Unit Name


Unit Code

MME 503

Unit Duration

12 weeks


Graduate Diploma of Engineering Duration: 1 year

Master of Engineering (Mechanical) Duration: 2 years

Year Level


Unit Creator/Reviewer

Vernon Benjamin





Credit Points


Grad Dip total course credit points = 24 (3 credits x 8 (units))

Masters total course credit points = 48

(12 credits (Thesis) + 3 credits x 12 (units))

Mode of Delivery

On-Campus or Online

Unit Workload

Student workload including “contact hours” = 9 hours per week: Lecture - 1 hour

Tutorial Lecture - 1 hours

Practical / Lab - 1 hour (where applicable) Personal Study recommended - 6 hours

Unit Description and General Aims

A deep knowledge of hydraulics and/or pneumatics (H/P) is vital for design of efficient hydraulic and pneumatic systems (including individual machines), maintenance and trouble-shooting. The student will gain a working knowledge of how to apply H/P to achieve desired outcomes. This unit will focus on a range of varied circuit configurations including components controlling both fluid pressure and flow. Furthermore, a good working knowledge of other items that makes up a circuit, such as, actuators: both linear (cylinders) and rotary (motors). The student will be able to apply electro-hydraulic technology, both proportional- and servo-motor types.

The student will learn to apply knowledge gained of hydrostatics and fluid flow theory to calculate circuit requirements such as load capacity, pipe sizes, heat generation and input power. This topic will also deal with correct system installation, how to achieve reliability in operation and trouble shooting of complete systems.

Topics on the social, economic and environmental issues arising from the implementation of H/P systems, especially when coupled with robotics and mechatronics will be evaluated. A well-proven PC based program will enable the student to design and test their own circuit designs. The Karnaugh mapping method will enable students to minimise the number of components in a circuit to achieve desired outcomes.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Evaluate the economics, and other factors for an application, to utilise an industrial H/P system in preference to other systems and to delineate which system is best.

  2. Analyse in detail what discrete components make up an H/P system.

  3. Research information on optimal design, operation, troubleshooting and maintenance of H/P systems.

  4. Reflect on the social, commercial and regulatory impacts of installing or modifying H/P systems.

  5. Analyse existing or propose new applications for industrial H/P systems.

  6. Creatively design a system to satisfy end user requirements.

    Professional Development

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

    1. Fostering the personal and professional skills development of students to:

      1. Be adaptable and capable 21st century citizens, who can communicate effectively, work collaboratively, think critically and innovatively solve complex problems.

      2. Equipping individuals with an increased capacity for lifelong learning and professional development.

      3. Planning and organising self and others

      4. Instilling leadership qualities and a capacity for ethical and professional contextualization of knowledge

    2. Enhancing students’ investigatory and research capabilities through:

      1. Solving complex and open-ended engineering problems

      2. Accessing, evaluating and analysing information

      3. Processes and procedures, cause – effect investigations

    3. Developing the engineering application abilities of students through:

      1. Assignments

      2. Labs / practical / case studies / self-study (where applicable)

Engineers Australia

The Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for the Professional Engineer, 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


Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.


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


In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.


Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline.


Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline.


Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the specific discipline.


Engineering Application Ability


Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving.


Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.


Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes.


Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects.


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 9 criteria, Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards for the Professional Engineer and the Washington Accord:

Graduate Attributes

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

EA Stage 1 Competencies

Professional Development

Learning Outcomes

A. Effective Communication

A1. 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.

2.2, 3.2


1, 3, 4, 6

A2. Ability to professionally manage oneself, teams, information and projects and engage effectively and appropriately across a diverse range of international cultures in leadership, team and individual roles.

2.4, 3.2, 3.4,

3.5, 3.6


4, 5

B. Critical Judgement

B1. Ability to critically analyse and evaluate complex information and theoretical concepts.

1.1, 1.2, 1.3,



1, 5, 6

B2. Ability to creatively, proactively and innovatively apply theoretical concepts, knowledge and approaches with a high level of accountability, in an engineering context.

1.5, 2.1, 3.3,


A, C

1, 6

C. Design and Problem Solving Skills

C1. Cognitive skills to synthesise, evaluate and use information from a broad range of sources to effectively identify, formulate and solve engineering problems.

1.5, 2.1, 2.3

B, C

1, 5, 6

C2. Technical and communication skills to design complex systems and solutions in line with developments in engineering professional practice.

2.2, 2.3

A, B

1, 4, 6

C3. Comprehension of the role of technology in society and identified issues in applying engineering technology ethics and impacts; economic; social; environmental and sustainability.

1.5, 1.6, 3.1


1, 4, 6

D. Science and Engineering Fundamentals

D1. Breadth and depth of mathematics, science, computer technology and specialist engineering knowledge and understanding of future developments.

1.1, 1.2, 1.3,



1, 6

D2. Knowledge of ethical standards in relation to professional engineering practice and research.

1.6, 3.1, 3.5


2, 6

D3. Knowledge of international perspectives in engineering and ability to apply various national and International Standards.

1.5, 1.6, 2.4,


A, C

1, 4, 6

E. Information and Research Skills

E1. Application of advanced research and planning skills to engineering projects.

