A Problem Based/Experiential Learning Approach to Teaching Maintenance Engineering

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Engineering




Al-Abdeli, Y., & Bullen, F. (2005). A Problem Based/Experiential Learning Approach to Teaching Maintenance Engineering. In Proceedings of The 2005 ASEE/AaeE Global Colloquium on Engineering Education. Brisbane, Qld: School of Engineering, The University of Queensland.


Good maintenance practice lies at the heart of a manufacturing industry being able to retain its production capabilities and to ensure the integrity of increasingly complex systems. Consequences of system failure can exceed mere monetary penalties to include the well being of staff. From an engineering education perspective, rapid development in technology in parallel with the evolution of traditional engineering disciplines, necessitates the utilization of innovative ways to teach non-traditional or interdisciplinary topics like maintenance. Another challenge in this context, is the ability to allocate time and physical resources in ever more condensed engineering curricula whilst making the learning process engaging for students. This paper details a recent trial to teach a short undergraduate course on maintenance within a mechanical engineering degree where students also look at some safety considerations associated with maintenance practice. A combined Problem Based Learning/Experiential Learning approach applied to machine tool maintenance was adopted using resources readily available in most engineering schools.