ENEL321-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021

Control Systems

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 22 February 2021
End Date: Sunday, 27 June 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 7 March 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 14 May 2021


System modelling. Continuous-time 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 a 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 (altitude 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 is 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 as common types of controller designs such as the classic PID controller.

Practical work includes a project designing and implementing a PD roll controller for a 1.5 m rocket in a Vertical Wind Tunnel.

Learning Outcomes

The goals of the course are:

1. Create understanding and ability to interpret and solve problems using classical control methods for continuous time systems.
2. Introduce the use of modern computer design tools such as MATLAB and demonstrate how they can be applied to real industry problems.
3. The classical treatment of single input, single output (SISO) systems as well as basic control design methods.
4. Concepts of stability and steady state performance, and the methods for analyzing them.
5. Knowledge of the impact of pole locations on performance and the metrics that quantify these locations.
6. Lay a theoretical and mathematical foundation for the analysis of advanced control systems.

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.



ENEL351, ENME303

Course Coordinator

Christopher Hann


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Test one 25%
Laboratory Report 10%
Test two 25%
Final Exam 40%

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Franklin, Gene F. , Powell, J. David, Emami-Naeini, Abbas; Feedback control of dynamic systems ; Seventh edition; Pearson, 2015 (Earlier editions are also acceptable).

Palm; Modeling Analysis and Control of Dynamic Systems ; 2nd; Wiley, 2001.

Stefani, Savant, Shahian, Hestetter et al; Design of Feedback Control Systems ; 3rd; Saunders College Publishing/Harcourt Brace, 1996.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $986.00

International fee $5,500.00

* 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

  • ENEL321-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021