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ESD 1 Reflective Journal – Semester 1, 2011 

As part of the assessment for the subject, you will be completing a Reflective Journal. The intended 
learning outcomes of the Reflective Journal are to  

• Reflect on the content of lectures and apply it to a real‐world engineering project; 
• Develop an understanding of the role of engineers and engineering in society; 
• Identify and critically evaluate decisions associated with a real‐world engineering project; 
• Develop crucial engineering competencies as identified by Engineers Australia; 
• Apply judgement skills through peer feedback; 
• Improve written communication skills. 

As part of the journal writing process, you will be writing weekly entries on topics that reflect on the 
previous week’s worth of lectures in the context of a major engineering project of your choice. These 
entries will build towards an end of semester final journal submission. If you regularly submit these 
weekly entries, you will not have to do much to put together the final submission. 

The Reflective Journal is worth 10% of your final assessment for ESD 1 and will comprise of the 
following three main components: 

• NINE short weekly submissions worth 0.5% each (for a MAX total of 4%) 
o The  best 8 out of 9 entries will count towards the 4% total; 
o To receive the full 0.5% for a single entry, you must  
ƒ Submit an entry by the due date 
ƒ Evaluate anonymously three other people’s entries according to a provided 
set of criteria by the due date 
• A final summary journal submission due in Week 12 worth 4% 
• Attendance at one of the three scheduled Perspectives Series Lectures worth 2%. 

Weekly submissions 
The weekly journal submissions are a series of short pieces on varying topics relevant to engineering 
and are to be submitted electronically via the internet through the PRAZE system. These typically 
involve some research on a topic of your choice and a couple of paragraphs to be written.  The 
purpose of these weekly submissions is to build up a resource of material over the semester that will 
be submitted as a final journal piece in Week 12.  

Note : If you participate in the weekly journal submissions and evaluations you will make the process 
of compiling the final journal submission much easier while receiving valuable feedback from your 
peers to improve your entries. 

Each Reflective Journal topic will be set in the 9am Wednesday lecture and will be due by the 
following week’s 9am Wednesday lecture.  

Submissions are done electronically via PRAZE (accessible through the ESD 1 LMS page) and will not 
be accepted beyond the due date unless proof of extenuating circumstances is provided (i.e. medical 

Some further details about submissions : 

• Submissions must be uploaded as PDF documents. No other file formats will be accepted. 
Information on converting documents to PDF format is on the ESD 1 LMS page. 
• Entries should have no personally identifiable information in them. This includes filenames. 
• Each submission must have at least one reference (unless otherwise specified), using the 
American Psychological Association (APA 5th) referencing style.  
See http://www.lib.unimelb.edu.au/cite/ for more details on this style of referencing. 
• Each submission should also include all previous submissions at the end of the document 
(which are required for understanding the context of the current entry). 

After the submission phase for a journal entry is complete, the evaluation phase commences. 
Evaluations open from the 9am Wednesday lecture and will be due before the following week’s 
9am Wednesday lecture. To perform a successful evaluation, you must anonymously mark and 
optionally provide feedback on THREE other people’s journal submissions according to a provided 
set of criteria. 

Evaluations are done electronically via PRAZE (accessible through the ESD 1 LMS page) and will not 
be accepted beyond the due date unless proof of extenuating circumstances is provided (i.e. medical 

If you successfully complete the submission and evaluation processes, you will receive 0.5% per 
journal entry, i.e. all journal entries are weighted equally. 

Note : If you make a submission but do not complete the peer evaluation process you will receive 
ZERO for that week’s submission. 

Note : Abusive or unfair evaluations will void the evaluator’s mark for that entry and may lead to 
further disciplinary action. If you receive abusive feedback please notify your tutor or lecturer 

The timetable for the setting, submission and evaluation of the reflective journals is given below : 

Number  Description  Week Week  Week  Mark

Set  Submission  Evaluation 
Due  Due 
RJ1  Definition of engineering and  engineering  1  2  3  0/0.5
RJ2   Identify major engineering project  2  3  4  0/0.5
RJ3   Safety and sustainability issues   3  4  5  0/0.5
RJ4   Project design and decision making  4  5  6  0/0.5
RJ5  Research in engineering  5  6  7  0/0.5
RJ6   Computer modelling and simulation  6  7  8  0/0.5
RJ7   Engineering job description  7  8  9  0/0.5
RJ8   Problems with Engineering projects  8  9  10  0/0.5
RJ9  The global impact of Engineering  9  10  11  0/0.5
FINAL  Final Journal Submission  ‐  12  ‐  0‐4 
Weekly Journal Topics 
Reflective Journal 1 – What is Engineering?

