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TECH211 Electromechanical Technologies

Unit rationale, description and aim

The rapidly expanding role computer-controlled engineering systems play in the contemporary world has given corresponding significance to the ability to solve engineering problems by applying knowledge of control systems and computational thinking to the safe design and manufacture of electronically controlled products. This unit also contributes to an accredited sequence of industrial and engineering technologies units that is recognised by state-based Initial Teacher Education standards authorities (NESA, VIT and QCT) and aligns with the Australian Curriculum: Design and Technologies.

In this unit students will explore mechatronic engineering design and manufacture and consider how it can be applied in design contexts. They will develop knowledge of how past, present and emerging engineering technologies influence principles and processes of mechatronic and control systems design and production through examples and case-studies. Students will demonstrate the appropriate safe use of electronics in design and mechatronic engineering environments and develop knowledge of the design and manufacture of engineering technologies systems including electronics, mechatronics and principles of mechanical engineering. Students will design and manufacture electronically controlled products using a range of techniques and industrial materials including CAD/CAM technologies. They will explore the existing and emerging career paths of engineers and reflect on the role of modern engineering on global sustainability, society, ethics, and the environment.

The aim of this unit is to provide an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge and skills in engineering technologies, electronics, control systems, and programming to the design, manufacture, programming and testing of mechatronic engineering technologies.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Define the principles and processes of engineering and electronics, and how these align with careers in these industries (GA5, GA6, GA8)

LO2 - Interpret and illustrate electromechanical systems by applying engineering skills and data, communicating these ideas through drawings and reports (GA5, GA8, GA10)

LO3 - Design and manufacture projects using electromechanical principles, processes, instruments and testing equipment using a range of materials, tools, and equipment competently and safely in the design and manufacture of electromechanical products, including automation, mechanisation, control technology, and CAD/CAM technologies (GA4, GA5, GA10)

LO4 - Evaluate electromechanical systems and engineering projects, also reflecting on the role of modern engineering on global sustainability, society, ethics, and the environment (GA1, GA2, GA3)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - Demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA2 - Recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society

GA3 - Apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - Think critically and reflectively

GA5 - Demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession

GA6 - Solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - Locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information

GA10 - Utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively


Topics will include:

Statics and Dynamics

  • Forces and moments
  • Free body diagrams
  • Motion
  • Vector analysis

Engineering Materials

  • Material properties and definitions
  • Testing techniques for material properties
  • Limitations and failure modes
  • Material selection

Mechanism Design

  • Fundamentals of kinematics
  • Analysing mobility
  • Fundamental mechanisms
  • Synthesizing mechanisms

Electronic Components and Computer Technologies

  • Fundamentals of electricity
  • Electronic components and their functions
  • Circuit diagrams
  • Logic and integrated circuits
  • Past, present, and emerging information and communications technologies
  • Artificial intelligence and its relevant systems
  • Virtual and augmented reality (AR and VR) and their emerging applications

Sensors and Actuators

  • Analogue vs digital signals
  • Signal processing and analysis
  • Common sensors and their applications
  • Common actuators and their applications

Control System Design

  • Open- and closed-loop control
  • Typical controllers, e.g. bang-bang, PID, etc.
  • Controller selection and design

Logic Controllers

  • Control logic, e.g. if-then statements, for conditions, etc.
  • Task-level programming
  • Consumer microcontrollers, such as Arduino, and industrial PLCs

Electromechanical Systems

  • Mechanisation
  • Automation
  • Modern manufacture technologies and robotics
  • Selection and implementation of sensors and actuators
  • Approaches to testing and troubleshooting
  • Preferred futures for power systems and alternative energy case studies

Engineering Design

  • Communication of ideas
  • Following the engineering method of design to arrive at optimal design solutions
  • Material selection and costing
  • Understanding and producing engineering drawings
  • Using CAD/ CAM software for design and manufacture
  • CNC manufacture (subtractive and additive), e.g. CNC or manual routers, laser cutting, 3D printing

Engineering in the Modern World

  • Present and emerging engineering careers
  • Project management
  • Global sustainability
  • Preferred futures: societal, ethical, and environmental considerations for engineering
  • Engineering project case studies

Engineering Learning Management

  • Putting theory into practice
  • Learning through authentic practical experience
  • Safety and risk management
  • Material and resource budgeting, selection, and storage

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

A student-focussed, project-based learning approach is utilised in this unit. Students encounter concepts and principles of engineering technologies and electromechanical systems design theory through interactive lectures. Concepts are discussed and broadened through analysis of specific case studies and further informed by independent research during development of design projects.

