Engineering Institute of Technology


Unit Name


Unit Code



Unit Duration



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)

Lecture : 1.5 hours

Guided study : 2 hours (readings, assessments, video, case studies) Tutorial : 1.5 hours

Personal Study : 5 hours

The objective in presenting this unit is to provide students with an in-depth knowledge and comprehension of pump, seal, and compressor construction, design applications, operations, selection, installation, and maintenance related issues.


The subject matter covered in this unit will include pump characteristics and operation, and the working principles and performance characteristics of reciprocating and centrifugal compressors. The basic principles and mechanics of seal operation will also be examined, including seal classification, design, and materials – ranging from elastomeric materials to cemented carbides. Students will also be instructed on the selection of the correct seal type, analyse failed seals and determine the cause/s of failure, learn how seal life can be extended and how premature seal failure can be reduced through simple modifications.


At the conclusion of this unit, students will have been imparted with the requisite knowledge to judiciously select, install, test and maintain pumps; comprehend the principles and mechanics of operation of reciprocating and centrifugal compressors; and, have considerable insights into all aspects of seals.


Learning Outcomes


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

  1. Distinguish between different pump types along with their operating principles

  2. Describe pump characteristics and operation

  3. Select, install, test and maintain pumps

  4. Examine the principles and mechanics of sealing

  5. Assess seal design requirements

  6. Explain considerations related to seal selection, handling and installation

  7. Evaluate the principles and mechanics of operation of reciprocating and centrifugal compressors

    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.

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.

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, 4

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




2, 5

A3. Discernment of knowledge development within the technology domain


2, 4, 7

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


3, 5

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


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



(% of total unit marks)

Learning Outcomes Assessed


Assessment 1

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

Example Topic: Positive displacement pumps, Centrifugal pumps, pump components

Students will complete a quiz with MCQ type answers to 30 questions to demonstrate a good understanding of the principles and mechanism of different types of pumps, their components and statutory requirements


Week 3






Assessment 2

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

Example Topic: Pump characteristics, Pump selection, testing and maintenance


Students will answer questions and solve short problems relating to pump characteristics, selection, installation, testing and maintenance


Week 5




2, 3


Assessment 3

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

/ Report

Example Topic: Seal principles, seal friction, wear, balance, life, pre-load

Students will provide answers to simple essay questions to show evidence of their understanding of fundamental seal principles and solve simple calculation based problems on seal life, balance and preload.


Week 8




4, 5


Assessment 4

Type: Exam or Project

Example Topic: Selection of pumps, seals and compressors for different applications

Students will be presented with examples of applications for which they will choose the right pumps, seals and compressors, based on their understanding of the parameters governing the selection


Final Week




3, 6, 7


Attendance / Tutorial Participation

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






1 to 7

Prescribed and recommended readings




Practical Pumps: Design, Operation and Maintenance for Centrifugal and Positive Displacement Pumps, IDC Technologies, Perth


Practical Pumps and Compressors: Control, Operation, Maintenance and Troubleshooting,

IDC Technologies, Perth


Practical Mechanical Sealing with Rotary, Pneumatic and Hydraulic Seal Types plus Gaskets, IDC Technologies, Perth


Journal, website



Notes and Reference texts

IDC Technologies

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.


Topic 1

Introduction to Pumps

  1. Pump definition and types

  2. Pump components

  3. Positive displacement pumps

  4. Other pump types

  5. Centrifugal pumps

  6. What constitutes a good pump?

  7. Overview of statutory requirements


Topic 2

Centrifugal Pumps

  1. Pump casings

  2. Impellers

  3. Axial/radial forces

  4. Shafts and shaft seals

  5. Drives and couplings

  6. Supports and pipe connections

  7. Auxiliaries


Topic 3

Pump Characteristics and Operation

  1. Hydraulic properties of pumps

  2. QH and PQ curves

  3. Effect of speed changes on curves

  4. Multiple pump operation

  5. Range of pump operation


Topic 4

Pump Selection, Installation, Testing and Maintenance

  1. System analysis

  2. Pump specification document

  3. Bid request, review and analysis

  4. Pump installation issues

  5. Testing and commissioning

  6. Maintenance and repair

  7. Condition monitoring


Topic 5

Basic Seal Principles

  1. Mechanics of sealing

  2. Purpose of sealing

  3. Basics regarding speed and pressure

  4. Basic seal requirements

  5. Seal friction and wear

  6. Seal life

  7. Seal balance criterion

  8. Seal applications


Topic 6

Mechanical Seal Design and Classification

  1. Identifying seal components and their function

  2. Identifying primary sealing components

  3. Secondary sealing components

  4. Inside and outside seals

  5. Static and dynamic seals

  6. Seal pre-loading


Topic 7

Seal Materials

  1. General considerations

  2. Properties of elastomers

  3. Carbides

  4. Miscellaneous sealing materials

  5. Material compatibility


Topic 8

Seal selection, Handling and Installation

  1. Seal selection guides

  2. General installation considerations

  3. Seal face squareness

  4. Centering seal faces


Topic 9

Seal Failures

  1. Factors influencing seal life

  2. Factors affecting seal performance

  3. Seal malfunction and probable causes

  4. Friction and wear

  5. Corrosion


Topic 10

Reciprocating Compressors

  1. Principles and mechanics

  2. Parts of a reciprocating compressor

  3. Maintenance of reciprocating compressors

  4. Performance of reciprocating compressors

  5. Mechanical forces


Topic 11

Centrifugal Compressors

  1. Principles of operation

  2. Components

  3. Casing configurations

  4. Types

  5. Performance

  6. Polytropic compressors

  7. Characteristic curves

  8. Compressor controls


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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