ENCH391-24S2 (C) Semester Two 2024

Process Systems and Control

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 15 July 2024
End Date: Sunday, 10 November 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 28 July 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 29 September 2024


An introduction to process dynamics and process control technology.

• Dynamic process modelling
• Process dynamic elements such as resistive, capacitive, first-order, oscillatory and dead-time elements
• Behaviour of systems of dynamic elements using MATLAB and Excel
• Control hardware including controllers, sensors and valves
• Basic feedback control concepts and the Proportional-Integral-Derivative controller
• Closed loop stability and empirical tuning of controllers
• Cascade, ratio and feed-forward control
• Control of unit operations

The course will be taught both via a real-time approach involving the hands on use of dynamic simulation and building on classical process dynamics knowledge developed in earlier years. (The course does not use the classical Laplace Transform approach).

Learning Outcomes

  • To ensure that all students and graduates fully understand the need to name, date and clearly document all files, spreadsheets and computer programs.
  • To understand the dynamics elements that affect the dynamics of a process such as first-order response, dead time, and capacity.
  • To be able to simulate using Excel and Matlab, the dynamics response of systems made up of typical dynamic elements.
  • To become familiar with some typical items of control hardware that are used in industry.
  • To understand PID control well enough to be able to simulate and tune a real process.
  • To be able to simulate more complex control including cascade, ratio and feed forward.
  • To know which control loops might be suitable for a range of unit operations.


ENCH298 (from 2016)

Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 14:00 - 15:00 E14 Lecture Theatre
15 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 20 Oct
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 13:00 - 14:00 E5 Lecture Theatre
15 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 20 Oct
Lecture C
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 14:00 - 15:00 Jack Erskine 031 Lecture Theatre
15 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 20 Oct

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Ken Morison



Assignment 1. Dynamic systems with MATLAB, (6%) due Friday, 9 Aug, 5pm

Process Dynamics Lab weeks 5 & 6,  (8%) due  Wednesday, 11 Sept, 5pm

Assignment 2 with computer test, (10%) Tuesday 17 Sept 6:30pm, Erskine 33,35,38

Tuning lab completion, (2%)

Assignment 3, (8%) due Wednesday, 2 Oct, 5pm

Assignment 4, (8%) due Friday, 18 Oct, 5pm

Computer Exam, (29%)

Written Exam, (29%)

The computer exam might require you to use Excel, Word and Matlab in an examination environment.  You will need to know how to use these, how to save files, and how to upload these files into Learn. Inability in more than one of these may lead to failure. The test on 17 Sept will be conducted in the same way as the computer exam to enable you to get familiar with the system.

Some of the assignments will be done in pairs.  You may not choose to work with the same person twice (with the exception of the process dynamics lab which can be done with the same person as assignment 1).

Process dynamics Lab, held in weeks 5-6 (12-23 August 2019).  You will carry out experiments to determine the dynamics of the Spirax Sarco plate heat exchanger. Given that this is the first year we have used this equipment, your role will partly be as commissioning engineers.

Controller tuning lab, held in weeks 8-9 (16 Sept – 4 Oct).  In this short lab you get to change and test controller tuning on the heat exchanger.

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Svrcek, William Y. , Mahoney, Donald P., Young, Brent R; A real-time approach to process control ; Third edition; Wiley, 2014.


Students with concerns about the course should contact the Course Coordinator, the 2nd Pro Director of Studies, or the Head of Department.

General Policies of the Department
Students may obtain the general policies of the University from the website. For example:

Special considerations: http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/study/special-consideration/  

Academic Appeals of Assessments: Students with concerns about assessment processes or grades should be advised to speak first with the relevant lecturer. If the matter cannot be resolved, then the student should meet and discuss the matter with the Head of Department/School and thereafter follow the procedures outlined in the University procedures http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/media/documents/postgraduate-/Academic-Appeals-Grievances-Principles-Procedures.pdf  and regulations http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/regulations/general-regulations/academic-appeals-and-grievance-regulations/

Reconsideration of grades: If you are concerned that your final grade may be incorrect it is suggested (for CAPE) that you make an informal query to the course coordinator, but you may follow the official procedures: http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/study/examinations/result-dates-and-appeals/

Disabilities: http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/disability/

Pre-requisite: ENCH298

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,059.00

International fee $6,000.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Chemical and Process Engineering .

All ENCH391 Occurrences

  • ENCH391-24S2 (C) Semester Two 2024