ENEL321-16S1 (C) Semester One 2016

Control Systems

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 22 February 2016
End Date: Sunday, 26 June 2016
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 4 March 2016
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 20 May 2016


System modelling. Continuous-time and discrete-time system dynamics. Time domain and frequency domain analysis. Feedback control. Control system performance and robustness. Control system design techniques.

This course is an introduction to the design and analysis of control systems. A control system is a system that commands another system in way that ensures that the overall system does what we want it to. A simple example is a thermostat controlling a heater to ensure that a room doesn't get too hot or too cold, but much more sophisticated kinds of control systems exist. A good understanding of control systems is useful in the design of electric power systems (generator excitation control, tap-changing transformers, etc.), aircraft (autopilots and flight control), rockets and spacecraft (attitude control), cars (cruise control, engine control, etc.), robots (position and speed control), and in many other application areas.

To control a system so that it does what we want we first need to understand how the system responds to different command inputs. The course begins by looking at how to mathematically model different kinds of systems, and how to analyse and simplify models using tools such as the Laplace Transform. We then introduce feedback control systems, which are systems in which the controller continually checks that the controlled system is doing what it supposed to do and modifies its commands to ensure the desired result occurs, making the controller robust to uncertainties in the system model and disturbances in the environment. We look at several different techniques for understanding and improving the stability and performance of feedback controllers, as well common types of controller designs such as the classic PID controller. Most modern controllers are implemented digitally, so we also look at how the techniques we have already learned can be applied to digital systems, and how to use digital controllers for feedback control of physical systems.

Practical work includes several labs working with simulated control systems, and a small practical project designing and implementing a digital controller for a mobile robot.

Learning Outcomes

  • The goal of this course is to introduce students to the fundamental principles of feedback control, and the basic techniques used to design and implement controllers.

    At the end of this course, the student will be able to:
  • Develop linear time-invariant (LTI) system models suitable for design and analysis.
  • Apply time-domain and frequency-domain analysis techniques to understand and evaluate the behaviour of continuous-time and discrete-time LTI system models.
  • Design continuous-time and discrete-time Single-Input/Single-Output (SISO) control systems to meet stability and performance requirements.
  • Implement simple SISO controllers by converting system models into either analog or digital implementations.
  • Select appropriate sampling rates and antialiasing filters for digital implementations of control systems.




Course Coordinator

Richard Lane


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Final Exam 35%
Labs 20%
Project 15%
Test 30%

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Franklin, Gene F. , Powell, J. David, Emami-Naeini, Abbas; Feedback control of dynamic systems ; 6th ed; Pearson, 2010.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $901.00

International fee $4,863.00

* 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 Electrical and Computer Engineering .

All ENEL321 Occurrences

  • ENEL321-16S1 (C) Semester One 2016