MAT-26306 Control Engineering


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. JD Stigter
dr. RJC van Ooteghem
Lecturer(s)dr. RJC van Ooteghem
dr. ir. JD Stigter
Examiner(s)dr. ir. JD Stigter
dr. RJC van Ooteghem

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

BCT-20306 Modelling Dynamic Systems
MAT-14903 Mathematics 2
MAT-15003 Mathematics 3

Continuation courses:

MAT-32306 Systems and Control Theory
MAT-31806 Parameter Estimation and Model Structure Identification


Besides a correct design or layout, good control systems are essential to guarantee that production systems operate and produce according the desired specifications. This course gives an introduction to classical control engineering approaches and discusses the standard methods and tools that are usually applied. The methods discussed in the course have a very wide application area. Examples are greenhouse climate, bioreactors, food production, robotics, environmental systems etc. This makes that the course fits in the curricula of several studies.
The course starts with a refresher on dynamic models of systems represented by differential equations. These differential equations will be solved by transformation to the Laplace domain. The system representation in the Laplace domain by transfer functions offers several new possibilities to interpret and to analyze the characteristics of systems and to design controllers.
Classical control is discussed and analyzed for the PID controller family. Controller tuning, stability and performance are central items to qualify the controllers, and methods to find these qualifications are introduced (response times, pole placement, root-locus and frequency response). At the end of the course the use of control systems is extended from single-input single-output systems to the more complex multiple-input multiple-output systems.
During the course theory will be explained by examples from practice, exercising problems, working on a design case and a computer practical on controller tuning as it would be done in a practical situation.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- solve differential equations by using Laplace transformations;
- translate differential equations into transfer functions;
- derive stability and response characteristics from transfer functions;
- design, analyse, and tune PID controllers by using step response and root-locus methods;
- design, analyse, and tune PID controllers by using frequency response method, Bode, and Nyquist;
- improve the performance of controllers;
- analyse a process and design a controller configuration;
- use special types of controllers as feedforward, and cascade controllers;
- propose the controller structure for multiple-input multiple-output systems;
- apply these concepts during practical exercises and a design case.


- lectures combined with exercises;
- computer instructions and computer practicals;
- design case;
- practicals on controller tuning, based on an in silico version of a small installation;
- self study.


Open book exam consisting of open questions (grade at least 5.5). Design case study resulting in a report which is graded (grade at least 6.0). Observations during practicals. Oral examination at the end of each practical part (pass/fail). The final result is a 2/1 combination of the exam and the grade for the design case study. All practical exercises have to be passed. The marks for the design case and the practicals will expire after one and a half year after the start of the course (after the re-exam in August next year).


Lecture notes 'Control Engineering' available in the WUR-shop. Additional course material will be distributed during the course.

Compulsory for: BATBiosystems EngineeringBSc4WD