Unit Name


Unit Code

MME 504

Unit Duration

12 weeks


Graduate Diploma of Engineering (Mechanical) Duration: 1 year

Master of Engineering (Mechanical) Duration: 2 years

Year Level


Unit Creator/Reviewer

Andrew Stuart





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

Total student workload including “contact hours” = 9 hours per week: Lecture - 30 min

Tutorial Lecture - 1.5 hour

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

Unit Description and General Aims

Pumps, compressors and fans are essential components in various sectors of industry. They are used in the oil and gas industry, mining and minerals processing industry, steel making, alumina, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and chemical industries in addition to water and effluent, manufacturing and power generation. Pumps, compressors and fans are some of the most common pieces of equipment in any facility and therefore engineers must have a sound knowledge of what they are, what they are used for, how to calculate the process conditions, performance and efficiencies and define the various applications and systems they are employed in.

This unit will introduce the common types of pumps, compressors and fans as well as the drives required to power and control these components. The unit will also include the analysis, calculations and application of these pumps, compressors and fans and the types used for various applications. The unit will allow students to identify and specify the design, type, size, capacity and control method for pumps, compressors and fans.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Understand the function of pumps, compressors and drives

  2. Define, analyse and carry out necessary calculations in order to select the applications of pumps, compressors and their associated drives

  3. Differentiate between types of pumps, compressors and drives

  4. Identify some of the applicable codes and standards appertaining to pumps and compressors

  5. Investigate the economic factors in selecting various types and sizes of pumps, compressors and drives and the impact on CAPEX and OPEX costs

  6. Reflect on the future design and applications of pumps, compressors and drives

    Professional Development

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

    1. Foster 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


2, 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



B. Critical Judgement

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

1.1, 1.2, 1.3,



3, 5

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


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

3, 4, 5

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

5, 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



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, 2, 4, 5, 6

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

1.6, 3.1, 3.5


4, 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


E. Information and Research Skills

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

1.4, 2.4, 3.6

B, C

5, 6

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

1.4, 1.6


1, 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 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

Weighting (% of total unit marks)

Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assessment 1

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

Topic: Fundamental concepts of pump and compressor type selection, design and applications

Week 5


1, 2, 3

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

Topic: ‘Discussion on the selection preferences of particular pump and compressor types for the various industries’ based on historical selection product availability and technical applicability.

Week 9


2, 3, 4, 5

Assessment 3

Type: Report (Final Project)

[If a continuation of the midterm, this should complete the report by adding sections on: methodology, implementation / evaluation, verification / validation, conclusion / challenges and recommendations / future work. If this is a new report, all headings from the midterm and the final reports must be included.]

Word length: 4000

Topic: Nominate a process plant facility type (Power plant, chemical plant, manufacturing plant etc.) and generic location and then select applicable pump, compressor and drive types that would be relevant to that facility. Explain the reasons for the selections.

Final Week


2, 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: Identify an application, produce design criteria and design a gas compressor, drive system and prime mover for a major plant installation.



3, 5

Attendance / Tutorial Participation

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



1, 2, 3, 4, 5,


Prescribed and recommended readings

Required textbook(s)

1. Forsthoffer’s Best Practice Handbook for Rotating Machinery, 2011, W.E. Forsthoffer

Reference Materials

Number of peer-reviewed journals and websites (advised during lectures). Some examples are listed below.

  • Compressor Handbook - Principles and Practice, 2010, Tony Giampaolo, Fairmont Press, Inc.

  • Centrifugal Pump Handbook (3rd Edition) 2010 by Sulzer Pumps

  • Variable Speed Drive Fundamentals (3rd Edition), 1999, Clarence A. Phipps, Fairmont Press, Inc.

