Engineering Communications, Ethics and Professionalism



Louise MeunierDupuis 211louise.meunier@queensu.ca613-533-6000 x78048



Course Description

This course provides advanced instruction and practice in engineering communications, engineering ethics and professionalism. Effective engineering writing and speaking skills are developed with an emphasis on technical reports and oral presentations. Students will learn how to gather information from literature sources, apply appropriate citation styles, present data, and write effective documents. Activities include case studies involving the application of codes, engineering ethics, equity, and professionalism. This course is integrated with CHEE 331. (0/0/12/0/0)

PREREQUISITES: APSC 200 or APSC 202, APSC 293 or permission of the Department.

COREQUISITES: CHEE 331, or permission of the Department.

Objectives and Outcomes

The objective of this course is to develop proficiency in written and oral technical communications. Self-assessment and peer review are key components of the course. The course is coupled with CHEE 331 (Design of Unit Operations).

Specific course learning outcomes (CLO) include:

  1. Critically evaluate written material, including scholarly sources.
  2. Present concise, coherent, and grammatically correct materials (written and oral) that reflect critical analysis and synthesis, and appropriately address the needs of the audience.
  3. Create accurate and complete technical graphics to explain, interpret, and assess information.
  4. Deliver formal and informal oral presentations with appropriate language, style, timing, and flow.
  5. Apply principles of engineering ethics and equity to issues encountered during engineering practice.
  6. Analyze social and environmental aspects of engineering activities.

This course assesses the following attributes:

Teamwork (CLO 1-5)

  • CHEE-TEA-2:  Elicits and applies positive and effective feedback from mentors and peers in technical, communications, and/or team issues.

Communications (CLO 1-5)

  • CHEE-COM-1:  Delivers clear and organized written communication with accurate use of technical vocabulary, while demonstrating conciseness, precision and clarity of language in technical writing.
  • CHEE-COM-2:  Creates figures, tables and drawings to engineering report standards.
  • CHEE-COM-3:  Demonstrates formal oral presentations with appropriate language, style, timing

Professionalism (CLO 4)

  • CHEE-PRO-1:  Demonstrates punctuality, timeliness, responsibility and appropriate communication etiquette.

Ethics and Equity (CLO 5)

  • CHEE-EE-1:  Demonstrates an understanding of intellectual property, copyright, and fair use of copyrighted materials and research data, and follows behaviour consistent with academic integrity and social responsibility.
  • CHEE-EE-2:  Integrates professional ethics and accountability into decisions involving engineering problems, while demonstrating a commitment to equitable treatment of others.

Impact of Engineering (CLO 5, 6)

  • CHEE-IM-2: Considers technical, financial, social, environmental, and legal factors, safety and sustainability issues when solving engineering problems.

Lifelong Learning (CLO 1,2)

  • CHEE-LL-1: Identifies and critically evaluates an appropriate range of information sources.
  • CHEE-LL-2:  Identifies gaps in knowledge, and develops a process for learning about unknowns, including concepts not taught in the curriculum. 
  • CHEE-LL-3:  Demonstrates habits that support regular reviewing, reflecting on and making improvements on individual and/or team performance and learning.

Relevance to the Program

This course builds on communication and professionalism skills introduced in APSC100, APSC200, and APSC293.  These skills will be used in the fourth-year projects, and in future engineering work.

Course Structure and Activities

Activities will be completed online and during the two-hour facilitated workshops.


All resources, including instructions and details for each assignment, will be available from the course management system (online: onQ).