ENEL321-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023

Control Systems

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 20 February 2023
End Date: Sunday, 25 June 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 5 March 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 14 May 2023


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

  • At the conclusion of this course you should be able to:

  • LO1: Use mathematical methods to describe and analyse single input, single output (SISO) and complex control systems (WA1, WA2)

  • LO2: Assess the stability and steady state performance of control systems (WA1, WA2)

  • LO3: Interpret and solve continuous time systems using classical control methods (WA2, WA4)

  • LO4: Apply and reflect on modern computer design tools and experimental techniques to design, simulate, and verify the performance of real-world control and emerging systems in a team environment (WA2, WA4, WA5, WA9, WA12)

  • LO5: Communicate the design of control systems, including using PID schematics (WA10)
    • 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.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.



ENEL351, ENME303

Course Coordinator

Christopher Hann


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

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Chris Hann; ENEL321 Course Notes ; (On the ENEL321 LEARN Page).

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.

Additional Course Outline Information

Mahi ā-Ākonga | Workload (expected distribution of student hours, note 15 points = 150 hours):

Contact Hours

Lectures: 36 hours
Tutorials: 6 hours
Workshops: 0 hours
Laboratories: 12 hours

Independent study

Review of lectures: 36 hours
Test and exam preparation: 36 hours
Assignments: 12 hours
Tutorial preparation: 6 hours
Laboratory calculations: 6 hours

Total 150

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,030.00

International fee $5,750.00

* 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

  • ENEL321-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023