  • API 617 Axial and Centrifugal Compressors and Expander-compressors

  • API 618 Reciprocating Compressors for Petroleum, Chemical, and Gas Industry Services

  • API 619 Rotary-Type Positive-Displacement Compressors for Petroleum, Petrochemical, and Natural Gas Industries

  • API 616 Gas Turbines for the Petroleum, Chemical, and Gas Industry Services

Unit Content:

Topic 1

Introduction to Pumps, Compressors, Fans and Drives

  1. Why do we need pumps, compressors and fans and what function do they perform? (A brief review of the development of pumps, compressors, fans and drives and how they have evolved over time)

  2. Brief history of Pumps

  3. Brief history of compressors and fans?

  4. Brief history of the types of drives, bearings and gears employed on pumps, compressors and fans

  5. Applicable standards and industry guidelines

Topics 2 and 3

Pumps - How they are used (and potentially not used) in different industries? - Applications and uses of Pumps

  1. Introduction to types of pumps and their uses

  2. Centrifugal pumps:

  3. Positive displacement pumps:

  4. Pump applications in:

    1. Power plants and nuclear power

    2. Chemical Process industries

    3. Oil and Gas

    4. Mining and mineral processing

    5. Water and effluent

  5. Pump applications in:

    1. Aviation, Transport and automotive

    2. Military

    3. Manufacturing

Topics 4 and 5

Compressors and fans - How they are used (and potentially not used) in different industries? - Applications and Uses of Compressors and fans

  1. Introduction to compressor and fan types and their uses

  2. Centrifugal compressors

  3. Axial flow compressors

  4. Mixed flow compressors

  5. Reciprocating compressors

  6. Rotary screw and vane compressors

  7. Scroll compressors and diaphragm compressors

  8. Axial flow and radial flow fans

  9. Mixed flow fans

  10. Compressor and fan applications in:

    1. Power plants

    2. Chemical Process industries

    3. Oil and Gas

    4. Mining and mineral processing

  11. Compressor and fan applications in:

    1. Aviation

    2. Transport and automotive

    3. Manufacturing

    4. Consumer products

  12. Use of Industry Standards for Compressors such as API 617, 618 and 619

Topic 6

Application and Uses of Drive systems

  1. Introduction to the types and uses of drives

  2. Theory of drives, drive power, torque and efficiency calculations

  3. Direct drives

  4. Gearboxes

  5. Chain drives

  6. Belt drives

  7. Electric motor drivers

  8. Variable speed drives

  9. Steam turbine drivers

  10. Gas turbine drivers including use of Standard API 616 Gas Turbines for the Petroleum, Chemical, and Gas Industry Service

  11. Combination drivers & “helper” motors

Topics 7 and 8

Factors governing the selection of specific pumps, compressors, fans and drives

  1. System Life Cycle

  2. Location of installation

  3. Process medium supply and delivery conditions

  4. Cost

  5. Space available at installation

  6. Reliability

  7. Energy source

  8. Efficiency

  9. Noise management and the use of sound attenuation

  10. Condition monitoring systems

  11. Maintenance strategy to be adopted

  12. Safety Governance

Week 9

How to select and specify Pumps and their associated drives

  1. Concept design, theory and installation methodology

  2. Drive type

  3. Pumping theory, performance and efficiency calculations

  4. Selection criteria and data sheets (pump and drives)

  5. Process data

  6. Application and design considerations

  7. Pump design calculations

  8. Mechanical details

  9. Electrical specifications

  10. Materials of construction

  11. Operational data

  12. Instrumentation and control specification

  13. Hazardous area considerations

Topic 10

How to specify Compressors and Fans and their associated drives

  1. Concept design, theory and installation methodology

  2. Drive type

  3. Compression theory, performance and efficiency calculations

  4. Selection criteria and data sheets (compressor and drives)

  5. Process data

  6. Application and design considerations

  7. Compressor and fan design calculations

  8. Mechanical details

  9. Electrical specifications

  10. Materials of construction

  11. Operational data

  12. Instrumentation and control specification

  13. Hazardous area considerations

Topic 11

Operation, inspection, maintenance, repair and troubleshooting

  1. Pump and compressor operating environment including surge, stall, cavitation, recirculation. Compressor maps.

  2. Starting, running, short and long term shut-down procedures

  3. Abnormal operation and its correction. Troubleshooting.

  4. RAM (Reliability, Availability and Maintainability)

  5. Maintenance concepts, inspection methods and techniques

  6. Maintenance planning, statutory inspections, OEM or aftermarket repair and reconditioning

  7. Spare parts inventory

  8. Facilities and tooling

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 specialised 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.