1. Handbook
  2. Subjects
  3. Capstone Project

Capstone Project (MCEN90022)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 25On Campus (Parkville)

You’re viewing the 2019 Handbook:
Or view archived Handbooks


Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeMCEN90022
Year Long
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


The subject involves undertaking a substantial project requiring an independent investigation on an approved topic in advanced engineering design or research. Students will present their findings in both professional exhibition and conference podium presentation formats.

The emphasis of the project can be associated with either:

  • A well-defined project description, often based on a task required by an external, industrial client. Students will be tutored in the synthesis of practical solutions to complex technical problems within a structured working environment, as if they were professional engineering practitioners; or
  • A project description that will require an explorative approach, where students will pursue outcomes associated with new knowledge or understanding, within the mechanical science disciplines, often as an adjunct to existing academic research initiatives.

It is expected that the Capstone Project will incorporate findings associated with both well-defined professional practice and research principles.

This subject has been integrated with the Skills Towards Employment Program (STEP) and contains activities that can assist in the completion of the Engineering Practice Hurdle (EPH). EPH is a mandatory requirement for completing the Master of Engineering.


Topics include: laboratory safety induction, occupational/environmental health & safety, literature searching – for both researcher and engineering practitioner, technical report writing, essay writing, project presentation skills:

  • Public speaking – both non-technical, casual (exhibition) and technical (conference)
  • Poster presentation (exhibition)

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject students should be able to apply the knowledge gained in other subjects to successfully investigate a substantially complex engineering design or research problem and have gained experience in collaborative project work, sourcing and collating information that may be associated with disciplines beyond the scope of prior coursework, in developing hypotheses from which engineering decisions will be made, and in reporting contributions arising from project and professional practice activities.


Having completed this subject the student is expected to have the ability to -

1 - successfully complete a distinct engineering project within the mechanical engineering discipline;
2 - effectively communicate the outcomes of various stages of an engineering project;
3 - apply standard engineering project management tools;
4 - identify standard organisational structures, analyse the relative merits of different approaches, and implement and report on the approach that best suits the strengths of the project team;
5 - describe the role of published research, precedent, prior art, patents, registered designs and standards in the engineering project;
6 - explore and articulate the impact of activities associated with the engineering profession in the wider community.

Generic skills

On completion of this subject students should have the following skills:

  • critical thinking and critical judgement of assumptions adopted;
  • interpretation and analysis of data;
  • application of theory to practice;
  • the ability to communicate effectively, not only with engineers but also with the community at large;
  • the ability to utilise a systems approach to design and operational performance;
  • the ability to function effectively as an individual and in multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams, with the capacity to be a leader or manager as well as an effective team member;
  • an understanding of the social, cultural, global and environmental responsibilities of the professional engineer, and the need for sustainable development;
  • an understanding of the principles of sustainable design and development;
  • an understanding of professional and ethical responsibilities and commitment to them;
  • capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning;
  • openness to new ideas and unconventional critiques of received wisdom;
  • the ability to apply knowledge of basic science and engineering fundamentals;
  • the ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution.

Last updated: 15 August 2019