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Unit information: Systems and Control Engineering 4 in 2018/19

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Unit name Systems and Control Engineering 4
Unit code MENGM5012
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Herrmann
Open unit status Not open

MENG11511 MENG21712 MENG22200 MENG30202 or equivalent



School/department Department of Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


This course extends the students' knowledge of Systems and Control Engineering by introducing the main concepts of linear multivariable system dynamics and control, and by introducing the stability and control of nonlinear systems. The syllabus includes continuous and discrete-time multivariable system dynamics; control of continuous and discrete-time multivariable systems; an introduction to nonlinear systems, Lyapunov stability methods and control of nonlinear systems.


This course forms the year four option on Systems and Control Engineering, with approximately 12 lectures in Multivariable Control (MC) and 12 lectures in Nonlinear Control Systems (NC).

The aim of this course is to:

  • Introduce the main concepts of linear multivariable system dynamics and control.
  • Enable the student to design controllers for multivariable systems such as aircraft, automotive vehicles, marine vehicles, etc.
  • Introduce students to the analysis and control of nonlinear systems.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

For Multivariable Control (MC):

  • Express a dynamical system in state-space form.
  • Model and solve state equations of multivariable systems.
  • Transform continuous-time state equations into their discrete-time equivalents.
  • Design a range of controllers for multivariable dynamical systems and be able to transform them into discrete-time.
  • Use an observer to estimate a state, when it is not measurable, for control purposes.

For Nonlinear Systems (NC):

  • Identify system uncertainty and nonlinearities
  • Develop an understanding for the requirements robust and nonlinear control
  • Apply Lyapunov stability theory.
  • Use feedback linearisation to control system outputs
  • Design of robust control for robotic systems

Teaching details

Students receive 2 one-hour lectures each week, for approximately 12 weeks. In addition, they are expected to consolidate and enhance lecture material by approximately 75 hours of private study (for lecture notes and example sheets). Handouts are given throughout the course, including syllabus details, submersible vehicle control simulations, aide memoirs, etc. Lectures adopt a varied style of OHP notes, computer-projected simulations and discussions of background material and practical applications, e.g. robotics. Examples are given, covering a range of engineering applications.

Assessment Details

2 hour examination in January(3 questions out of 4)

Reading and References

  • Dorf, R. & Bishop, R.H., Modern Control Systems. (2011), 12th ed., Pearson Education. ISBN-10: 0131383108. ISBN-13: 9780131383104. Classmark: TJ213 DOR – Recommended for Dr Harrison’s Area.
  • Sastry, S., Nonlinear Systems: Analysis, Stability & Control. (1999), 1st ed., Springer. ISBN-10: 0387985131. ISBN-13: 9781441931320. Classmark: QA427 SAS
  • Craig, J.J., Introduction to Robotics: Mechanics & Control. (2018), 4th ed., Pearson Education. ISBN-10: 0133489795. ISBN-13: 9780133489798. Classmark: TJ211 CRA
  • Slotine, J.J., Applied Nonlinear Control. (1991), Prentice Hall. ISBN-10: 0130408905. ISBN-13: 9780130408907. Classmark: QA402.5 SLO