for higher degree research (HDR) students. At the beginning of the candidature, a HDR student is required to write a literature review critically analysing the state-of-the art knowledge on the given research topic, identifying limitations of the current knowledge and areas of further research. The literature review culminates with the HDR student clearly defining their topic. They are then required to prepare a research proposal written in a professional manner and presented to a confirmation panel who must be able to understand and appreciate the research area and innovation of the proposal. In the second year of candidature, a HDR student is often expected to write a refereed conference paper and sometimes a refereed journal article. In the final year, a thesis needs to be written that should reflect a mature understanding and significant innovation and contribution to knowledge. All this requires a high level of literacy both in analysing others research and in publishing their own. This paper presents the experience of a thesis editor, a HDR student and an award winning HDR supervisor on the aspects of writing issues. It has been found that a student with good writing skills publishes more papers than a student with poor writing skills. This also presents a strategy for how a HDR student can enhance his/her writing skills to complete his/her HDR degree successfully. Download

Abstract: An essential element towards the delivery of a successful lecture and enhanced student learning is student engagement. Prevailing pedagogy literature suggests a number of blended learning techniques can be adopted by the practitioner to gain student interaction and develop deeper levels of student learning. More specifically, the application of flipped learning within the classroom environment is recommended. Also known as a flipped classroom, an inverted classroom, or similar to the principles of directed independent learning, this teaching technique shifts the learning environment from teacher-centric to student-centric, with the aim to encourage independent self-learning and enhance student skills.
This paper presents research that has explored the adoption of the flipped learning technique within classrooms of Built Environment (BE) students. The teaching technique was applied to three different classroom environments, studying the use and facilitation of flipped learning to diverse class sizes and levels of study. Findings highlight the benefits for the adoption of flipped learning, which are primarily associated with enhanced student understanding of the subject. Results further indicate, due to the value of student engagement to the teaching technique, the practitioner may need to consider the facilitation of flipped learning within the classroom environment. Download

Abstract: Hydrology is one of the common subjects in engineering study. Hydrology courses often contain flood risk analysis as flood is one of the most catastrophic natural disasters globally. For example, during 2010-11, the flood damage in Australia exceeded $30 billion and costed over 30 lives. To minimise the flood damage the best approach is to predict the severity of the flood by analysing recorded flood data sets available at the location of interest. This paper presents the learning experiences of students based on a case study on flooding problem in South Australia. It examines the frequency of floods in South Australia by using two commonly used probability distributions, namely Generalized Extreme Value (GEV) distribution and Gamma distribution. It has been found that although South Australia is a drier state in Australia, it suffers from severe flooding occasionally. Furthermore, this paper shows the difficulties in flood frequency analysis in relation to learning and applying it as methods produce significantly different results at higher return periods, which are relevant in the design of large infrastructure projects. On this regard, it compares the hydrology courses of three universities: University of Technology Sydney, Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology and Western Sydney University. Download

Abstract: Prompted by a rapid infrastructure development in recent years, the State of Qatar has developed a comprehensive national guideline titled Qatar Rainfall and Runoff Characteristics (QRRC) for estimation of design rainfall in Qatar. This guideline introduces more accurate rainfall characteristics that will be used as the bases to new world-class drainage standards that will contribute to a more resilient and safe storm water infrastructure for Qatar under a changing climate regime. QRRC was developed using rainfall data from over 30 stations located in Qatar and nearby Gulf countries. The method of L-moments was employed for derivation of new set of Intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) data for Qatar. This approach reduces the impacts of sampling variability on the analysis. It is intended that the QRRC will provide guidance and assistance to a wide range of entities including government agencies, developers, engineers, planners and policy makers. It is therefore of paramount importance that the recommended approaches and guidelines presented in QRRC be introduced in the undergraduate and graduate courses at the universities, including research and training centers in Qatar. This will assist in the preparation and training of young professionals for solving engineering problems in civil infrastructure, storm water design and hydrology. This paper presents important features of QRRC and how this can be used in tertiary education in Qatar. Download

