Last Updated S012019


Unit Name Management of Railway Assets
Unit Code MRI507
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 considers the Chartered/ Professional Engineer’s role in Asset Management, the provision of assets for use by third-parties, and how the full cycle of asset life should be managed.

The Chartered/ Professional Engineer’s role includes the need for communication with stakeholders during the development of an Asset Management Plan and the plans that support this plan such as a Maintenance Plan, Capital Expenditure Plan, and Procurement Plan.

In addition, the role includes communicating these plans to and with the stakeholders to achieve commitment in their implementation.

Throughout the Asset Management process, the Chartered/ Professional Engineer is required to maintain the highest levels of ethical behaviour whilst using critical thinking and problem solving in an ongoing path of professional development.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Critically judge problems and propose solutions, and coordinate effectively when providing leadership and guidance on the Management of Assets.
    • Bloom’s Level 5
  2. Check and judge the Asset Management process to optimise asset costs and functionality for use by others.
    • Bloom’s Level 5
  3. Hypothesise the obligations of managing an asset and the impact it has on parties that use the asset, including financial, functional, safety, and legal impacts.
    • Bloom’s Level 6
  4. Validate the Engineering Asset Life-Cycle and the critical need for judgement evaluations within the life-cycle.
    • Bloom’s Level 5
  5. Plan, generate, and construct appropriate engineering and/or management elements within a major case study incorporating the management of railway assets.
    • Bloom’s Level 6

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 role of the Chartered/ Professional Engineer with respect to the Management of Assets throughout the Whole Asset Life-Cycle. Recommend how the Chartered/Professional Engineer should undertake critical thinking and problem solving.

Week 4 20% 2

Assessment 2

Type: Group discussion

Word length: 1500

Topic: “What are the requirements of an effective Asset Management Process for a group of railway assets and what is the anticipated impact of applying PASS 55/ISO 55000 methodology in the circumstances of a brownfields railway”? Prepare a comprehensive group engineering report, including self-reflection on individual project contributions.

Week 7 25% 1, 2, 3

Assessment 3

Type: Report

Word length: 2000

Topic: Within the scope of a nominated case study, analyse the role of the Chartered/ Professional Engineer to ensure successful deployment and operation of assets for the duration of the asset life. Define “successful” and asset “life” and identify where ethical, sustainable and socially responsible behaviour may be challenged. 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 50% 1 – 5


Continuous 5% 1 - 5

Prescribed and Recommended readings

Required Textbook(s)

  • ISO 55000, PAS 55, an International Standard available at libraries and from Standards Australia at SAI Global (their sales arm) for $167.68 pdf, to $186.31 hardcopy or $265.49 for both (April 2016)
  • Asset Management Council Framework Book, available from the Asset Management Council (Australia). The Asset Management Council is a Technical Society of Engineers Australia.

Reference Materials

A number of books, peer-reviewed journals, and websites as advised below (and during 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.


Topic 1


  1. What is Asset Management?
  2. Some definitions used in Asset Management
  3. Introduction to the standard ISO 55000
  4. An Asset Management Plan template
  5. When is asset management successful?

Topic 2

Pre-Requisites for Asset Management

  1. The organisation’s Strategic Plan
  2. Expectations of stakeholders, owners, users, external parties
  3. What values will be brought to bear on the Asset Managers
  4. The role of safety in asset management

Topic 3

Contextual Understanding of Asset Function

  1. Understanding the usage needs of the asset and the life-cycle of use
  2. Understanding the physical environment in which the asset has to operate
  3. Understanding the safety requirements of the asset
  4. Consideration of options for future maintenance and renewal, introduction
  5. The total life-cycle cost, introduction

Topic 4

Data Requirements

  1. An assets register – documenting the assets
  2. Life expectancy and life-cycle stages
  3. Condition of the assets
  4. Physical and legal extent of the asset

Topic 5

Acquisition of New Assets

  1. User requirements and expectations
  2. Owner requirements and expectations
  3. Third-party requirements and expectations
  4. Legal and financial aspects
  5. Balancing the requirements from different stakeholders

Topic 6

Maintenance and Operation of Existing Assets

  1. The difference between managing new assets and used assets
  2. Understanding what assets exist in an operating railway
  3. Projections of asset life and plans for renewal
  4. Projections of maintenance requirements

Topic 7

Contents of Asset Management Plan (AMP)

  1. Who will compile an Asset Management Plan?
  2. Who is the audience for the AMP?
  3. How is the AMP expected to be used?
  4. Presentation options for the plan
  5. Detail within the AMP and outside of the AMP
  6. Example of Asset Management Plan

Topic 8

Creating an Asset Management Plan

  1. Main message of the Plan
  2. Collection and presentation of environment scan and context
  3. Collection and Presentation of Asset Data
  4. Maintenance, renewal and disposal options
  5. Funding of maintenance and renewal
  6. Maintenance Plan and costs
  7. Capital expenditure Plan and costs
  8. Total life-cycle costs for the asset

Topic 9

Using and Updating the Asset Management Plan

  1. The AMP is a dynamic document
  2. Why would an AMP need a complete rewrite?
  3. What information would be used to update an AMP?
  4. Achieving a successful outcome to Asset Management

Topic 10

Information Technology Systems for Asset Management

  1. How big is the dataset and how complicated is the task for your assets?
  2. What output do you want to create from an IT system?
  3. The range of off-the-shelf applications
  4. Choosing the right IT application for your circumstances

Topic 11

Communication of the Asset Management Plan

  1. Who compiled the AMP?
  2. Who didn’t assist with the AMP?
  3. What can be presented and what shouldn’t be presented?
  4. Various means of presentation to different audiences
  5. How to engender real buy-in
  6. Reasons for failure of the Asset Management Planning process

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