Last Updated S012019


Unit Code MRI505
Unit Duration 12 Weeks

Graduate Diploma of Engineering (Civil: Railway Infrastructure)

Duration: 1 year


Master of Engineering (Civil: Railway Infrastructure)

Duration: 2 years   

Year Level One
Unit Creator / Reviewer Martin Baggott
Core/Elective: Core
Pre/Co-requisites None
Credit Points


Grad Dip total course credit points = 24

(3 credits x 8 (units))


Masters total course credit points = 48

(3 credits x 12 (units) + 12 credits (Thesis))

Mode of Delivery Online or on-campus. 
Unit Workload

10 hours per week:

Lecture - 1 hour

Tutorial Lecture - 1 hours

Assessments / Practical / Lab - 1 hour (where applicable)

Personal Study recommended - 7 hours (guided and unguided)

Unit Description and General Aims

This Unit uses a systems engineering approach to look at the detailed project management roles and functions which are needed to ensure the successful execution of a project.

It also explores the role of the Project Manager and the critical areas of communication with all stakeholders – especially the Project Team – to ensure they are empowered to effectively undertake their roles and responsibilities. Further, this Unit provides a detailed examination of the key areas of communication with the Client.

A case study involving the use of System Engineering Methods applied to project management is also developed.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Evaluate the role of Systems Engineering in ensuring the successful execution of a project and the project life cycle.
    • Bloom’s Level 5
  2. Recommend the key project management areas of expertise and techniques that are needed by the Project Manager to effectively manage a project.
    • Bloom’s Level 5
  3. Design the methods of communication that may be utilised with all role players including a discussion of the motivation and delegation methods that may be employed with the Project Team, and communication strategies that may be adopted with the client.
    • Bloom’s Level 5
  4. Critically judge the key deliverables of the project and the various stages of delivery – from initial client functionality requirements to the detailed design and construction that delivers that functionality.
    • Bloom’s Level 6
  5. Plan, generate and construct appropriate engineering and/or management elements within a major case study incorporating a railway project(s) and systems engineering.
    • Bloom’s Level 5

Student assessment

Assessment Type

(e.g. Assignment - 2000 word essay (specify topic)

Examination (specify length and format))

When assessed

(eg Week 5)

Weighting (% of total unit marks) Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assessment 1

Type: Report

Word length: 1500

Topic: Specify the roles of the Systems Engineer and Project Manager on the Railway Project, and describe the key techniques he/she should use in managing the project.

Week 4 20% 1, 2, 3

Assessment 2

Type: Report and Presentation

Word length: 2000

Topic: Design how the professional engineer manages the change process brought about by changes to the Client functionality requirements in railway applications and recommend actions needed by the Project Team.

Week 7 25% 3,4

Assessment 3

Type: Case Study and Group Discussion

The student is to contribute progressively to an unfolding discussion amongst their peers on a case incorporating a railway project(s) and systems engineering. They are required to develop and construct appropriate engineering and management elements within the case project.

Week 9 10% 5

Assessment 4

Type: Report (Final Project)

Word length: 2000

Topic: Prepare a comprehensive engineering report related to the system requirements of a project. Develop a structure for the system requirements necessary to bring about the successful completion of a project. Develop a checklist for the initial and changed system (Client) requirements and the auditing of such requirements. Produce criteria to determine the degree of success for the project. The report will require careful referencing and be suitable in its format, quality of analysis, and conclusions for decision-making by senior engineers.

Week 12 40% 1 - 5


Continuous 5% 1 - 5

Prescribed and Recommended readings

Required Textbook(s)

  • INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook, latest edition, available as an ebook from

Reference Materials

A number of books, peer-reviewed journals, and websites as advised below:

  • ISO 21500:2012 (en) Guidance on Project Management
  • Comparison of ISO 21500 and PMBOK® Guide, Stanislaw Gasik, PhD, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • ISO/IEC 15288: 2002 - System Life Cycle Processes
  • Project Manager’s Guide to Systems Engineering Measurement for Projects, INCOSE store
  • Other materials to be advised during the lectures

Unit Content

One topic is delivered per contact week, with the exception of part-time 24-week units, where one topic is delivered every two weeks.