1.4, 2.4, 3.6

B, C

1, 4

E2. Knowledge of research principles and methods in an engineering context.

1.4, 1.6


1, 5

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 Professional Engineer.


Graduate Attributes













Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competencies and Elements of Competency




























































Unit Learning Outcomes




















Student assessment

Assessment Type

(e.g. Assignment - 2000 word essay (specify topic) Examination (specify length and format))

When assessed (e.g. Week 5)

Weighting (% of total unit marks)

Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assessment 1

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Role Play / Self-Assessment / Presentation

Example Topic: Knowledge of physics as applicable to industrial H/P systems. Financial, social and environmental considerations needed when proposing new H/P systems. Be able to make engineering calculations to achieve this. Appreciation of H/P elements and how they are integrated into systems.

Application of logic methods to optimise circuit design.

Week 5


1, 2

Assessment 2

Type: Report / Research / Paper / Case Study / Site Visit

/ Problem analysis / Project / Professional recommendation

Example: Report (Midterm Project)

[This will include a progress report; literature review, hypothesis, and methodology / conclusions]

Word length: 2000

Example Topic: H/P system operation, inspection, maintenance, repair and troubleshooting.

Week 8


1, 2, 3

Assessment 3

Type: Report (Final Project)

Word length: 4000 (excluding makers’ diagrams and layout drawings.)

Example Topic: To design a complete system including awareness of new applications for H/P systems, ways of mechanically transferring forces from actuators, and taking everything into account the student has learned to date. The student will be given project criteria that must be met. The student must show calculations, both engineering and economic. The student will verify the circuit design with simulation software such as Fluidsim hydraulics and pneumatics, or Matlab SimHydraulics.

Final Week


3, 4, 5, 6

Practical Participation

Type: May be in the form of quizzes, class tests, practical assessments, remote labs, simulation software or case studies.

Example: Hydraulics and/or pneumatics simulation in Fluidsim or SimHydraulics.




Attendance / Tutorial Participation




Assessment Type

(e.g. Assignment - 2000 word essay (specify topic) Examination (specify length and format))

When assessed (e.g. Week 5)

Weighting (% of total unit marks)

Learning Outcomes Assessed

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


Prescribed and recommended readings

Required textbook(s)

1. J. Watton, Fundamentals of Fluid Power Control, 1st ed, Cambridge University Press, 2009 (on line 2012)

Reference Materials

  1. Hydraulic circuit simulation software, Fluidsim ver. 3.6 for 32 and 64 bit systems, Festo

  2. Matlab SimHydraulics or shareware simulations available on the internet

  1. Hydraulic and Pneumatic Systems: Operation and troubleshooting, 5th revision, IDC Perth Australia publication

  2. Harry L. Stewart, Pneumatics and Hydraulics, Audel Books, USA, rev 4, October 1984

  3. Other texts, peer-reviewed journals and websites. To be advised during 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

Introduction to Industrial hydraulics

  1. A brief review of H/P history; developments to date

  2. Required knowledge of hydrostatics and fluid flow theory of both incompressible and compressible fluids. To include calculations of Reynolds number, the various viscosity standards and Bernoulli’s equation.

  3. Evaluating economic outcomes by implementing H/P systems

  4. Consideration of social (more automation) and environmental (noise) impacts.

Topics 3, 4 and 5

H/P basic circuit design

  1. Recognise the purpose of all components and ancillary equipment (and in the case of valves, their internal functioning; including various types of valve actuators). Know what makes their operation safe.

  2. To know the different standard valve symbols used internationally

  3. To be able to use components to achieve logic outcomes, using Boolean algebra and logic diagrams.

  4. To be able to make correct actuator selections. To understand feed-back.

  5. To design simple circuits that achieves the design requirements by using simulation software. To prove by calculation that the power needed to overcome all losses and circuit heating criteria are met

Topics 6 and 7

H/P system operation, inspection, maintenance, repair and troubleshooting

  1. Importance of using current information

  2. How to implement operator and maintenance personnel training

  3. Know when and what inspection method to use, e.g. thermography, S.O.A.P. particle analysis, pressure samples

  4. Be able to specify what facilities and special tools must be at hand.

Topics 8 and 9

New circuit applications

  1. Know sufficient about mechatronics to be able to interface H/P systems with electrical and electronic (PLC and servo) systems.

  2. Know when standard actuator fittings are available for transferring forces.

  3. To design adequate safety features into the circuit.

Topics 10 and 11

  1. The student will show the ability to design a complete, complex, practical H/P system; the lecturer will state what outcomes are required.

  2. The system is to be optimised for minimum power consumption. Electrical power and heat output must be calculated, with practical margins. Students will use the simulation software, to calculate this, cross-checking from first principle calculations. The system is to use standard components as far as possible to minimise capital outlay.

  3. The system must be designed to fail safe from any dangerous situation caused by its failure or by incorrect human intervention. The student must state where and how this has been taken into account.

Topic 12

Project and/or 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.

The Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) is dedicated to ensuring our students receive a world-class education and gain skills they can immediately implement in the workplace upon graduation. Our staff members uphold our ethos of honesty and integrity, and we stand by our word because it is our bond. Our students are also expected to carry this attitude throughout their time at our institute, and into their careers.