Engineering Institute of Technology


Unit Name


Unit Code

BIA 207S


Unit Duration



Bachelor of Science (Engineering)


Duration 3 years

Year Level


Unit Creator/Reviewer






BIA205S, BIA206S

Credit Points



Total Program Credit Points 81 (27 x 3)

Mode of Delivery

Online or On-campus

Unit Workload

(Total student workload including “contact hours” = 10 hours per week)

Pre-recordings / Lecture – 1.5 hours Tutorial – 1.5 hours

Guided labs / Group work / Assessments – 2 hours

Personal Study recommended - 5 hours

Unit Description and General Aims

The objective in presenting this unit is to impart to students knowledge of automation and supervisory control schemes of entire systems. The subject matter covered in this unit will include an in-depth study of Applied PLC principles. This information will then be contextualized in Distributed Control Systems (DCS) and Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. SCADA systems will subsequently be examined in considerable depth covering: fundamentals – hardware, alarms interfaces, and etc.; plant wide communication systems; and, Object Linking for Embedding Process Control (OPC).

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Evaluate Applied PLC principles in relation to process control systems, manufacturing processes, DCS, safety instrumented systems (SIS), data communications etc.

  2. Demonstrate a good understanding of DCS system layout, configuration, programming, interface, reporting and maintenance.

  3. Examine SCADA system fundamentals including configuration, hardware, software, interface etc.

  4. Evaluate Wide Area Network (WAN) technologies for SCADA systems.

  5. Apply Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) for Operator Process Control (OPC).

  6. Design safe and secure systems after evaluating security threats

    Professional Development

    Completing this unit may add to students professional development/competencies by:

    1. Fostering personal and professional skills and attributes in order to:

      1. Conduct work in a professionally diligent, accountable and ethical manner.

      2. Effectively use oral and written communication in personal and professional domains.

      3. Foster applicable creative thinking, critical thinking and problem solving skills.

      4. Develop initiative and engagement in lifelong learning and professional development.

      5. Enhance collaboration outcomes and performance in dynamic team roles.

      6. Effectively plan, organise, self-manage and manage others.

      7. Professionally utilise and manage information.

      8. Enhance technologist literacy and apply contextualised technologist skills.

    2. Enhance investigatory and research capabilities in order to:

      1. Develop an understanding of systematic, fundamental scientific, mathematic principles, numerical analysis techniques and statistics applicable to technologists.

      2. Access, evaluate and analyse information on technologist processes, procedures, investigations and the discernment of technologist knowledge development.

      3. Foster an in-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge, computer science, engineering design practice and contextual factors applicable to technologists.

      4. Solve basic and open-ended engineering technologist problems.

      5. Understand the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds associated with sustainable engineering practice.

    3. Develop engineering application abilities in order to:

      1. Apply established engineering methods to broadly-defined technologist problem solving.

      2. Apply engineering technologist techniques, tool and resources.

      3. Apply systematic technologist synthesis and design processes.

      4. Systematically conduct and manage technologist projects, work assignments, testing and experimentation.

Engineers Australia

The Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologists, 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 of Competency


Knowledge and Skill Base


Systematic, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the technology domain.


Conceptual understanding of the, mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the technology domain.


In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the technology domain.


Discernment of knowledge development within the technology domain.


Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the technology domain.


Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the technology domain.


Engineering Application Ability


Application of established engineering methods to broadly-defined problem solving within the technology domain.


Application of engineering techniques, tools and resources within the technology domain.


Application of systematic synthesis and design processes within the technology domain.


Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of projects within the technology domain.


Professional and Personal Attributes


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.

Graduate Attributes

Successfully completing this Unit will contribute to the recognition of attainment of the following graduate attributes aligned to the AQF Level 7 criteria, Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologists and the Sydney Accord:


Graduate Attributes

(Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Professional and Personal Development)

EA Stage 1 Competencies

Learning Outcomes

A. Knowledge of Science and Engineering Fundamentals

A1. Breadth of knowledge of engineering and systematic, theory-based understanding of underlying principles, and depth of knowledge across one or more engineering sub- disciplines


1.1, 1.3


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

A2. Knowledge of mathematical, statistical and computer sciences appropriate for engineering technology




1, 2, 3

A3. Discernment of knowledge development within the technology domain


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

A4. Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the technology domain





B. Problem Solving, Critical Analysis and Judgement

B1. Ability to research, synthesise, evaluate and innovatively apply theoretical concepts, knowledge and approaches across diverse engineering technology contexts to effectively solve engineering problems


1.4, 2.1, 2.3



B2. Technical and project management skills to design complex systems and solutions in line with developments in engineering technology professional practice


2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.2


C. Effective Communication

C1. Cognitive and technical skills to investigate, analyse and organise information and ideas and to communicate those ideas clearly and fluently, in both written and spoken forms appropriate to the audience




