MMAN3000 Professional Engineering and Communication
T2 2020 Thesis Proposal Assignment Brief
Assessment type: Individual
Weight: 28% (25 % Thesis Proposal and 3% Thesis Title Submission)
Maximum length: 10 pages
This is an individual assessment. You are required to submit your individual thesis proposal
to Turnitin via Moodle.
A similarity report will be generated for each individual submission, so be mindful of
referencing. Acknowledgement of the work of others should be given where deemed
appropriate as it is a key aspect of your professional responsibility as an engineer.
Write a ten (10) page thesis proposal on a topic of your choice formulated as a thesis project.
It is intended that you use this proposal as a starting point when approaching prospective thesis
supervisors for your undergraduate thesis. However, the topic you select for MMAN3000 does
NOT necessarily have to be the topic you eventually choose. You may wish to look at past
theses or discuss your ideas with prospective supervisors or research students as you develop
The list of current projects available in the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing can be
located here: https://moodle.telt.unsw.edu.au/mod/data/view.php?id=1785048
Please follow instructions here to self-enrol into the School Thesis Portal to access the list of
projects : https://www.engineering.unsw.edu.au/mechanical-engineering/resources/thesis
The proposal must contain (section lengths are only a guide):
1) Title, name, keywords, 1-3 relevant FOR codes. (not included in page count)
2) An introduction to your research area (1 page)
3) Literature review:
• 5-10 high quality references tied together in a cohesive story, (1-2 page).
• The literature review should seek to relate the results and outcome from each source
and draw links to how it might contribute to your proposed topic. It should help
formulate your research questions.
4) Research questions to be investigated: as specific as possible (1-2 paragraphs)
Page 2 of 4
5) Proposed methodology (0.5 – 1 page). You will need to identify any necessary resources
for your experiment/simulation. These can include any equipment or software.
6) A project plan for your thesis, which is to include the following items:
b. The scope of the project in the form of a Work Breakdown Structure (1 page)
• Suggested at least 3 levels
• Start your WBS at level 0 and display it as tree diagram.
• Include all the main deliverables, sub-deliverables and work packages.
• Ensure that you codify your WBS.
c. A project network diagram, identifying the critical path and project duration. (1
d. A project schedule in the form of a Gantt chart listing milestones or key
deliverables on a fortnightly basis. (0.5 page)
7) Budget (0.5 page)
• Estimate costs associated with this project (not including your own time).
• Simulation based thesis: Indicate necessary software, licenses and cost etc. (if it is
covered by the University, state explicitly).
• Experimental based thesis: Indicate necessary equipment, quantity, cost etc.
8) Reference list (not included in page count). Referencing must be IEEE style.
• The number of pages provided is only a guide. You free to adjust the number of pages for different
sections according to your specific project outcomes.
• Appendices will not be marked. When writing the assignments, the page limits do not apply to
appendices. However, appendices are not meant to contain much text, if at all. If in doubt, think how a
reader uses an appendix. An appendix is such a part of the document that is NOT crucial for the reader
to understand the ideas presented in the report; instead the information presented in an appendix should
support what is presented in the main body of the document. Examples of information that an appendix
can contain are technical drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, tables, programming codes etc. The
referencing rules also apply to appendices.
Microsoft Words (Feel free to use LaTeX):
Font Type: Times New Romans
Font Size (excluding headers/titles etc): 11
Spacing: 1.5 lines
Page 3 of 4
Context and Significance
0-1 Aims not clear. Student hasn’t done a good job explaining the proposed research.
2-3 Student has not made clear how the project is connected to the background,
although well-described individually. Why is this aim being pursued? Why is this
research question being asked?
4-5 Student states clear project background, and the significance of the research
question. However, student hasn’t put together a proposal which will clearly
evaluate the significance of this research. Lack of some information in
6 Background was clear to the reader as is the significance of the research question.
Solid methodology. The proposal will clearly answer the research question and
demonstrate its significance.
0-1 Insufficient, irrelevant or out of date references chosen.
2-3 References are in related areas and include relevant detail but do not tell a clear
4-5 References are well-described individually and show clearly the work that has been
done in this research area. Although they are related to the proposal, but fail to
specifically highlight an appropriate path for investigation.
6 References have been drawn together in a way which shows that a gap in the
existing knowledge exists which will be addressed by this proposal. They are
ordered logically and demonstrate knowledge of the research area.
0-1 Limited thought has been given to planning this thesis project. Unrealistic
breakdown of tasks or schedule has been provided.
2-3 Student has not made clear how the project will be scheduled, although the project
has been broken down into appropriate sub-deliverables.
4-5 Students provides logical sub-deliverables, with an estimate of task durations and
milestones, which is appropriate for an undergraduate thesis. Budget and resources
are not mentioned or are not fully and logically presented.
6-7 All aspects of project plan including WBS, network diagram schedule, budget,
resources) are clear and realistic for an undergraduate thesis. No missing
Page 4 of 4
0-1 Some elements of the proposal are missing or inconsistent. Poor presentation and
2-3 Document is not at a professional level and do not meet the specification i.e.
length. Diagrams are labelled, and cross-references are consistent, but formatting is
unclear and inconsistent overall. Fails to see the objective of the proposal. Poor use
4-5 Content is complete and readable. All diagrams are clearly labelled and referenced;
formatting is consistent. Appropriate language used, both technically and
6 All aspects of the document are appropriately formatted, clear and consistent. The
language aids readability and diagrams are clear and concise. Proposal is wellpresented and professionally written.