Abstract: Rainwater harvesting (RWH) is recognised as a sustainable means to overcome water scarcity and cope with the climate change and variability. RWH can be an important supplementary source of water in parts of the world like Sydney in Australia where water demand is as high as 300 litres per person per day on average, which is very high compared to many developing countries. Due to higher water demand and environmental awareness, RWH systems have become very popular in Sydney in recent years. This study explores how rainwater can best be harvested across Sydney and how a school education tool can be developed to create water conservation awareness among school students in Sydney. In the data analysis, stations were used covering three study periods, 30 years (1986-2015), 50 years (1966-2015), and 70 years (1946-2015). Spatial and temporal analysis is done to demonstrate rainfall variability and potential of rainwater harvesting in Greater Sydney. This paper proposes an educational tool to be developed that can be used to identify the locations where more water can be saved within Sydney. Further research is continued to develop this tool in near future. Download

Abstract: In this paper, we describe the outcomes of a project-based engineering learning exercise undertaken by students to study the need for a country or a region to introduce policies on limiting the use of fossil-fuel based energy which has become a high priority. The specific task was to determine if achieving renewable energy goal of the jurisdiction was feasible in the short-term and the long-term. The students choose to carry-out projects of varying depth and complexity while meeting the same learning targets. The results of a sample project are given. Download

Abstract: A major portion of Australia’s population, infrastructure, and industry is located in flood-prone areas. Furthermore, in Australia, floods account for nearly 30 per cent of Australia’s natural disasters. The series of floods that hit Queensland in the summer of 2010-11 killed 28 people, caused $2.3 billion in property damage, and reduced Australia’s gross domestic product by an estimated $30 billion. These estimates, however, neglect the real costs associated with loss of personal possessions, shattered lives and battered communities. There is no doubt, it seems like damaging floods have been in the news daily over the last few years. In 2011 alone, the global flood damage was estimated to be worth $70 billion. While, engineers cannot stop floods from occurring, strategies should be put in place to reduce the risk of large economic losses, environmental damage, and loss of life. Development of economically efficient and floodplain management plans requires good estimates of the risk of flooding. In Australia, the risk computation is done following guidelines in Australian Rainfall and Runoff (ARR) Book 4 “A Guide to Flood Estimation”, for which the latest update was published in 1987. That update included the Probabilistic Rational Method and various local methods for design flood estimation published over 30 years ago. ARR 1987 has served the nation for over 30 years and has also been guide for flood estimation for many other countries. Indeed, it is a remarkable document that has stood the test of time. But it must be recognised, given the long-standing problems associated with some of the methods in the document, recent advances that address those problems, and the current national interest in new design flood estimates, the time has arrived to update Book 4 to maintain the statistical credibility of the national guidelines and to provide accurate risk and uncertainty assessments. Download

Abstract: Western Sydney University (WSU) is facing the challenge to accommodate more students and improve the quality of teaching facilities. Being a relatively new university in Sydney, Western Sydney is in a positive competition with well-established universities in the area of Electrical Power Engineering. It makes the question of updating and improving the laboratories is a real challenge. WSU has upgraded their laboratories with state of art equipment and systems. The new laboratories can coder many subjects ranging from Electronics, Power and Machines, Power Systems, Renewable Energy and Smart Grids. This paper outlines the recent laboratories development. Download

Abstract: WSU has been teaching geotechnical engineering, a sub-specialisation of the civil engineering degree since 1994. It has faced many challenges as the student cohort in civil engineering grew from a handful to about a thousand students today. The challenges in teaching geotechnical engineering stems from a variety of sources: the inherent difficulty of the subject matter, the profile of students at WSU, new and emerging technologies, multi-campus setup and relating to industry needs. Most are not necessarily unique to WSU, but they impact on WSU to a greater extent than most. This paper discusses the authors’ take on these issues. Download

Abstract: This paper presents a review of the procedures involved in the building certification process with a special focus in New South Wales. It has been found that building certification process is a complex process where differences may happen between the owners and certifying authority due to lack of communication. The civil engineering students in the university are not well aware of the building certification process in a greater detail. It is an art that is to be learnt when a learner works under an expert certifier. It is recommended that civil engineering students should get few lectures on building certification, which could assist them to become a better construction and design engineer. Download

