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ENG5001 Advanced Engineering Data Analysis

Published : 05-Oct,2021  |  Views : 10


Describe the Followings:
Ethical conduct and professional accountability
Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.
Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour.
Professional use and management of information.
Orderly management of self, and professional conduct.
Effective team membership and team leadership. 


On this particular competency, my rating is above average. This is because of the technical knowledge and practical experience that I gained during my study of bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and when working as an intern at ABC Bridges Construction Pty Ltd, a leading company in supply of construction heavy machineries and equipment across Europe. During my bachelors, I studied several structural and management subjects related to mathematics, structural design and analysis, environmental engineering, concrete structure, strength of material, transport, applied physics, engineering drawing, surveying, and mega buildings and structures, among others. I also studied two design courses namely AUTOCAD and STATPRO. I applied the knowledge I gained to complete my final project successfully and also work at ABC Bridges Construction Pty Ltd as a real professional. One of the projects I did during my bachelors entailed designing and constructing a structure that could resist black cotton soil. When working on this project, I had to analyze the behavior of black cotton soil by performing several soil tests and assessing the results. This helped me to design a structure that had the capacity to withstand the various loads on it and which could be built within the stipulated time and budget. Through this project, I also learned about how to check for design errors and correct them and the importance of being updated with the current engineering systems and design tools through continuous learning.

1.2 Application of system design processes to well defined engineering problems

My rating on this competency is above average. This is mainly because of the knowledge and skills I acquired when studying my bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and the expertise I gained during my final project and when working as an intern. The engineering subjects that I have discussed in section 1.1 above equipped me with adequate technical knowledge and practical skills on how to design various systems and their respective elements, analyze them to ensure that they meet the specific requirements of the client, and build them by ensuring that they meet the required safety, healthy and sustainability standards. One of the key aspects I learnt is that it is very important to ensure that the whole lifecycle of the structure is comprehensively analyzed before the structure is fully designed and built. The two design courses I studied, AUTOCAD and STATPRO, also equipped me with adequate knowledge on how to design structures more accurately, easily and quickly and professionally. During my bachelors, one of the projects I did was to design and build a structure that could resist black cotton soil. This project helped me to learn how to use appropriate engineering tools to design and analyze a structure, how to select appropriate materials, tools and equipment for the project, and how to implement the project successfully from start to finish by working with other members of the project team. When working for ABC Bridges Construction Pty Ltd, I gained extensive experience on how to work as a team at different stages of an engineering project including concept, design and implementation stages.

2 Critique of the Letter of Invitation and Letter of Response

2.1 Letter of Invitation

This letter can serve its intended purpose but partially because of a few issues that need to be rectified. There are two main ways in which this letter could have been improved. First is the format of the letter. Since this is a formal letter, its layout/structure should have been done better by including elements such as an official subject, salutation and signature. Second is the details of the project. This being an invitation for an Engineers Without Borders (EWB) project, the letter should have provided more details about the project. This includes: other stakeholders or partners involved in the project; description or details of the structures that will be built; key issues or requirements that the team should consider or meet when implementing the project; things that motivated the project; and the impact of the project on the people in Mayukwayukwa refugee settlement. With the provided details, the invited company or individuals cannot make an informed decision on whether to accept or decline the invitation, or prepare any proposal.

2.2 Letter of Response

This letter contains most of the information that a letter of response should have. Therefore it has been specifically written in response to the letter of invitation that the company received. However, there are various elements of this letter that could have been improved. First and foremost, the company should have provided a few examples of similar projects they have completed. This should have included very short and precise descriptions of the projects or websites where these projects could be checked. Another thing is the motivation or some of the key reasons why the company is accepting the invitation. This is a EWB project and those willing to participate must be having some kind of motivation. The letter should have briefly stated the motivation. The company should also have highlighted specifics of its capacity to implement the project, including machineries and equipment, human resource and personnel, and working capital. Otherwise all other parts of the letter are properly done.  