Topics 1 and 2

Systems Engineering

  1. Systems Engineering Handbook Scope
  2. Systems Engineering Overview
  3. Generic Life Cycle Stages
  4. Technical Processes
  5. Technical Management Processes
  6. Agreement Processes
  7. Organizational Project Enabling Processes
  8. Tailoring Process and Application of Systems Engineering
  9. Systems Engineering Methods in Railway Applications
  10. Specialty Engineering Activities and Safety Elements in Railway Activities

Topic 3 and 4

Project Management

  1. What is a Project with Railway Content?
  2. Overview of Different Project Delivery Mechanisms: EPC, EPCM, BOOT, BOO, DBO, DB, DTB, LSTK, ECI, Concessions, Alliance, etc.
  3. What is Project Management in the Railway Context?
  4. The Role of a Project Manager
  5. The Various Structures of Project Management
  6. Project Stakeholders
  7. The Role of the Project Manager in Relation to that of the Client
  8. The Characteristics of the Project Life Cycle
  9. The Project Life Cycle
  10. Project Management Process
  11. Project Handover and Operation
  12. Project Completion Report and Lessons Learned Analysis

Topic 5 and 6

Case Study

  1. How is Systems Engineering Applied to Project Management in Railways?
  2. Define the Project
  3. Determine the Hierarchy of Requirements
  4. Where are the Possible Conflicts?
  5. What about Operation and Maintenance?
  6. What is to Be Communicated?
  7. How Many Cycles of Requirement Analysis?
  8. Definition of Successful Project in Systems Engineering Terms

Topic 7

Design Management

  1. What is Design Management?
  2. Design Management Methods and Processes
  3. The Design Life Cycle and Hold Points
  4. Methods Used in Defining the Design Solution Criteria Required for a Project
  5. Methods Used to Communicate the Design Criteria to the Design Team
  6. Strategies to Link Design, Innovation, Creativity, Technology, Management and Cost to Achieve the Desired Design Solution
  7. Requirements for an Integrated Design Process Between Different Technical Disciplines
  8. Requirements to Enable the Design to Produce Solutions to Complex Problems that are Constructible
  9. Design Management Metrics for Assessing Quality and Outcomes

Topic 8

Change Management and Risk Management

  1. What is Change?
  2. What are the Consequences of Change?
  3. Managing Projects To Cope With Change
  4. The Key Areas that Effect Change on a Project
  5. The Risks Related to Change Management
  6. Types of Change Including Safety Related Change
  7. Consideration of the Rework Cycle Model for Design, Construction; Design and Construction Scenarios
  8. Consideration of the Timing and Multiplier Effects of Multiple Changes on the Project
  9. Best Practice Approach to Impacts of Change on a Project

Topic 9

Environmental Management

  1. What is Project Environmental Management Including Cultural Heritage?
  2. The Techniques Used to Approach, Plan, and Execute Project Environmental Planning
  3. The Techniques Used in Determining the Appropriate Environmental Planning Tools and Techniques for the Project
  4. The Techniques Used to Undertake and Execute the Requirements of the Project Environmental Management Plan
  5. Integration of the Environmental Management into the Overall Management Task

Topic 10

Procurement – Suppliers, Vendors and Sub-Contractors

  1. Programme Requirements for Material, Equipment, Built-In Items and Sub-Contractor Work to be Included in the Master Contract Programme
  2. Determine the Correct Lead Time for Each Component of Material Supply or Work
  3. Develop the Project Critical Path for Procurement
  4. Undertake Third Party Due Diligence
  5. Select Suppliers, Vendors, and Sub-Contractors Using Appropriate Evaluation Criteria
  6. Monitor Progress, Quality, and Performance of Suppliers, Vendors, and Sub-Contractors
  7. Monitor Commercial Issues Related to Each Supplier, Vendors, and Sub-Contractor
  8. Determine Requirements for Final Inspections, Testing, and Data Handover
  9. Determine Each Supplier, Vendor, and Sub-Contractor Contract Closure Procedure

Topic 11

Construction, Handover and Operation

  1. Realigned Requirements for Success
  2. Construction Progress Monitoring
  3. Independent Verification
  4. Independent Certification
  5. Post Completion Reports Including Performance by Contractors
  6. Commissioning Stages and Final Handover
  7. Operational Phase, Warranty, and Maintenance

Topic 12

Project and Unit Review

In the final week students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far. Opportunity will be provided for a review of student work and to clarify any outstanding issues. Instructors/facilitators may choose to cover a specialised topic if applicable to that cohort.

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


  • Software: N/A

  • Version: N/A

  •  Instructions: N/A

  •  Additional resources or files: N/A


  • Hardware: N/A