Module Overview

Control Systems

The aim of this module is to develop the learners skills in modelling, analysis and simulation of linear dynamic systems, drawing on examples relevant to Mechatronics, and applying this knowledge to the design of control systems.

Module Code

MEC4 H4012

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change
  • Foundations and tools for analysis
  • Simulation and computer based analysis
  • System analysis and behaviour
  • Feedback control
  • PID control
  • Discrete time control

Foundation & tools for analysis

Modelling dynamic systems. Differential equations, Laplace transform of signals and systems, transfer functions, system stability and analysis. Computing system poles and zeros and introduction to how theyinfluence the behaviour of a system. Transient and steady state response of linear systems. Introduction to systems with feedback. The distinction between linear and nonlinear systems. Overview of discrete timesystems.

Simulation and computer based analysis

Simulation of dynamic systems. Block diagram representation of dynamic systems and manipulation of the block diagrams. The generic components of a control system. Software packages to analyse and simulate dynamic systems. Impulse and step responses. Identifying transient and steady state behaviour from simulation outputs.

System analysis and behaviour

Transient and steady state analysis. Analysis and characteristic behaviour of first, second and higher order systems. The general solutions of linear dynamic systems. The relationship between system behaviours with the location of poles and zerosin the complex plane. Case study analysis of systems regularly encountered in Mechatronics, for exampleelectrical, power and machines, mechanical, thermal and fluid systems.

Feedback control

Design objectives of control systems; tracking, regulation, performance indices. Feedback control systemsand proportional control. Analysis to determine the impact of the proportional control gain on the locationof poles in low order systems. Selecting control parameters to set the rise time in first order systems and set the overshoot or damping characteristic in second order systems. Tracking, regulation and disturbance rejection.

PID control

Proportional, integral and derivative (PID) control. Analysis of PID control systems and the impact eachterm has on the behaviour of the control system. Ziegler-Nichols tuning rules. Casestudy examples of PID analysis and design.

Discrete time control

Discrete time dynamic systems. Overview of z transform and stability analysis of discrete time systems. Practical consideration in designing discrete time control systems.

This module is delivered using lecture and labs. In labs learners will put into practice the material from the lectures by applying control system techniques to problems in Mechatronics over 3 projects throughout the semester. The final output of the projects will include both reports and presentations, in which the learner is to demonstrate that they can communicate the techniques implemented and provide a clear interpretation of results. 

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination50
Other Assessment(s)50