3 Research findings about EWB project

The alternative solution for the selected EWB Project (waste management) will ensure that wastes produced in the Mayukwayukwa refugee settlement are collected, separated, transported to the factory, sorted, recycled and reused. This solution has been designed by considering various factors such as cost, environmental impacts, social and cultural values of the refugees, durability, capacity, efficiency, innovativeness and sustainability. Basically, the solution is an efficient waste management system where all solid wastes are collected, separated and transported to the factory. The wastes are divided by machineries so as to produce recycled products such as paper, glass and plastic paper. The rest of the wastes will be reused. On the other hand, organic wastes will be used as a source of fuel or compost. One of the waste collection systems will include installation of bins in the local market. But most importantly, the solution will be implemented by starting with informing the refugees about the importance of the waste management system and the role they can play in ensuring that the solution is successfully implemented.

The design draft of the waste management system comprises of several innovative features that separate and recycle wastes seamlessly. The size or capacity of the system has been determined by the number of refugees in the settlement and the estimated amount of waste they produce. A large percentage of the materials that will be used to build and operate the system will be locally available. These materials are selected by considering their source, durability, cost and structural properties. Almost all employees that will be involved in the design, construction, running, management and maintenance of the system will also be locals. Above all, the community in Mayukwayukwa refugee settlement will be involved at all stages of the project. Last but not least, the system has been designed to ensure that it meets the values and goals of EWB, which are to improve the lives of the refuges efficiently, eco-friendly, cost-effectively and sustainably.

4 Use of engineering method and problem solving cycle

Both engineering method and problem solving cycle are being used to develop project alternatives and outcomes. Engineering, which is a system approach of developing the needed solution for a specific problem (Lasser, 2013; VEX Robotics, 2015), is being used by analyzing the project alternatives at different stages. Therefore the method has been used to divide the project into the following phases: idea phase, concept phase, planning phase, design phase, development phase, launch phase, and follow up phase. In each of these phases, engineering method is being used by applying science, mathematics and engineering knowledge to ensure that the alternative developed is in accordance with the requirements of the project and has the capacity to solve the problem at hand. This method is also being combined with problem solving cycle – a systematic methodology used for finding workable solutions (Petrick, 2013).

Problem solving cycle is being used by following various steps. First is to define the waste management problem in Mayukwayukwa refugee settlement. Second is to carry out comprehensive background research about the problem and to redefine it. Third is to specify the requirements of the project by considering economic, social, cultural, environmental and sustainability aspects. This basically entails identifying general specifications and constraints of the project (Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, 2014).

Fourth is to set goals that will help in achieving the objectives of the project (Leeds Beckett University, 2015). Fifth is to identify and brainstorm alternative solutions or possible strategies of solving the problem (American Society for Quality, 2017). Sixth is to choose the best or most suitable alternative solution (Science Buddies, 2017). Seventh is to redefine the problem and refine specifications until the solution completely solves the problem as desired. Eighth is to implement the solution. Ninth is to communicate results through approaches such as preparing reports and sharing it with other parties and even the general public. Last but not least is to collect feedback about the performance and impacts of the project so as to develop an approach continuous improvement plan (American Society for Quality, 2017). Combination of these two approaches helps in developing the most viable waste management system to the refugees in Mayukwayukwa settlement.

5.1 Social sustainability

Social sustainability is a very important aspect of ensuring that the project meets its long-term development goals (World Bank Group, 2013). The waste management system has been designed to offer social benefits to the refugees in Mayukwayukwa. The main objective of social sustainability is to ensure that the project provides positive impacts on the communities within Mayukwayukwa refugee settlement and that any negative impacts are properly managed (Wynhoven, (n.d.); Vallance, Perkins and Dixon, 2011). The waste management system will serve all persons in Mayukwayukwa refugee settlement regardless of their age, gender, religion, political affiliation, race, etc. The following are some of the other aspects of social sustainability: informing the community about the project and involving them fully; allowing equal access and use of the system developed; identifying benefits of the system to the community; identify persons or organizations responsible for operating and maintaining the system; establish a plan on how operational and maintenance costs shall be divided; etc. According to Hall (2011), it is very important to design a solution for social sustainability. The aspects of social sustainability have to be considering during planning, design, implementation and post-implementation stages (Brain, (n.d.)).