In practical workshops students design, manufacture and evaluate electronic, mechanical and mechatronic engineering systems components. Issues in mechatronic engineering systems design and manufacture are introduced through a practice-oriented learning method. This method involves the parallel development of procedural and conceptual skills required for design, development and documentation of engineering technologies, mechatronic and electromechanical systems.

Students develop solutions to mechatronic and electromechanical system design problems using a design thinking methodology and a user-centred design approach. They develop conceptual knowledge in electronics and programming alongside procedural knowledge of engineering systems and manufacturing technologies through practical design projects. Students design, manufacture, communicate and evaluate items against principles of engineering technologies including mechatronic and electromechanical system design. These methods enable the development of conceptual, procedural and professional knowledge and skill which allows students to practice design thinking and problem solving in engineering technologies, mechatronic and electromechanical technologies design contexts. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The project-based learning strategy employed in this unit is supported by the integration of progressive authentic assessment methods embedded at critical points of the students’ learning. Theoretical conceptual knowledge and practical skills-based knowledge are developed simultaneously in that acquisition and assimilation develops during application in design practices. Initially students acquire knowledge in electromechanical design by undertaking tutorial and workshop exercises and developing a report on key concepts introduced in the lecture and develop skills in design and manufacture through practical workshop classes. Advanced safe work practices are introduced in workshops. The practical workshops also provide opportunities for formative assessment, which supports assimilation. A formative assessment hosted early-to mid-session in the unit serves to assess students’ understanding of engineering and electronics theory and ability to apply this through problem solving. This formative assessment follows a series of non-assessed tasks, such as quizzes, which prompt students to stay on top of their studies and reflect on their knowledge levels within different topics.

The main summative assessment aims to assess students’ application of knowledge and skills (conceptual, procedural and professional) competences holistically using an integrated approach common in design education which focusses on the assessment of an entire activity rather than specific elements in isolation.

In this unit the method aims to assess students’ achievement of a synthesis between design theory, practice and application of engineering principles in engineering technologies, mechatronic and electromechanical design. Therefore, the main assessment method used is the assessment of a design project which includes two components, design documentation folio and a prototype of a designed and manufactured engineering system or product addressing an authentic (real-world) need. Folios document students’ design processes and include evidence of project definition, research, ideation, prototyping, iteration, critical evaluation and risk assessment.   

A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit objectives consistent with University assessment requirements. Such procedures may include, reports, tutorial exercises, quizzes or exams, and a self-directed practical design project with a folio. Assessment tasks will address all learning outcomes as well as relevant graduate attributes.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Formative Assessment

Description: a formative assessment which covers a portion of the problem-solving and theoretical content, to be hosted early- to mid-session.

Purpose: this requires students to demonstrate their understanding of engineering and electronics theory and problem solving abilities.


LO1, LO2

GA5, GA6, GA8

Assessment Task 2 

Engineering Design Project

Description: an engineering design project, split into three assessable submissions: (i) Project Proposal and Engineering Report, (ii) Design Folio and Physical Prototype, (iii) Project Evaluation Report.

Purpose: this requires students to demonstrate their ability to put engineering theory into practice and make use of other practical skills gained, enabling them to communicate ideas and engage in reflective practices.


LO2, LO3, LO4

GA5, GA8, GA10

Assessment Task 3

Summative Assessment

Description: a summative assessment hosted at the end of session.

Purpose: this requires students to demonstrate their knowledge of engineering technologies, also reflecting on the global impact of modern engineering.


LO1, LO2, LO4

GA1, GA2, GA3

Representative texts and references

Alexander, C. & Sadiku, M. (2016). Fundamentals of electric circuits (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Bishop, R.H. (2007). Mechatronic systems, sensors, and actuators (2nd ed.). Boca Raton: CRC Press.

De Silvia, C.W. (2015). Sensors and actuators: Engineering system instrumentation (2nd ed.). Abingdon-on-Thames: Taylor & Francis.

Groover, M.P. (2012). Fundamentals of modern manufacturing: Materials, processes, and systems (6th ed.). Indianapolis: Wiley.

Hibbeler, R.C. (2016). Engineering mechanics: Statics (14th ed.). London: Pearson Education.

Hibbeler, R.C. (2016). Engineering mechanics: Dynamics (14th ed.). London: Pearson Education.

Jones, D.R.H., & Ashby, M.F. (2018). Engineering materials 1: An introduction to properties, applications and design (5th ed.). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Murphy, C., Gardoni, P., Bashir, H., Harris Jr., C.E. & Masad, E. (2015). Engineering ethics for a globalized world. New York, NY: Springer.

Norton, R.L. (2011). Design of machinery (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Schellnhuber, H. J., Molina, M., Stern, N., Huber, V., & Kadner, S. (2010). Global sustainability: A Nobel cause. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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