Abstract: This paper presents a case study on the impact of Nala Lai wastewater in Pakistan on potential contamination of its nearby tube wells, bore water, dug wells and springs through percolation and leaching routes. Nineteen wastewater samples from Nala Lai stream and 68 groundwater samples from its associated and nearby areas were collected during (Season) and were analyzed for different water quality constituents. The parameters which were analyzed for determining the water quality include physiochemical parameters like Biological Oxygen Demand, Chemical Oxygen Demand, pH, temperature, turbidity, color, hardness, dissolved Oxygen, electric conductivity, total dissolved solids, Sulfates, Chlorides, Hardness and globally alarming heavy metals such as Cadmium, Cupper, Iron, Zinc, Manganese, Lead as well as bacterial parameter were recorded too. The results confirmed that all the 19 samples of surface water samples collected from Nala Lai exceeded the desirable limits (by NEQS) of both BOD and COD parameters. Download

Abstract: Eutrophication, caused by algal bloom is one of the major concerns for water quality in the Australian rivers and other water bodies. Excessive growth of algal blooms in water bodies would significantly alter the pH, colour and concentration of dissolved oxygen in water, making it unsuitable for many intended purposes. For example, fishes would not be able to survive in the river and swimmers could face undesirable dermatological issues. Also, harmful algal blooms could make the water unfit for drinking, household use, sanitation and irrigation. These algal blooms are mainly caused by excessive supply of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) into the water bodies. This paper presents a review of major incidences of algal blooms and its effect as eutrophication in Australian water bodies. Nitrogen is frequently considered as the limiting nutrient, however, phosphorus is also an important nutrient for eutrophication management. Nutrient emissions from anthropogenic sources also enrich marine waters and encourage the growth of plankton. Studies showed that the nitrate concentrations in rivers must be limited to between 5 and 15 mg/L, depending on the bay, to reduce Ulva biomass by half on the coast. Control and management of cultural eutrophication is a complex problem and requires the collective efforts of scientists, policy makers and citizens to reduce nutrient inputs, develop effective, long-term biomanipulation techniques and to ultimately restore aquatic species. Download

Abstract: There has been a significant drive by universities to include online courses as part of their education systems. At Western Sydney University and many other universities in Australia and around the world, online courses are becoming more and more available. There is also a drive by university administrators to make more subjects in various courses available in the online mode. Statistics show that 3.2 million higher education students in the United States were studying at least one online course in fall of 2005 (Dixson 2010).
One of the challenges for online course instructors is to engage students and keep them motivated (Magna 2012). For the online students themselves, there is a constant battle to remain focused mostly due to the continuous use and increase and popularity of real-time online conversations and discussions. As a result of the difficulty to maintain engagement in online distance courses, experience has shown that attrition in online learning courses is, on average, 10-20% higher than that in traditional courses that use face-to-face contact as a significant means of content delivery (Magna 2012). de Freitas et al (2015, pp. 457) also reports that “there is growing evidence that only a tiny fraction of MOOC’s enrolled students completes the courses”.
This paper will review some of the methods that can successfully be implemented in online education to improve student engagement and thereby reducing attrition. It will also discuss the methods that can be adopted to evaluate student engagement in online activities. The tools that are commonly used for evaluating online engagement will also be discussed. Some of the methods that will be explored include the use of synchronous activities, teaching presence and mini-videos. Synchronous activities such as online discussions, live chat and online role-play are a form of active learning. These approaches “involve a more discursive and collaborative approach to problem-solving” (McLaughlan & Kirkpatrick 2004 pp.478). Other methods that can be adopted for student engagement include the creation of “online question and answer forums” using various learning management systems (Blicblau 2004 pp.240). One of the advantages of blended learning for example, when compared to online distance learning is that “In the blended learning environment, the digital and face-to-face elements complement each other and are interdependent.” (Francis and Shannon 2013). This means that activities which put students and staff in online discussion environments become important in online distance education.

