Last Updated S022020

DEng 802


Unit Name Doctoral Dissertation Research Paper 1
Unit Code DENG802
Unit Duration 24 week 

Doctor of Engineering

Duration 3 years    

Year Level Two
Unit Creator / Reviewer Dr Martin Murray
Core/Sub-Discipline: Core
Pre/Co-requisites  Successful completion of all 600 and 700 level units
Credit points



Total Program Credit Points 120

Mode of Delivery Online or on-campus. 
Unit Workload

20 hours per fortnight:

Supervisor/advisor consultations 2 hours

Assessments / Practical / Lab - 2 hours (where applicable)

Personal Study recommended - 16 hours (guided and unguided)

Unit Description and General Aims

Clear and accurate communication of ideas and outcomes is critical to the advancement of engineering science and its application for the betterment of humanity. This criticality is shown most in the communication of research outcomes to the wider engineering community. Research and development of new techniques, ideas, processes, materials, analytical tools, and the like have been fundamental to the development of our advanced economies and societies, and communication of that R&D most often takes place through conferences and journal articles.

This unit develops the skills of the candidate in technical writing, with a particular emphasis on preparing a conference paper in collaboration and co-authorship with an expert colleague. The primary source of the content of the paper will be the research undertaken in the Industry Project unit DEng700, but the unit will also draw upon skills obtained through units DEng602 and DEng603. The industry Project Thesis unit required preparation of a report, whereas the present unit DEng802 provides the candidate with their first opportunity to present some of the key findings from that Project in a recognised formal conference paper. It is a crucial part of the assessment in this unit that the paper is in a form ready for submission to an engineering conference at least at a local level, and which involves peer review.

Though the paper will be co-authored with someone who has proven expertise in publishing technical engineering papers, it is important that the candidate undertakes all of the work in preparing and writing the paper. The role of the candidate’s co-author is intended to be as a guide, mentor, advisor and reviewer prior to submission.

The quality of writing and presentation in the paper will be fundamental to the outcome of assessment in this unit. The candidate will be writing for a very experienced, technically expert audience with high standards and expectations for the papers presented to them in conference proceedings.


Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Contrast, express and demonstrate the differences between conference and journal papers.

Bloom’s Level 2

  1. Analyse and describe the differences between the styles of technical writing needed for papers, vs writing for dissertations, for business operations and for formal advanced academic technical reports.

Bloom’s Level 4

  1. Compose a (co-authored) paper (with a colleague) suitable for publication in at least a local technical conference by drawing on one’s research outcomes

Bloom’s Level 6


Bloom’s Taxonomy

The cognitive domain levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy:

Bloom's level Bloom's category Description
1 Remember Retrieve relevant knowledge from long-term memory by recognising, identifying, recalling and retrieving.
2 Understand Construct meaning from instructional messages by interpreting, classifying, summarising, inferring, comparing, contrasting, mapping and explaining.
3 Apply Carrying out or using a procedure in a given situation by executing, implementing, operating, developing, illustrating, practicing and demonstrating.
4 Analyse  Deconstruct material and determine how the parts relate to one another and to an overall structure or purpose by differentiating, organising and attributing.
5 Evaluate Make judgments based on criteria and standards by checking, coordinating, evaluating, recommending, validating, testing, critiquing and judging.
6 Create Put elements together to form a coherent pattern or functional whole by generating, hypothesising, designing, planning, producing and constructing.

Student assessment

Assessment Type When assessed (eg, After Topic 5) Weighting (% of total unit marks) Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assessment 1

Type: Brain Map / Proposal

Word length: n/a

Prepare a detailed brain map showing topics and relationships extracted from the Industry Project DEng700, which are planned for conversion into a publishable conference paper.

This also serves as a proposal for the research project / topic to be continued throughout this unit, the research paper 2 unit, and the final doctoral dissertation unit.