5.2 Economic sustainability

Economic sustainability mainly entails costs and profitability of the project. The solution developed in this project is aimed at lowering the cost of the waste management system throughout its entire lifecycle and increasing profitability for the company responsible for its design and development. To ensure economic sustainability, the following factors must be considered: type and source of materials used, availability of desired labor, type of plants and equipment used, availability of funds, type of risks associated with the project, etc. Stakeholders involved in the project should be able to convince donors/supporters and local communities on the benefits of the project so that they can invest in it (Megan, 2016). Some of the strategies of ensuring economic sustainability is to manage risks appropriately and ensure that the project or system developed is properly controlled (Beattie, 2015). The project must create short term and long term value and all decisions made should be financially sound and equitable (Wanamaker, 2016).

5.3 Environmental sustainability

Environmental sustainability has become a very important issue in when implementing all types and sizes of projects especially due to the increasing global problem of climate change. Environmental sustainably entails a lot of thing, including: type and source of materials used, type of equipment and machineries used, type or source of energy used. to achieve environmental sustainability, the project should aim at using renewable energy, increase energy efficiency of the system used, reduce the distance between Mayukwayukwa refugee settlement and the factory where wastes are recycled, reduce loss of biodiversity, use locally available and natural materials, creating a system that required little maintenance, and ensure that the project improves people’s lives (Brubaker, 2016; Fullerton, 2013; Rosenkranz, 2010; Zhong and Wu, 2015). One of the best ways of ensuring environmental sustainability is using modern technology to develop innovative solutions.     

According to Silvins, Brink and Kohler (2010), all these aspects: social sustainability, economic sustainability and environmental sustainability, must be integrated.  

6 Culture in engineering design

It is very important to integrate culture in engineering design when analyzing project alternatives. In this project, the following are some of the ways in which culture has been integrated in engineering design:

6.1 Objective-driven decisions

The key decisions in the engineering design process for all alternatives have been made by use of objective criteria. This has been attained by ensuring that all stakeholders are given an opportunity to participate in the decision-making process since they share common objectives. At the end, all stakeholders supported the decisions made regardless of whether they were supporting them or not (Moon, 2013).

6.2 Teamwork

The entire engineering design process for each alternative was done and owned by the team, not individuals. The team was well organized and committed to maximize performance. All team members were equal and any authority was based on expertise and not title. The team members collaborated and consulted with each other at each stage of the process.

6.3 Use of new technologies such as automation

Innovation was greatly valued at each stage of the engineering design process for all the alternatives. The designs were created and analyzed using updated software, which reduced the completion time, increased accuracy and improved the quality of final solutions. Iteration also reduced the team’s operational burdens, which allowed them more time to concentrate on the actual work (Barak, 2012).

6.4 Unlimited imagination

All team members involved in the engineering design process for each alternative were given the freedom to use their imagination and creativity to generate ideas and concepts. This is a very fundamental elements of engineering culture because it creates unique and useful solutions that solve big problems. Imagination helped the team to see the broader picture of the problem and solution right from the start.

6.5 Enabling environment 

Culture in engineering was also recognized by the project alternatives by creating an enabling environment for the project team. The best way of creating an enabling environment is for the leadership of the team to provide the required resources and strategies on how to implement each stage of the development process (Korzeniewki, 2017).  

6.6 Continuous process improvement

The engineering design process for the alternatives was iterated so that it fitted into the team and the strategy that was being used. This was attained by ensuring that the team had clear directions and guidance on what to do from start to finish (Salazar, 2015). The process was also owned by the engineering team instead of the management team. Most importantly is that there was no limit on integrating new ideas that would improve the solutions.

6.7 Feedback  

After completing each stage of the engineering design process, the engineering team shared the solutions developed with external members and welcomed constructive and honest feedback. The collected feedback was used to make some changes so as to make the solutions better.  

7 Alternative designs and viable solutions

7.1 Landfill disposal system

This is an engineering facility where waste is disposed without creating annoyances or risks to safety or health of the public. The system can also be used for gas capture, gasification, pyrolysis and combustion (Mondal, 2016). This solution has several environmental and social impacts such as leachate, toxic gases, infections, bad odor, nuisances, etc.  

