Module Catalogue 2019/20

MEC3017 : Managing Engineering Operations

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Simon Smith
  • Lecturer: Professor Kenneth Dalgarno, Mr Simon Parker
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 15
ECTS Credits: 8.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment

Minimum English Language to IELTS 6.0 or Pearsons 54 or equivalent. Satisfy progression or admissions requirement for entry to Stage 3 of CEng-accredited BEng/MEng Honours degree programme (or EU Bologna-compliant equivalent) by satisfactory completion of Stage 2 or equivalent at NQF Level 5 normally with two years of prior study related to this topic); or meeting the Newcastle University entrance requirement for any Masters-level degree programme specifying this particular module in its Degree Regulations.

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



To outline the principles and tools used in Project Management (PM), the design and operation of production systems (DOPS), and supply chain management (SCM) within the manufacturing environment.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module defines how to effectively manage engineering operations within the manufacturing environment. It is presented in three integrated components as noted below.

1.       Project management
i.       Project initiation: customer requirements; agreeing a project specification; constructing an initial project plan
ii.       Tasks definition: project deliverables; critical tasks; allocating resources to tasks
iii.       Scheduling and time management: object oriented project planning methods; Gantt charts; e-management techniques
iv.       Good PM practice: data management; recording project work (logbook); effective practice during meetings; risk management

2.       Design and operation of production systems
i.       Reprise: Types of Production
ii.       Design of Manufacturing Systems: Factory planning, Flow line balancing, Capacity planning, Theory of constraints
iii.       Operation of Manufacturing Systems: Scheduling, Resource planning (MRP, MRP II, eRP), Lean and Kaizen (PDCA, 7W, 6sigma, 5S, Error Proofing)

3.       Supply chain management
i.       SCM Functions, Strategy and management, Major trends in SCM
ii.       SCM in the non‐manufacturing sector,
iii.       Likely future developments in SCM

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

At the end of the module, students should have the ability to:
1.       Identify business, customer and user needs in the wider engineering context.
2.       Plan and manage the design process including cost drivers; and to evaluate the outcomes of the design process.
3.       Employ project management methodologies progressing towards achieving project objectives.
4.       Appraise the relevant legal requirements governing engineering activities including: contracts; intellectual property rights; product safety; and liability issues.
5.       Appraise and manage risk, including: health & safety; environmental; and commercial risk.
6.       Discriminate between the different roles within an engineering team; and to operate within a given role.
7.       Appraise the use of measurement and control systems in manufacturing.
8.       Identify different quality assurance systems, with relevant applications.
9.       Articulate the critical importance of supply chain management at every stage of the chain.
10.       Understand the major functions of supply chain management.
11.       Understand the contribution of supply chain management to corporate strategy at both the domestic and international level.
12.       Gain an overview of the latest trends within supply chain management in the context of marketing, finance, strategy and economics.

Intended Skill Outcomes

At the end of this module, students should be equipped to:
1.       Modify project specifications where the existing information may be incomplete or uncertain.
2.       To devise and implement a personal programme of work; to schedule the aforementioned programme of work using appropriate project planning software (MindView).
3.       To exercise initiative and personal responsibility; either as a team member or leader.
4.       Apply commonly used tools to develop rational production system designs and production schedules.
5.       Identify the most relevant management techniques; to apply such techniques to manufacturing taking into account business objectives.
6.       Confidently articulate current commercial issues in supply chain management.
7.       Evaluate the merits and deficiencies of successful and unsuccessful supply chains.
8.       Apply key supply chain management theories from the academic literature to the commercial environment.
9.       Plan and organise effective learning in a group.
10.       Plan and organise effective learning on an individual basis.