Must be submitted on PRAZE before 9am, Wed March 9, 2011

Must be evaluated on PRAZE before 9am, Wed March 16, 2011

1. Write down your definition of an engineer in one paragraph.

2. Based on your reading of section 1.4 of the textbook (Brockman) and at least one of
the web pages listed in the lectures so far, choose two different engineering
disciplines you find interesting and write a description (of at least two paragraphs in
length) for each of those engineering disciplines.

Reflective Journal 2 – Major Engineering projects

Must be submitted on PRAZE before 9am, Wed March 16, 2011

Must be evaluated on PRAZE before 9am, Wed March 23, 2011

Find a major engineering project that has been completed in the last 2 years (or is near
completion) that is relevant to the disciplines in engineering from your previous journal entry
and interests you.

Write one paragraph that summarises the project and its major constraints or objectives.
Include the start and (expected) completion dates. Then write another paragraph discussing
what you think about the importance or implications of this project.

You may use whatever news source you think is reputable: TV, newspaper, radio, online
news sources. Make sure that you correctly reference the news source that you used using
APA citation conventions.

Note : Choose your project carefully, as you will be writing the rest of your journal entries
about this project. The more information that there is available to you on your project, the
easier it will be to complete your reflective journals.

Reflective Journal 3 – Safety and sustainability issues with engineering projects

Must be submitted on PRAZE before 9am, Wed March 23, 2011

Must be evaluated on PRAZE before 9am, Wed March 30, 2011

Project Sustainability
Using the readings on LMS in the Sustainability folder to discuss the following points:

a. Is the original definition of sustainability from lecture EN06 adequate? Do we need to

extend it to cover the principle of inter-generational equity, i.e. do we also need to ensure that
we deal with our own problems and do not pass them on to succeeding generations to deal
with? Why? (Answer this with a couple of paragraphs)
b. Write a paragraph on how the issue of sustainability is playing a role in the
engineering project you are focusing on.
Project Safety
Write a paragraph identifying any safety issues that may occur with the engineering project
you are focussing on. What could change about the project to make it safer?

Reflective Journal 4 – Project Design and Decision making

Must be submitted on PRAZE before 9am, Wed March 30, 2011

Must be evaluated on PRAZE before 9am, Wed April 6, 2011

For the engineering project that you are focussing on, list TWO of the major decisions that
have had to be made as part of the design process. These decisions must have required
tradeoffs to have been considered. Write a paragraph on each of these decisions, including
• What influenced the decision to be made (i.e. purpose, form, engineering
environment, operating environment, budget constraints, etc.)?
• What were the alternatives?

Reflective Journal 5 – Research in Engineering

Must be submitted on PRAZE before 9am, Wed April 6, 2011

Must be evaluated on PRAZE before 9am, Wed April 13, 2011

Most of the lecturers you will have in engineering also do research in a large range of areas.

Pick a lecturer (or research fellow) in a discipline of engineering you are interested in that is
related to the project and find out what they are doing research on. Start with their university
department webpage and use information from other locations on the University webpage if
needed (e.g. up close podcasts, research centres' webpage, department or MERIT annual
reports, recent news sections, online sources outside the university). The really brave may
even try to email them a few questions after reading their webpage. They might be busy, but
you could try.

Write three paragraphs describing what types of problems they are trying to solve and the
approach or methods they are using. Mention how you think their research could be applied
to the Engineering project you are focusing on in your journal entries.

Remember to write this in your own words and don’t cut and paste what you find on the web.

Reflective Journal 6 – Computer modelling and simulation

Must be submitted on PRAZE before 9am, Wed April 13, 2011

Must be evaluated on PRAZE before 9am, Wed April 20, 2011

As technology advances further, computer modelling and simulation is becoming

increasingly important in engineering design. Write two paragraphs on aspects of the project
that need computer modelling / simulation and what benefits using simulation provides.
Reflective Journal 7 – Engineering job description

Must be submitted on PRAZE before 9am, Wed April 20, 2011

Must be evaluated on PRAZE before 9am, Wed May 4, 2011

Write a two to three paragraph description of what you think an ideal engineering job
description would be for an entry level engineer working on the project. It must describe the
main responsibilities of the position, the location of the position, key competencies that
would be important to this role, and the type of industry the position is in. It should also
include the salary of the position based on the current industry standards. Which levels of
understanding would be required on a day to day basis by someone in this job?

