Automatic Control


Overview of control engineering; Levels of control; Modelling for control; Linearisation; Review of Laplace transform; Transfer functions; Poles; Zeros; Open loop stability; Time responses; Transient and steady-state behaviour; Block diagrams; Control as an inverse problem; Benefits of feedback; On-off control; Programmable logic controllers (PLCs); Stability of feedback systems using Routh-Hurwitz methods; Root-locus; Three-term (PID) controllers and tuning using Ziegler-Nichols rules; Nonideal factors (saturation); Anti-windup; Controller design by pole assignment; Frequency response; Bode and Nyquist plots; Nyquist stability theorem; Gain and phase margins; Robustness issues; Controller design using frequency response; Proportional, lead-lag and (revisited) PID control; and Cascade and feedforward control.



  • Semester 1 - 2015

UoN Singapore

  • Trimester 2 - 2015 (Singapore)

Learning Outcomes

1. Formulate quantitative models of feedback control systems built from mechanical, chemical, electrical and electronic components described by linear, ordinary differential equations

2. Analyse single input, single output feedback control systems for stability, steady state and transient performance

3. Understand the scope and limitations of fundamental control strategies, and be able to design simple compensation schemes for improved control; and

4. Understand the basics of using programmable logic controllers (PLCs) in implementing switching control systems.


  1. Dynamic models: Differential equations, Modeling, Linearisation
  2. Mathematical background: Review of complex numbers, Laplace transform, Initial and Final value theorems
  3. Transfer Functions: Open-loop stability, Poles, Zeros, Time response, Transients, Steady-state, Block diagrams
  4. Feedback principles: Open versus Closed-loop control, High gain control, Inversion, On-off control, Programmable logic controllers (PLCs)
  5. Stability of closed-loop systems: Routh's method, Root locus
  6. PID control: Structure, Design using root locus, Empirical tuning, Anti-windup protection
  7. Pole assignment: Sylvester's theorem, PI and PID synthesis using pole assignment
  8. Frequency Response: Nyquist plot, Bode diagram, Nyquist stability theorem, Stability margins, Closed-loop sensitivity functions, Model errors, Robust stability
  9. Controller design using frequency response: Proportional control, Lead-lag control, PID control revisited
  10. Structures of automatic control: Smith predictor, Feedforward control, Cascade control, Decentralised control of MIMO plants, Control schemes in process control

Assumed Knowledge

MATH2310 AND (ELEC2400 OR MCHA2000)

Assessment Items

Written Assignment: Assignments

Report: Laboratory Reports

Formal Examination: Formal Examination

Contact Hours

UoN Singapore


Face to Face On Campus 4 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Open Lab sessions Monday to Friday (check timetable for hours) PSB students enrolled in the part-time evening program at UoN Singapore will receive equivalent instruction delivered in a block mode of 7 teaching weeks.


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term