Chemical Engineering Design Project

Subject CHEN90022 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 25
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

A self-learning engineering design project, conducted as a team, aided by lectures and consultation sessions.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1 x 2 hour lecture + 1 x 3 hour consultation session per week
Total Time Commitment:

Estimated 400 hours

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2

And one of:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Please note: for pre-requisite purposes, some of these subjects can be substituted with equivalent subjects no longer offered at the university if they have been successfully completed by students in the past 10 years.

CHEN90020 may be substituted for CHEN30013 or CHEN40006
CHEN90013 may be substituted for CHEN40007
CHEN90012 may be substituted for CHEN40005
CHEN30001 may be substituted for CHEN40003
CHEN90032 may be substituted for CHEN30009



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:

Credit will not be given for this subject and the following subject:

BIEN40002 Biomolecular Engineering Design Project

CHEN40009 Design Project

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.
The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Prof Paul Webley


Prof Paul Webley


Subject Overview:


This unit requires the students to undertake a major design task utilising the knowledge gained throughout the chemical engineering course. This comprises the following tasks: design of a process to meet a specified requirement; feasibility study of alternative processes which meet the specification; determination of sequence for investigation of a chemical manufacturing project and preparation of a report; consideration of environmental impacts and sustainability issues; preparation of flowsheets; confirmation of effects of market forecasts; economic evaluation; preparation of estimates for the minimisation of capital and production costs; specification of equipment; selection of construction materials; and specification of instrumentation location, staff and labour requirements and safety precautions. The HYSYS simulation package will be utilised where appropriate. There will also be a series of lectures on various aspects of design.

This subject forms the major capstone design project for the Chemical engineering Discipline and closely simulates the design procedures the graduate students will undertake in chemical industry as process and design engineers. The pre-requisites ensure that the students bring together all of the undergraduate knowledge and skills imparted in earlier years of the degree program. All aspects of the safe and environmentally responsible design of a chemical process plant are covered in this unit through project based learning. Through a careful sequential approach, the students develop a feasibility study, an initial process scoping and development report, and finally, a detailed design report. Team work is emphasized throughput to mimic the typical team environment the students will encounter in the work place.


No new topics of a technical are introduced into this unit. The unit requires the students to integrate their skills and knowledge from earlier units into a single, design project executed in a team environment. The content therefore includes:

  • A feasibility study which includes marketing analysis, plant location and health and safey assessment and preliminary economic evaluation of the proposal
  • A process development report which includes the assessment of technology options to produce the required product, a mass and energy balance of the proposed process, as evaluation of the environmental impact of the process, a safety analysis, and a detailed process flow diagram of the proposed process
  • A detailed design report including the detailed process and mechanical design of a unit operation with the process, the full process control and operation as well as process and instrumentation diagram of the process, specification of all minor equipment items in the process, a full HAZOP of a section of the plant, a full economic analysis and sensitivity study of the proposed plant

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).

Learning Outcomes:


On completion of this subject the student is expected to:

  1. Complete a chemical engineering feasibility study for a proposed product/process
  2. Conduct a process development assessment and mass and energy balances to determine the overall scope and intent of the project
  3. Carry out the integrated process and equipment design for an industrial chemical process, which is initially poorly-defined and for which much of the design data is not available
  4. Function as part of a team and manage their time effectively
  5. Apply all of the hard and soft skills acquired in earlier units in an integrated way to develop a full chemical plant design package.
  • First Report (15%): Team report submission of a feasibility study of up to 30 pages. Time commitment of approximately 30-40 hours. Peer assessment is required and considered in the marking of these reports. Due approximately one third of the way through the semester (on or around week 4). Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) 1 to 5 are addressed in this report
  • Second Report (30%): Team report submission of up to 100 pages (not including supporting material such as appendices, diagrams, tables, computations and computer output). Time commitment of approximately 70-80 hours. Peer assessment is required and considered in the marking of these reports. Due approximately two thirds of the way through the semester (on or around week 8). ILOs 1 to 5 are addressed in this report
  • Final Report (55%): Individual report submission of up to 100 pages (not including supporting material such as appendices, diagrams, tables, computations and computer output). Report includes components generated as a team. Time commitment of approximately 170-180 hours. Due end-of-semester. ILOs 1 to 5 are addressed in this report.

Hurdle requirement: An aggregate mark of 50% or more and a mark of 50% or more in the final report is required to pass the subject

Prescribed Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution
  • Ability to apply principles of chemical engineering to the design and specification of equipment and/or processes which have not previously been encountered
  • Ability to utilise a systems approach to design and operational performance
  • 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
  • Understanding of the principles of sustainable design and development
  • Capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning
  • Openness to new ideas and unconventional critiques of received wisdom.



The subject is developed through team work and through a series of lectures, guest speakers, and weekly consultancy sessions. The deliverables in the project are managed carefully and teams are expected to meet deadlines as required during the unit. The consultancy sessions include meetings with industry engineers to provide real-work input into the students design and decision making process.


Prior to the start of this unit, a substantial database of technical reports, journal articles, web sites and patents is set up. These are all relevant to the particular chemical/biological process being evaluated. Students have access to this database through the subject LMS site upon the start of the project. In addition, lecture notes and weekly consultancy sessions with experience engineers provide additional resources for their learning. All lecture notes, discussion, progress updates etc are communicated through the project LMS site.


The unit is run in close consultation with industry engineers both with respect to setting up the project as well as weekly consultancy sessions with industry engineers. Guest lecturers from industry are also invited to convey the industry relevance of the project being undertaken.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: B-ENG Chemical Engineering stream
Master of Engineering (Chemical with Business)
Master of Engineering (Chemical)

Download PDF version.