After topic 3 10% 1,3


Assessment 2

Type: Project Plan

Word length: 2000

Prepare a plan and Gantt chart of actions in the 2nd term of this unit with regard to preparation and submission of the final paper, with a clear description of how it will differ from other forms of technical writing. Include an annotated bibliography of all the sources planned on being drawn from in the paper.
After topic 6  15% 1,2


Assessment 3

Type: Draft Submission

Word length: n/a

Submit a draft of your paper using same dissertation topic with at least 60% of the text completed, together with the completed and detailed heading structure, and a full reference list with all bibliographic details shown correctly.
After topic 9 20% 3,4


Assessment 4

Type: Final Paper

Word length: n/a

The completed, polished conference paper is to be submitted ready for assessment and publication. Because this is a co-authored paper, assessment will include consideration of the degree and regularity of consultation with the supervisor and collaboration with the co-author, throughout the operation of this unit.
Final Week 55% 3,4

Prescribed and Recommended Readings

Required Textbook(s)

Laplante, P.A. (2012) Technical writing: a practical guide for engineers and scientists. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis, Florida USA. ISBN: 13:978-1-4665-0309-0


Reference Materials

The required text book provides a number of important references in each chapter. These references and those provided by the instructor will form the basis of the reference materials. Additionally, a number of useful texts, peer-reviewed journals, and websites may be found online. Suitable information may also be found through the following resources:

Creating in-text citations and referencing lists in Word:


Conference vs journal papers:



Software Reference Material

EndNoteTM software for constructing reference lists, bibliography (


Unit Content

Topic 1 


To prepare the student for writing technically in collaboration with a co-author

  1. The nature of technical writing for publication
  2. Writing with collaborator(s)


Topic 2

Technical Writing Basics

To focus on the purpose of writing papers

  1. Audience
  2. Concision, consistency and precision
  3. Referencing


Topic 3

Writing Process

To examine the methodology of writing technically

  1. Preparing to write
  2. Drafts vs editing and review
  3. Plagiarism


Topic 4

Scientific/engineering Writing

To explore the outcomes and analysis of technical writing

  1. Types of research papers
  2. Opinion vs fact
  3. Reviews of papers

Topic 5

Graphics in Writing Papers

To identify exemplary use of graphics

  1. Purpose of graphics in a technical paper
  2. Types of graphics and how to present them
  3. Linking graphics and text


Topics 6 

Publishing Process

To expose the process and pitfalls of publishing

  1. Why publish
  2. Submission process
  3. How to deal with reviewer comments and/or rejections


Topic 7

Conference vs Journal Papers

To make clear the differences between the two main forms of publishing

  1. Purpose of papers in conferences vs journals
  2. Promoting discourse vs promoting research
  3. Adding to body of knowledge vs networking expertise


Topic 8

Business Communications

To identify the differences between writing for business communication and for formal papers

  1. Types of business communication
  2. Differences in audiences
  3. Differences in style of writing


Topic 9

Technical Reporting

To identify the differences between writing technical reports and formal technical papers

  1. Differences in purpose between reports and formal papers
  2. Differences in audiences and outcomes
  3. Differences in style of writing


Topic 10 and 11

Paper Finalisation

To provide opportunity for the conference paper to be finalised ready for submission

  1. Pulling the paper together
  2. Self-critical review and editing
  3. Proofing and polishing


Topic 12

Paper Submission

The final week of this unit is when the students will submit their final, polished paper ready for assessment and for submission for publication.



Engineers Australia

The Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for the Professional Engineer, approved as of 2013. This table is referenced in the mapping of graduate attributes to learning outcomes and via the learning outcomes to student assessment.

Stage 1 Competencies and Elements Competency
1. Knowledge and Skill Base
1.1 Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.
1.2 Conceptual understanding of the mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the engineering discipline.
1.3 In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.
1.4 Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline.
1.5 Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline.
1.6 Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the specific discipline.
2. Engineering Application Ability
2.1 Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving.
2.2 Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.
2.3 Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes.
2.4 Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects.
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 demeanor.
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.

Software/Hardware Used


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  • Version: N/A
  • Instructions: N/A 
  • Additional resources or files: N/A


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