4, 5

C2. Ability to engage effectively and appropriately across a diverse range of cultures



D. Design and Project Management

D1. Apply systematic synthesis and design processes within the technology domain

2.1, 2.2, 2.3


D2. Apply systematic approaches to the conduct and management of projects within the technology domain





E. Accountability, Professional and Ethical Conduct

E1. Innovation in applying engineering technology, having regard to ethics and impacts including economic; social; environmental and sustainability


1.6, 3.1, 3.4


E2. Professional conduct, understanding and accountability in professional practice across diverse circumstances including team work, leadership and independent work


3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6


5, 6

Unit Competency and Learning Outcome Map

This table details the mapping of the unit graduate attributes to the unit learning outcomes and the Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for the Engineering Technologist.




Graduate Attributes














Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologist

























































































































































































Unit Learning Outcomes
























































Student assessment

Assessment Type

When assessed

Weighting (% of total unit marks)

Learning Outcomes Assessed


Assessment 1

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: Applied PLC.

Students may complete a quiz with MCQ type answers and solve some simple equations to demonstrate a good understanding of the fundamental concepts


Week 3






Assessment 2

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: Distributed Control Systems.

Students may provide solutions to simple problems on the listed topics


Week 6






Assessment 3

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation / Project

/ Report

Example Topic: SCADA (principles of operation, system wide connectivity). Students will provide answers to questions related to SCADA configuration, hardware, software, interface, communication standards and WAN or use software simulations on SCADA.

Students may complete a quiz with MCQ type answers or solve some simple problems or using software to complete a practical.


Week 9




3, 4


Assessment 4

Type: Examination Example Topic: All topics

An examination with a mix of detailed report type questions and/or simple numerical problems to be completed in 3 hours


Final Week




1 to 6


Attendance / Tutorial Participation

Example: Presentation, discussion, group work, exercises, self-assessment/reflection, case study analysis, application.



1 to 6

Prescribed and Recommended Readings


IDC Technologies, Practical SCADA systems for Industry, IDC Technologies, Perth.



IDC Technologies, Practical Fundamentals of OPC, IDC Technologies, Perth.

Shaw, WT 2006, Cybersecurity for SCADA Systems. PennWell, ISBN 978-1-61583-977-3. Online version available at: systems/cybersecurity-scada-systems

Stouffer, K, Falco, J, Kent, K 2006, Guide to Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and Industrial Control Systems Security, NIST, Special Publication 800-82. Online version available at:



Journal, website



Notes and Reference texts

Knovel library:

IDC notes and Reference texts as advised Other material advised during the 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.

Topics 1 and 2


Applied PLC

  1. Process control systems (operator interfaces, sensors, signal conditioning, actuators, controllers)

  2. Manufacturing processes (continuous, batch, individual)

  3. Centralised and Distributed control systems

  4. Control systems (open and closed loop)

  5. Controllers (on/off, Proportional, Integral, Derivative, PID)

  6. Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS) and Safety Integrity Levels (SILs)

  7. System check out and testing

  8. Data communications (RS-232, RS-422/423, RS-485, Modbus, DH+)


Topics 3, 4, and 5

Distributed Control Systems (DCS)

  1. DCS fundamentals (basic controller, smart instruments, layout, communications, SCADA comparison)

  2. Controller configuration and programming (IEC 61131-1 open programming languages)

  3. Operator interface (process windows, ergonomics, and etc.)

  4. Alarm management (Safety Integrity Level, alarm structure)

  5. Reporting (log and report configuration)

  6. Maintenance and management (diagnostic routines, UPS, recovery procedures)


Topics 6 and 7


SCADA – Part 1

  1. Fundamentals of SCADA (Remote Transmission Units, Human Machine Interfaces, Intelligent Electronic Devices)

  2. SCADA systems (software, hardware, alarms, database, and etc.)

  3. Configuring and connecting


Topics 8 and 9


SCADA – Part 2

  1. Principles of layered communication standards (OSI, TCP/IP)

  2. Local Area Network (LAN) technologies

  3. WAN technologies (multiplexing, ISDN, Frame relay, X25, SDH, Sonet)

  4. Industrial communications protocols Modbus, DNP3)

  5. Security (authentication, encryption, firewalls)


Topic 10


SCADA – Part 3

  1. Object Linking and Embedding for Process Control (OPC)

  2. Fundamental principles of OPC (client server, logical object model, Unified Architecture, specifications, interfaces)

  3. Management and maintenance (system specification, commissioning, documentation, troubleshooting, and etc.)


Topic 11


Secure and Safe Systems

  1. Security threats and counter measures (devices, standards, and etc.)

  2. Safe systems and redundancy


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 specialized topic if applicable to that cohort.

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