Engineering Institute of Technology


Unit Name


Unit Code

BIA 306S


Unit Duration



Bachelor of Science (Industrial Automation Engineering)


Duration 3 years

Year Level


Unit Creator/Reviewer






BIA204S, BIA207S, BIA208S

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 give students a systematic view of the professional tasks and practices employed in the engineering of automation systems. The aim is to enable the students to recognize the context of any particular engineering task within the discipline field by having knowledge of a typical C& I project life cycle. Knowledge of well- established top down design procedures will assist in the development of a professional and responsible approach to working within a project team, to provide automation solutions.

The subject matter covered in this unit will include: the development of an automation system

  • beginning with consideration of the industrial context of the application, and the influences affecting the design of the control system equipment; the project life cycle stages; functional design specifications; control system architecture; and, implementation of hardware and software solutions.


    Learning Outcomes

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

    1. Prepare a set of design guidelines and objectives for an automation system that will be appropriate for the industrial context and business objectives of the application.

    2. Describe the characteristic features and performance expectations of automation systems according to the industry that they serve.

    3. Design a project plan for implementation of an automation system.

    4. Generate control system architecture diagrams for integrating field instrumentation with control units, operator interfaces, and data acquisition systems.

    5. Produce an outline functional design specification for a small automation application.

    6. Compare alternative design proposals for an automation system and justify the most suitable version for the required lifetime of the plant.

      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


4, 5

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




A3. Discernment of knowledge development within the technology domain



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




1, 3, 5

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


3, 4, 6

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




1, 3, 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

4, 5, 6

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



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: Automation needs in industry sector; understanding of equipment selection and matching.

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




1, 2


Assessment 2

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

Example Topic: Automation system implementation. Automation needs of a given manufacturing process and project plan to deliver the solution

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: Selection of appropriate types of automation equipment based on functional design specifications. Or Simulate - design a simple automatic control function complete with operator displays and alarm and data recording.

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


Week 9




1, 4, 5


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


Stenerson, J 2002, Industrial Automation and Process Control, Prentice Hall, ISBN-13: 9780130330307.

IDC Technologies, Industrial Automation,, ISBN: 978-87-403-0004-8.



Reddy, YJ 2015, Industrial Process Automation Systems - Design and Implementation, Elsevier, ISBN 978-0-12801-098-3. Online version available at: process-automation

Caro, D 2008, Wireless Networks for Industrial Automation, 3rd edn, ISA, ISBN 978-1-61583- 562-1. Online version available at: networks-industrial



Journal, website



Notes and Reference texts

Knovel library: 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


Industry sectors and their automation needs

  1. Machinery automation (typical requirements of a single machine, such as an injection molding machine)

  2. Manufacturing (factory) automation (production lines and cell manufacturing concepts)

  3. Application and role of robotics

  4. Concepts of manufacturing systems

  5. Characteristics of mining automation

  6. Chemical Process Automation (characteristic features and functional requirements)


Topics 3 and 4

Automation system components and choices

  1. Terminologies used across the automation field

  2. Automation controllers with examples of DCS, SCADA, PLC

  3. Control Room Displays, Machinery User Interfaces, Data Capture Devices

  4. Review of control and automation preferences by industry sector


Topic 5

Typical functions and services of an automation system

  1. Local and remotely controlled operations

  2. Human-Machine Interface (HMI) for local supervision

  3. Area supervision and control room operations including alarm management

  4. Production recording and performance monitoring


Topic 6

Development of the Functional Design Specification

  1. User requirements specification

  2. Functional design specification (key elements and their impact on the project)

  3. Software user requirements specification


Topics 7 and 8

Equipment selection practices

  1. PLC system benefits

  2. DCS Solution benefits

  3. Instrumentation networks and maintenance facilities

  4. Consideration of expansion and lifetime support for hardware and software


    Topic 9

    Documenting the automation requirements

  5. Standards for system representation, instrumentation, and application software

  6. Presentation of control system functionality on the P&ID

  7. Instrument and signal lists

  8. Exercises in defining instrument and control functions


Topics 10 and 11

Engineering stages of the automation system

  1. Typical PLC and DCS system project life cycle stages from FDS to commissioning

  2. The duties of clients and contractors

  3. The role of the systems integrator

  4. Cost estimating principles and key components of cost in automation


Topic 12

Topics 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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