7.2 Incineration system

This is where the waste is collected and transported to the incinerator where it is burned at extreme temperatures. The system produces toxins that affect air quality and increase hazards of public safety and health. The system is also less efficient because it may not burn all type of wastes. In the future, this system can be improved so as to be used to generate energy from the heat produced and also clean the gaseous substances produced before being released into the atmosphere.

7.3 Composting and recycling system

This is the solution that has been selected for waste management in Mayukwayukwa refugee settlement. As the name signifies, the system comprises of two sub-systems: decomposing system and recycling system. All agricultural wastes are decomposed in the decomposing system and used as fuel and compost. The solid waste is gathered and transported to the recycling facility/factory. In the factory, the waste is sorted and separated using machineries. Recycled waste is recycled to produce new products such as paper, plastic and glass. This is an efficient, eco-friendly, cost-effective and sustainable solution because it prevents or alleviates emission of greenhouse gases, saves energy, minimizes water pollutants, creates jobs, conserves the environment and creates new products.

7.4 Plasma gasification system

This system uses plasma torches that operate at very high temperatures to convert waste into syngas, which is a renewable energy (Rinkesh, 2017).

8 Consideration and methodology for selecting the most appropriate solution

The selection process of the most appropriate solution was a very important process. This is because waste management has direct and great impacts to the health of the general public (Thakur and Ramesh, 2015). The team had to consider a wide range of factors when selecting the best solution. Some of these factors include the following:  

8.1 Types of wastes

This was a fundamental factor for consideration because the solution was designed specifically for managing waste generated within the Mayukwayukwa refugee settlement. The appropriate solution was selected because of its great ability to manage both solid and organic wastes produced in the refugee settlement.  

8.2 Capacity

The solution selected had to be able to efficiently handle total wastes produced by over 11,000 refuges, which is the estimated population in Mayukwayukwa refugee settlement (Engineers Without Borders Australia, 2017). This population may change of time hence the capacity of the system also had to be flexible. Therefore the solution selected has the capacity to handle the total volume of waste produced and is also flexible enough to accommodate future changes. The capacity also influenced the size of the facility, which had to fit on the available land.

8.3 Cost

The cost of designing, constructing, operating and maintaining the waste management system was a very crucial factor for consideration. This was done by conducting a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis, which identified the cost and its value during the entire lifecycle of the system (Allesch and Brunner, 2014). The solution selected was the one with the most reasonable cost.

8.4 Environmental impacts

It is very important to ensure that waste management systems do not harm the environment and people (Emery et al., 2007; Finnveden et al., 2007). In this regard, the solution selected was the one with the minimal negative environmental impacts. This was also achieved by setting up the solid management system near the refugee settlement so as to reduce emissions associated with transportation of the wastes (Generowicz, Kowalski and Kulczycka, 2011).

8.5 Materials and equipment requirements

When analyzing various alternative solutions, the team considered materials and equipment needed for the design, construction and operation of the waste management system. The system selected was the one that mainly used locally available materials and simple equipment that are easy to operate and maintain.

8.6 Labor requirements

The team also considered labor and ensured that the solution selected was the one that required minimal labor that was locally available at its entire lifecycle.

8.7 Energy requirements

This was a key factor for consideration because availability of energy is a challenge in the area and the cost of electricity is also high. For these reasons, the selected solution was the one that had the highest energy efficiency.

8.8 Social aspects

During the evaluation process, the team involved the local community and collected opinions about their thoughts on different solutions. The solution selected was the one that was highly acceptable and supported by the general public, and which did not cause bad odor or ugly scenes in the area (Fagariba and Song, 2016). The solution also improved the quality of life of the refugees irrespective of their age, gender, religion, political affiliation or race.

8.9 Safety

The team ensured that the selected solution was safe to the workers, residents and the environment. This was attained by ensuring that substances used in the waste treatment process were non-toxic and that the equipment used did not compromise the safety of workers.

8.10 Compliance

This was a very important factor and the team selected the solution that complied with all the required engineering standards in the area. 


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