Engineering Institute of Technology


Unit Name


Unit Code



Unit Duration

1 Term (2 Terms for 24 week delivery*)


Bachelor of Science (Engineering)


Duration 3 years

Year Level


Unit Creator/Reviewer






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; 5 hours per week for 24 week delivery)

Pre-recordings / Lecture – 1.5 hours (0.75 hours for 24 week delivery)

Tutorial – 1.5 hours

(0.75 hours for 24 week delivery)

Guided labs / Group work / Assessments – 2 hours (1 hour for 24 week delivery)

Personal Study recommended – 5 hours (2.5 hours for 24 week delivery)


* This unit may be delivered over 24 weeks (2 Terms) because the nature of the content is deemed suitable (from a pedagogical perspective) for a longer duration than the standard 12 week (1 Term). In addition, these 24-week duration Units require half the student workload hours, 5 hours per week, which allows the total load to be kept at 15 hours per week when combined with a typical 10 hours per week, 12-week Unit. EIT has extensive data to demonstrate that if the load is higher than 15 hours per week the attrition rate for part time students dramatically increases.

Unit Description and General Aims

The objective of this unit is to provide students with a fundamental knowledge of earthing, lightning/surge protection, and their relevance to electrical safety. Information covered in this unit will include: the earthing of power supply systems; protective earthing; hazards posed by lightning to personnel and equipment; methods of providing lightning protection to structures and surge protection to electrical circuits; safety requirements for electrical workers; and, legislative provisions to be fulfilled in regard to earthing and lightning/surge protection. Students will also undertake case studies of industrial projects and operations in the context to their country.

Learning Outcomes

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


  1. Explain electrical system earthing and protective earthing.

  2. Research and explain the procedure for designing an appropriate earthing system for electrical substations and measurement of earth resistance and earth fault loop resistance.

  3. Explain the need for lightning protection of buildings and electrical facilities, and the basic approach for evaluating protection effectiveness.

  4. Describe how to design a comprehensive lightning and surge protection system for a building and evaluate its effectiveness.

  5. Identify the electrical safety hazards present in a given environment and plan appropriate risk prevention and control measures.

  6. Discuss electrical safety legislation applicable in Australia and its impact on the design/operation of electrical systems.


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, 3

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




2, 4

A3. Discernment of knowledge development within the technology domain


3, 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


2, 4

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




3, 5, 6

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

2, 4

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




2, 4, 5

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


1, 2, 3

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



(% of total unit marks)

Learning Outcomes Assessed


Assessment 1

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

Example Topic: System and protective earthing, earthing design.

Students will complete a quiz with MCQ type answers to 30 questions to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the earthing of electrical systems and the design requirements of a protective earthing system.


Week 5

(Week 10

for 24 week delivery)




1, 2


Assessment 2

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

Example Topic: Lightning and surge protection

Students will complete a test with about 20 questions each to be answered in less than 100 words and explanatory diagrams to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of Lightning/surge protection.


Week 7

(Week 14

for 24 week delivery)




3, 4


Assessment 3

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

Example Topic: Project work covering the design of earthing/lightning protection of a facility and the mandatory safety requirements to be incorporated.


Week 10

(Week 20

for 24 week delivery)




2, 3, 4, 5


Assessment 4

Type: Exam

Example Topic: All topics

An examination with a mix of detailed essay type questions and numerical problems to be completed within 2 hours.


Final Week




1 to 6


Attendance / Tutorial Participation

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






Prescribed and Recommended Readings


Required textbook(s)

EIT reference books on Earthing, lightning protection and electrical safety


Reference Materials

Number of peer-reviewed journals and websites (advised during lectures) For example: flash-mitigation-r0-db.pdf : Arc Flash Mitigation by Antony Parsons, Ph.D., P.E., a white paper from Schneider Electric Company.


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

Electrical system and protective earthing

  1. Electrical system earthing – objectives

  2. Types of system earthing and choosing an appropriate system for different applications

  3. Earthing transformer for 3-wire supply

  4. Protective earthing

  5. Equipotential bonding

  6. Extending system earthing to protective conductors and system types (TN, TT and IT)

  7. Use of MEN systems by utilities and the benefits

  8. Earth fault loop impedance and its measurement; relevance to earth fault protection


Topics 3 and 4

Earth electrode and substation earthing design

  1. Soil resistivity and factors that influence resistivity

  2. Measurement of soil resistivity

  3. Earth electrodes and common types of electrodes

  4. Applicable codes on earthing

  5. Measurement of earth electrode resistance and earth grid resistance

  6. Electric shock and tolerance to current

  7. Touch, step, and transferred voltage

  8. Earth grid design, earth potential rise, and computation of touch and step voltage


Topics 5 and 6

Lightning protection, surge protection and EMI control, and the role of earthing

  1. Lightning physics and statistical distribution of lightning parameters

  2. Direct and indirect effects of lightning strike on objects

  3. Side flash and methods of avoidance

  4. Lightning protection of buildings-approach

  5. Evaluation of protection effectiveness

  6. Lightning surges and methods of surge coupling

  7. Surge protection of electrical circuits and energy grading of protection

  8. Design of comprehensive lightning of a facility

  9. Electromagnetic interference, propagation and control

  10. Role of earthing in control of EMI


Topcis 7 and 8

Electrical safety hazards including electric shock and arc flash

  1. Hazards in electrical work

  2. Shock hazard and control measures

  3. Direct and indirect contact

  4. Relevance of earthing in mitigation of indirect contact

  5. Equipment of class 1, 2 and 3

  6. Safe clearances and its relevance in outdoor switchyards

  7. Arc flash hazard

  8. Arc flash hazard assessment procedure

  9. Calculation of arc energy and flash protection boundary

  10. Hazard control measures

  11. Hazardous area classifications

  12. Safety in hazardous locations


Topic 9

Static electricity and hazard control

  1. Basic principles of static charge formation

  2. Problems caused by static electricity

  3. Explosion hazard of static electricity

  4. Calculation of spark energy

  5. Mitigation of static-related problems in equipment

  6. Bonding and its role in mitigation

  7. ESD and basics of protection against damage to sensitive components


Topics 10 and 11

Electrical safety legislation and its impact on the design and operation of electrical systems

  1. A brief history of safety (WHSD) legislation

  2. Electrical safety related legislation

  3. The 3-tiers of legislation

  4. Typical legislation and its objectives

  5. Australian wiring rules-an overview

  6. Safety measures (technical, procedures, organisational)

  7. Hazard control triangle

  8. Design of electrical equipment to ensure safety

  9. Electrical substation safety including hazards in battery installations

  10. WHS procedures for safe electrical work


Topic 12

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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