ENGG1200 – Engineering Modelling & Problem Solving

Lecturer Associate Professor Carl Reidsema
Course Link UQ Site
Faculty EAIT
Prerequisites MATH1050 or sound achievement or better in Qld Senior Maths C, ENGG1100
Contact Hours 1 Lecture hour, 4 Practical or Laboratory hours
Semester(s) Taught Semester 2
Course Units 2
Submit reviewView reviews (4)


Total average


Learning Materials ( 26.5 )
Learning Activities ( 29.3 )
Blackboard Management ( 44.8 )
Course Content ( 27 )
Course Structure ( 23.5 )
Contact Availability ( 52 )
Course Difficulty ( 56 )

Reviews (4)

ENGG1200 – Engineering Modelling & Problem Solving 38.0

ENGG1200 is among the foulest courses that exist at UQ. It infests the darkest, filthiest places, it glories in decay and despair, it drains peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around it... Get too near ENGG1200 and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you.

The course is heavily self-taught and group work orientated. However, it is exceptionally difficult to motivate yourself to learn the content since much of it is useless. The recurring problem for this course seems to be that they set work just for the sake of having work. For instance, the combined assessment for the group project is 55%. This is quite low considering that the whole point of the course is to prepare you and work on the group project. Moreover, the rest of the course is comprised of learning activities that are seriously lacking meaningful structure or require a lot of effort for minimal percentage.

The prac sessions were ridiculously disorganised. The first prac of the week was used as a learning period for learning the software and formatting for the group project. The learning material given in these pracs were very lengthy, varying between 5 - 17 pages long and were overfilled with useless information. Due to this, getting more than halfway through these activities at the end of the session was a rare occurrence. Although 2 hours to complete activities sounds like more than enough time, half the session was usually filled with tutors coming around to check attendance, completion of tasks and to go through formatting content, which could have easily been covered in an email. If the prac sessions accounted better for time and the content was more concise and highlighted the major components in the material that is actually useful for the project, then the prac sessions would be far more useful.

The second prac session of the week was the material modules, which included an abundance of information that wasn’t really relevant unless you were majoring in chemical or civil engineering. Alas, they don’t make it any easier even if does have nothing to do with your major. Similar to the learning material given in the first prac session, the material is unnecessarily wordy and hard to read without having an overwhelming urge to be hit by a truck.

At the start of the course, the co-ordinaters introduce the problem solving sets, letting you know that you have 7 weeks to complete it. If you’re not a nerd however, you’ll give yourself the day before its due to finish it. Then it will dawn on you - you thought the course was already a bit much, but now its just ridiculous. For a bittersweet 10%, you will spend a good portion of what could have been a nice day, drawing pictures and diagrams.

To top it all off, the tutors aren’t particularly helpful, as when asking for help for your actual project, they don’t seem to know much about simulink or ansys at all. You're better off looking through youtube tutorials.

Since ENGG1200 is a compulsory course, I highly recommend seriously considering transferring to QUT instead or just stick it out because it’s a pretty easy course, just really annoying.

Semester taken

Semester 2 - 2016

Your program/major

Chem & Enviro Eng

Is lecture attendance necessary?


Is the textbook necessary?


  • Design & Model systems
  • too much work that counts little towards your grade
  • Learning resources not concise, hard to focus on
  • Tutors don't understand how to use programs enough to help other people use them
Posted on February 18, 2018 7:00 pm
ENGG1200 – Engineering Modelling & Problem Solving 34.3

The second painful setback after Engg1100 to get to second year engineering. Improves some aspects of the previous course and worsens many others. Chock full of tedious, uninteresting tasks that are not only time consuming, but unnecessary. Problem solving modules, templates and m00cchat (online chat where you discuss a certain problem with peers) just to name a few. Overall a terrible course but bearable with a good group. I can only hope 1100 and 1200 aren't actually good examples of what future engineering holds.

Semester taken

Semester 1 - 2017

Your program/major

Mech and Aero

Is lecture attendance necessary?

No lectures

Is the textbook necessary?


  • Decent projects
  • Good Tutors
  • No Logbook
  • Filled with boring, useless tasks
  • Lack of actual teaching
  • Creo PTC
Posted on January 2, 2018 11:27 pm
ENGG1200 – Engineering Modelling & Problem Solving 40.0

Where should I start with this course. As a first year introductory course ENGG1200 is not hard in content, and many of you might find it easier than ENGG1100 since it actually teaches you something, in the sense that they actually provide you with resources to learn. Yeah, literally. What better ways to teach a student than stuffing their faces with videos each week and quizzes and let them learn themselves. You heard it right. For $2000, you get 4 'materials' videos each week about various topics regarding material in engineering, and multiple quizzes (four to five located in various hidden places on blackboard) to keep you busy. This semester we even had to do a thing called MOOchat which is apparently one of Carl's research project (lab rat much) and all you do is answer questions online then discuss it with others. The questions are hectic and the discussion part often end in people sharing life experiences and posting lame jokes.

Did I just tell you you learn by yourself in this course? While you are forced to attend a Material session and a problem solving session each week, they are quite useless to be honest. In these so called material sessions you participate in activities about engineering materials but the all the content covered comes from the videos. The materials knowledge might be good, but I just do not understand the point of learning about these stuff if you are not going to become anything other than mechanical engineers (or maybe civil and chemical).

The problem solving sessions on the other hand is completely useless in my opinion. Its nothing more than a group of people filling in booklets that are plain useless and teaches you nothing and leaves you going "wtf did i do for 2hrs" afterwards. The problem solving booklets cover stuff such as SOLVEM, MATLAB, excel, math etc. All you do is fill in the blanks, and what to do when you actually don't know anything about these stuff? you google them or ask the tutors who may or may not best at explaining these concepts.

