Available in 2021
Course code



10 units


4000 level

Course handbook


Chemical Engineers are often deeply involved in the control of processes throughout a wide range of industries. Through this course senior chemical engineering students are provided a grounding in the application of control theory. Students will develop models for physical systems, translate these to transfer functions, block diagrams, leading to their analysis, particularly concerning stability and response. Both steady state and dynamic processes will be examined with students building and analysing these in the provided numerical simulation package.

Availability2021 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2021

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Evaluate models and develop an appreciation of their use in chemical engineering

2. Create mathematical models for processes governed by equilibrium, conservation (eg mass, momentum and energy), transport and kinetic

3. Develop models of representative chemical and/or physical processes from the first principle

4. Discern the difference between steady state and non-steady state behaviour

5. Demonstrate an appreciation of the importance of dynamics in process design and operation

6. Identify the causes of different dynamic characteristics

7. Analyse the behaviour of linear dynamic systems

8. Show how block diagrams may be used and manipulated to represent relatively complex systems

9. Use simulation software packages to solve practical problems


Topics to be covered in this course include:

1. Introduction to Process Control and Instrumentation

  • What is “Process Control”?
  • Process Control Objectives
  • Terminology
  • Hardware Elements of Control Systems; Sensors; Controllers; Transmitters; Final Control Element; Other Elements
  • Control Systems Configuration; Feedback; Feed-forward; Open-loop; Cascade
  • Overview of Control System Design

2. Fundamentals

  • Steady-State versus Dynamic Models 
  • Time Domain Dynamics; Classifications and Definitions; Linearisation; Perturbation Variables; Response of Simple Linear Systems 
  • Laplace-Domain Dynamics; Laplace Transfer Fundamentals; Laplace Transfer of Some Important Functions; Inversion of Laplace Transfer; Transfer Functions 

3. Dynamic Process Simulation (time-domain dynamics and control)

  • Process Dynamics 
  • Controller Set-up 
  • Logical Operations; Digital Point; PID Controller; Selector Block; Set; Spreadsheet; Transfer Functions
  • Stability

Assumed knowledge

MATH2310, CHEE3735 and CHEE3745.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Assignment #1

Written Assignment: Assignment #2

Written Assignment: Assignment #3

Report: Laboratory Report #1

Formal Examination: Final Exam

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


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

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.