To see a number of examples of job descriptions and salary listings there are a
number of very good online resources:

• The job search page of Engineers Australia:


• Engineering Jobs Australia


Reflective Journal 8 – Problems encountered with Engineering projects

Must be submitted on PRAZE before 9am, Wed May 4, 2011

Must be evaluated on PRAZE before 9am, Wed May 11, 2011

List two key problems that were encountered with the project. How were these problems
noticed? Were these problems able to be overcome or are they ongoing? Do you think
enough was done to rectify them? What did they cost or would they cost to resolve?

Reflective Journal 9 – The Global Impact of Engineering

Must be submitted on PRAZE before 9am, Wed May 11, 2011

Must be evaluated on PRAZE before 9am, Wed May 18, 2011

For this reflective journal entry, you must talk about the global impact of the project on
engineering and society in general. You must discuss what you think the importance or
implications of this project are.

Your entry can be as long it needs to be but should be at least two paragraphs. 

Final journal submission 
In Week 12, you will need to submit a final reflective journal entry. This entry will be larger than the 
weekly submissions and is consequently worth more final marks for the subject. If you have been 
regularly submitting entries on the weekly topics and have taken the received feedback on these 
submissions into consideration, then this final entry should not be a difficult nor time‐consuming 
task but merely the merging together of your previous entries plus a reflection on your own 

Upon completion of your engineering degree, it will be expected that you will have developed your 
engineering competencies as stated by the national engineering forum, Engineers Australia, and 
generally required by international engineering companies. These competencies are: 

PE 1 Knowledge Base  
PE 1.1  Science and engineering fundamentals 
PE 1.2  In‐depth technical competence 
PE 1.3  Techniques and resources 
PE 1.4  General Knowledge 
PE 2 Engineering Ability 
PE 2.1  Identify, Form and Solve Problems 
PE 2.2  Sustainability 
PE 2.3  Systems Thinking 
PE 2.4  Engineering Design 
PE 2.5  Project Management 
PE 2.6  Business Environment 
PE 3 Professional Attributes  
PE 3.1  Communication 
PE 3.2  Information Management 
PE 3.3  Creativity and Innovation 
PE 3.4  Ethics 
PE 3.5  Teamwork 
PE 3.6  Lifelong Learning 
PE 3.7  Professional Attitudes 

In your final reflective journal entry, you must include a brief explanation of how completing the 
reflective journals has impacted on your development on one or more of these competencies. Some 
likely competencies that will be impacted by your work will be “Sustainability”, “Engineering 
Design”, “Business Environment”, “Ethics” and “Professional Attitudes”. More information on these 
competencies can be found in the Engineering Portfolio community on LMS. 

Your ePortfolio is a tool that will let document and track your development of these competencies 
over your study time at the university. To give you a start to building your ePortfolio, you are 
required to add your final journal submission to your personal ePortfolio. How to use your ePortfolio 
will be demonstrated in your workshop. 

The final journal submission will be marked by your tutors and is worth 4% of your final mark for ESD 
1. You may work on the final submission at any time during semester. 

The submission is to be FOUR A4 pages maximum. 

Note : You must submit your final journal submission via the LMS. You must also submit your entry 
to your ePortfolio at the same time. Failure to submit to your ePortfolio will incur a 50% penalty on 
your final journal submission. 

Final Reflective Journal Task Description 
You are to write a short piece (4 A4 pages maximum) focusing on a current major engineering 
project that interests you. You must consider the sub‐topics : 

• a description of the project, 
• what the role of a typical engineer is in the project,  
• which disciplines of engineering are integral to the project,  
• any safety and sustainability issues that have arisen or may arise as part of the project, 
• the major decisions that had to be made and why they were made, 
• how research in engineering could improve or assist the project, 
• the use of computer modelling and simulation as part of the project design phase, 
• a job description for a typical engineer working on the project, 
• problems that have been encountered and how they have been overcome, 
• the global impact of the project on engineering and society in general. 

You also must include a brief explanation of how you feel that completing the reflective journals has 
impacted on your development on one or more of the engineering competencies listed on the 
previous page. 

All sources of information must be referenced using the American Psychological Association (APA 
5th) referencing style. See http://www.lib.unimelb.edu.au/cite/ for more details on this style of 

Note : The bibliography does NOT count towards the total page count. 

The due date for the final Reflective Journal submission is 5pm Wednesday, 25th May