An International Comparison of Final-Year Design Project Curricula


  • Sandra E. Kentish University of Melbourne
  • David C. Shallcross University of Melbourne


This paper reviews design teaching at a total of 15 chemical engineering departments across Australia, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. The emphasis is on the capstone Design Project, which can be viewed as a major transition subject for students as they move into the workplace.

The study shows that this subject has evolved to act as an important mechanism for teaching of transferable skills such as teamwork and oral communication. Future development of the Design Project curricula needs to focus on better integration of sustainability and peer assessment as well as accommodating the worldwide shift in curricula to more bio-based processes.  

Author Biographies

Sandra E. Kentish, University of Melbourne

Sandra Kentish (Ph.D.) is a senior lecturer within the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Melbourne and the coordinator of their capstone Design Project subject. She joined the department in 2000, after working within the chemical industry for nine years. Her research interests are focused in two areas: membrane separations and sonoprocessing (the use of ultrasound in the chemical industry).

David C. Shallcross, University of Melbourne

David Shallcross is an associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Melbourne. He is founding chair of the Institution of Chemical Engineers' Education Subject Group and is editor of the in ternational journal Education for Chemical Engineers. He is the author of three books and is active in promoting the profession within the secondary- school community.