Abstract: Maintaining wellness equates to keeping disease at bay or disease prevention. Yet, the focus of current medical interventions has been on treating disease symptoms, not only because of the urgent need to relieve suffering, but also because of its easily discernible manifestations. However, the underlying cause of ill health often remains after such an intervention, unless the body has been able to deal with it “on its own” in the meantime. The key to body’s ability to heal successfully lies in the competency of its immune system to perform its given function – the upkeep of body’s self maintenance.
Following the completion of the Human Genome Sequencing Project in 2003 the effect of Epigenetics on gene expression explained the plethora of proteins found in the human body – some six times greater than the number of human genes! The immediate consequence of this realization was the focus on root causes of gene expression – or the whole environs in which genes find themselves. It is this total environmental triggering effect that ultimately constitutes an individual’s Lifestyle. Download

Abstract: This presentation focuses on lessons learned from MUSIC modelling undertaken during planning and concept design stages of a 15 km2 residential precinct in Western Sydney. A Water Cycle Management study was undertaken during the precinct planning stage, to identify and model the stormwater quality controls. The precinct area was subdivided into sub-catchments and a typical treatment train was proposed for each sub-catchment. The treatment train was comprised of rainwater tanks on residential lots, a Gross Pollutant Trap and an end-of-pipe bioretention system. A MUSIC model was developed during the precinct planning phase to estimate the required bioretention footprints.
The MUSIC models developed during the planning stage needed to be updated since it was developed pre-2011 using a daily time step, and did not comply with recent WSUD technical guidelines developed by the local council. A new MUSIC model was developed during the concept design stage to estimate the required biofilter footprints. The change of time step from daily to 6 minutes and change of rainfall and potential evapotranspiration according to Council’s latest MUSIC modelling guidelines resulted in an average 11.5% reduction in TSS, TP and TN removal efficiencies. Download

Abstract: The UN Agenda 2030 has set some 17 sustainable development goals (SDG) and 169 targets to be achieved by 2030. With the current world population of 7.7b, rising to an estimated 8.6b by 2030, and with rising globalisation of technology and resources, every world citizen is under stress of a kind, to tackle either a basic survival or a lifestyle race. To reduce inequalities (SDG10) but achieving or sustaining reasonable gross domestic product (GDP) level in every nation, in 21st Century and beyond, will require the world citizen to work smarter, intellectually, physically, ethically and emotionally. This article provides an overview of how personality, society and sustainability are connected then indicates how to design education system for developing engineers as world citizen. Download

Abstract: Traditionally, industrial and commercial developments are constructed with the aim of commercial gains but not for achieving educational or sustainable objectives of the public. Universities on the other hand struggle to find an industrial partner who could provide a platform for students learning through experience. This can be a significant “bottleneck” for student learning, especially in engineering. Western Sydney University (WSU) is trying to address this bottleneck in collaboration with Sydney Zoo by promoting a “living lab” concept for student learning. Through this concept students of WSU will be able to see how the theory leant in the class room works in the real world. WSU Water Group is developing key concepts in terms of sustainable water management within Sydney Zoo. Once these key concepts are implemented Sydney Zoo will be able to save significant amounts of water. Also, effectively recycle the water and nutrients within the zoo. This project has multiple aims.
Education to the public and school children is ensured through the establishment of a control room where daily rainfall, amount of water captured, storage levels, estimated evapo-transpiration, evaporation loss and water demand for various uses are displayed. Software is to be designed by computer science students of WSU to display the required information. Weather information such as rainfall, wind and temperature are collected via weather station. Download

Abstract: Traditionally, industrial and commercial developments are constructed with the aim of commercial gains but not for achieving educational or sustainable objectives of the public. Universities on the other hand struggle to find an industrial partner who could provide a platform for students learning through experience. This can be a significant “bottleneck” for student learning, especially in engineering. Western Sydney University (WSU) is trying to address this bottleneck in collaboration with Sydney Zoo by promoting a “living lab” concept for student learning. Through this concept students of WSU will be able to see how the theory leant in the class room works in the real world. WSU Water Group is developing key concepts in terms of sustainable water management within Sydney Zoo. Once these key concepts are implemented Sydney Zoo will be able to save significant amounts of water. Also, effectively recycle the water and nutrients within the zoo. This project has multiple aims.
Education to the public and school children is ensured through the establishment of a control room where daily rainfall, amount of water captured, storage levels, estimated evapo-transpiration, evaporation loss and water demand for various uses are displayed. Software is to be designed by computer science students of WSU to display the required information. Weather information such as rainfall, wind and temperature are collected via weather station. Download

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