Sounds boring, right? It really is. Whats worse is they are expecting first year engineering students to self learn. what a joke. For a hard course, you are FORCED to learn and try hard because if you don't , you will fail. For ENGG1200, you can try if you want, but if you don't, you will most likely get carried by your team in the end.

Speaking of team, don't even get me started on the team. You should have a bit of idea about what teams are like if you have done ENGG1100. Except this time, despite all the unhappy memories you've had with your previous team in ENGG1100, you are apparently placed with people who received similar PAFs as you. Ok, since you are taking the time to read my review, i'll tell you a bit about my team.

I chose project A which was to build an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, a glider. If you are looking to become an electrical or a software engineer (like me) then too sad, this project doesn't relate to these disciplines in the slightest. You are required to build " a dumb thing". I received somewhat good PAF from ENGG1100 for some reason (redroom visits with team paid off ), and was placed in a team with 5 other HIGHLY MOTIVATED individuals. They were so so so so motivated for the project and super duper keen #hypeisreal.
Throughout the semester, we had on average 4 hours of team meeting a week (totally unnecessary but everyone was forced to go in fear of bad PAF), met on weekends to build the craft (i thought it was super unproductive and pointless but had to go because team all went), 8 am team meetings, super intensive facebook group discussions (had to disable notifications cuz its quite annoying), spent over $100 bucks on the materials etc. What makes me angry the most is the fact that despite the stupid amount of time our team spent on this project, our craft didn't even come up on top in terms of results.

The whole point of my story is, ENGG1200 is an incredibly annoying course that puts unnecessary pressure on students and teaches no useful knowledge what so ever. Any deliverable content are present in the form of so called "self learn", meaning minimum direct teaching is done yet you still pay 2k-ish (higher for international students) for this joke of a course.

When you have done this course you will appreciate what i mean.
Thanks for listening to my pointless rant, and I'm glad ENGG1200 is the last course of this type I'll ever do in my degree.

Semester taken

Semester 1 - 2015

Your program/major


Is lecture attendance necessary?


Is the textbook necessary?


  • team can be chill and get carried by them
  • not very content heavy
  • tons of quizzes each week with similar names and all over blackboard to keep you busy
  • Knowledge you will probably NEVER use again in your degree
  • Tedious selection of projects that probably will not work in the end
Posted on November 15, 2015 8:17 pm
ENGG1200 – Engineering Modelling & Problem Solving 35.7

I took Project A in ENGG1200, which consisted of creating an 'aerial deployment' system to deploy cargo from a plane. (Apparently the existing approach of simply dropping it is inadequate.) If it was actually attached to the underside of the plane, the design would - by necessity - throw the payload into the plane or directly in front of the cockpit, probably killing everybody on board.

While I'd love to think this was brilliant and dark satire of a career in mechanical or aerospace engineering... I think it's far more likely this subject was not thought out very well.

The first six weeks were spent in problem solving sessions, where we learned how valuable modelling could be in informing design decisions and predicting performance. As a result, the actual modelling component of the course was left too late to inform design decisions or predict performance .

Strike one.

Also during this six weeks, we learned extensively about properties of materials that were almost entirely irrelevant to our project, and crammed for a midsemester exam instead of working on our prototype. After all, the alternative would have been to space this content out nicely and sit a final exam (there was none) that wouldn't interfere with the project, and who would want that?

Strike two.

Continually distracting students from actually performing useful work quickly became thematic, with regular workshops (consisting of purely filler content) and reflections (on which you were marked on your capacity to hate yourself eloquently and thoroughly). In fact, half of the final report consisted on reflecting on your team and the subject, which totally dispels any possibility of ENGG1200 assessment feigning realism... could you imagine Boeing asking you for a design spec of your system, then equally extensive descriptions of how well your team got along and how difficult it was? (I can, because I have a powerful imagination, but you get my point.)

Now, you were probably expecting me to say "Strike Three" here, but I won't. That would dispel the tension and the anticipation you built up, which is incidentally a key part of foreplay. Listen up lads, your missus will appreciate it. If you don't have a missus, even more reason to listen up. If you're not after a missus, well, you're gonna keep reading this anyway, aren't you?

Speaking of interpersonal relationships (I know, foreign to many of my fellow engineering students), I should state that everyone involved with ENGG1200 was lovely, from course coordinators to tutors to rail operators. My experience was actually largely pleasant; it's merely my learning that was undermined. (If only I'd kept the robot from ENGG1100...)

While a rare glimmer of optimism is temporarily relieving the bland malaise pervading the rest of this review, let me also state the modelling component of this course was rather enjoyable and could've been quite successful had more time and learning been allocated to it. Three weeks of following video tutorials got my group *almost* to the point where our simulations became useful; I imagine a proper implementation could actually be quite helpful and engaging.

Alas, instead we only managed a poor representation of a project with uninteresting constraints (size, weight, etc.) and limited design possibilities informed by an inaccurate project brief (lovely to find that out in Week 11) and information scattered across generally irrelevantly named Blackboard subfolders. Our reasonable success came in spite of this subject, not because of it.

Strike three.

(there's a lesson in that too, fellas)

Semester taken

Semester 2 - 2014

Your program/major

BE / BSc

Is lecture attendance necessary?


Is the textbook necessary?


  • Teamwork makes the dream work!
  • All staff were splendid and occasionally extremely attractive
  • Modelling component was surprisingly interesting and had lots of potential
  • Perusing the course outline felt like wading through barbed wire
  • Impossible to take the project seriously when it was pointless and probably fatal
  • Sorely disappointed to learn the modelling component was not a casting call for Australia's Next Top Model
Posted on November 9, 2014 3:51 am

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