Graduate Skills Framework

Graduate Skills Framework Applicable: Yes
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Skills
    • Critical Thinking : Assessed
    • Data Synthesis : Assessed
    • Active Learning : Assessed
    • Numeracy : Present
    • Literacy : Assessed
    • Information Literacy
      • Source Materials : Assessed
      • Synthesise And Present Materials : Assessed
      • Use Of Computer Applications : Assessed
  • Self Management
    • Self Awareness And Reflection : Assessed
    • Planning and Organisation
      • Goal Setting And Action Planning : Assessed
      • Decision Making : Assessed
    • Personal Enterprise
      • Innovation And Creativity : Assessed
      • Initiative : Present
      • Independence : Assessed
      • Problem Solving : Assessed
      • Adaptability : Assessed
    • Budgeting : Assessed
  • Interaction
    • Communication
      • Oral : Assessed
      • Interpersonal : Present
      • Written Other : Assessed
    • Team Working
      • Collaboration : Assessed
      • Relationship Building : Assessed
      • Leadership : Present
      • Negotiation : Present
      • Peer Assessment Review : Assessed
  • Application
    • Occupational Awareness : Assessed
    • Commercial Acumen
      • Market Awareness : Assessed
      • Governance Awareness : Present
      • Financial Awareness : Assessed
      • Business Planning : Assessed
    • Social Cultural Global Awareness : Assessed
    • Legal Awareness : Assessed

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:001:00PC Examination (SCM)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion172:0034:00Recommended revision time for the PC examination (SCM).
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:001:00Written examination (DOPS)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion172:0034:00Recommended revision time for the written examinations (DOPS).
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture172:0034:00Formal taught sessions to the entire cohort introducing theoretical concepts, methods & applications
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion92:0018:00Recommended preparation time for the project management report.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching42:008:00Problem classes (“tutorials”) to support independent study and reinforce skills & practise
Guided Independent StudyProject work52:0010:00Individual project planning using the BEng (MEC3098) project as a case study.
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity52:0010:00Reflection upon knowledge acquired during the Design for Industry (MEC3018) project.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

An introductory lecture will be used to explain the rationale and structure of the module. Following from this, the
Scheduled two hour lecture sessions will be used to introduce theory, case studies, and practical examples to support the learning of all learning and skill outcomes for the module. Students will have the opportunity to raise questions and to receive formative feedback. The small group teaching sessions will be an opportunity for the students to demonstrate their learning in a more supportive environment, and hence to receive more bespoke feedback.

The reflective learning and project work sessions are an opportunity for the students to develop learning outcomes 1-6; and skill outcomes 1-3. This is aligned to the formatively assessed presentations; and summatively assessed project planning report.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination602A33Computer based assessment to assess the learning outcomes from the supply chain lectures
PC Examination602A33Closed book examination to assess the learning outcomes from the manufacturing lectures.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M34Individual project planning report based on Design for Industry (MEC3018) and BEng (MEC3098) projects (1500 words max)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation2MGroup presentation to assess and provide feedback for learning outcomes 1-6 and skill outcomes 1-3
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessment Rationale and Relationship:

The project planning report will assess learning outcomes 1-6; and skill outcomes 1-3. The report will be split into two 750 word sections: 1) A critical reflective account of team project management focusing on the individual role pursued during the Design for Industry team project (MEC3018); 2) An individual project plan focusing on the BEng individual project (MEC3098) which should include a detailed object oriented plan and Gantt chart. The formatively assessed presentations give the students an opportunity to demonstrate their learning of learning outcomes 1-6; and skill outcomes 1-3 and will receive feedback at this stage.

For the written exam (DOPS), students will show their overall understanding of operational processes and how to rationalise them, calculate key indicators and balance process flows.

The PC examination (SCM) provides the most effective way to assess both theoretical understanding and problem solving skills under time constraint as required by industry.

For the purposes of professional body accreditation, in order to obtain a passing mark overall for this module
(40%) at the first attempt the minimum acceptable mark for each of the assessment items specified below shall be
30%, with the maximum possible module overall mark where this is not the case being restricted to 35%
(Undergraduate Progress Regulations):
(1) 33% Written Exam
(2) 33% PC Exam
(3) 34% Report


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2019/20 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2020/21 entry will be published here in early-April 2019. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.