The University of Southampton

SESM3030 Control and Instrumentation

Module Overview

This module covers the topics on classical and modern control analysis and design, focuses on feedback control approaches using state-space (differential equations). It discusses deeply the analysis and design for continuous-time linear time invariant (LTI) systems. As nonlinearities are often inevitable in applications, this module also introduces the analysis and design for nonlinear dynamical systems, mainly using the Lyapunov approach. The practical aspects of control design and its digital implementation are discussed in this module. This will cover the introduction to digital control and the fundamental of signal processing and instrumentation, which includes data acquisition, sensors and actuators. To attend this module, students are expected to have learned and understood the classical continuous-time control analysis and design that include dynamical modelling, transient responses, stability and steady state error analysis, at least in frequency domain and the basic PID controller design.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To provide an introduction to modern theory and the practical aspects control systems: control systems are pervasive in industry and everyday life; they appear in increasing numbers in cars, as parts of household appliances, manned and unmanned vehicles of all sorts. Introduction is given into modelling, dynamics and control through a number application examples. You will study state-space analysis of dynamics, design of state feedback controllers and real-time state estimation of multi-input multi-output systems. The final part of the course will cover modelling, analysis, stability and control of nonlinear systems.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The mathematical modelling of dynamic, particularly electro-mechanical, systems.
  • The fundamentals of classical control design methods, to identify, classify and analyse the performance of systems and components through the use of analytical and computer based techniques
  • The principles of instrumentation and measurement systems, which demonstrates the ability to apply and integrate knowledge and understanding of other engineering disciplines to support the study of their own engineering discipline
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse the stability of a system: 1. In frequency domain using Nyquist stability test and 2. In time domain using the eigen value analysis
  • Perform the following controller designs: 1. lead-lag compensators, 2. state-feedback controllers and observers.
  • Analyse the dynamic behaviour nonlinear systems, do the stability analysis and design based on Lyapunov approach
  • Transform continuous-time dynamics into discrete-time dynamics for control purposes, and perform discrete-time control analysis/design based on their analogy to continuous-time methods.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Judge the merits of using approximate state-space, frequency response and phase plane models to solve control problems
  • Gain skills in applying various control analysis and design tools into real applications through taught control examples and in the coursework.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Construct suitable numerical mathematical models applicable to the design of control systems.
  • Advance your skills in MATLAB/SIMULINK in modelling and control design
  • Implement controller algorithms to a real control application on some benchmark systems


Section I: Classical control design (5 lectures) The early part of the course recalls classical analysis and design methods for control systems. Lead and lag-compensator design are introduced; Nyquist plots are used and design for stability margin and speed of response is explained. Section II: State-space analysis and control design (12 lectures) Examples of time domain modelling in mechanical, electrical systems and in chemical process control; Use of state-space and transfer function models, modal analysis, stability, sampled models, controllability, observability, state-space canonical forms; Multi-variable control design problem, state feedback, state estimation, output feedback, dynamic observers, Ackermann's formula, separation principle, observer-based feedback control, pole-placement design and tracking. Section III: Nonlinear systems analysis and control design (10 lectures). Nonlinear system types and characteristics; Phase-plane analysis, local stability and limit cycles, existence tests for limit cycles; General concepts of stability, Lyapunov stability tests; Simple nonlinear controller design (e.g. backstepping). Section IV: Instrumentation and introduction to digital control (8 lectures) Introduction to computer-controlled systems; Sampling theory and z-transform; Stability analysis for discrete-time control systems; Introduction to signal processing and data acquisition process; Control systems components, e.g. sensors, transducers, filters and actuators.

Special Features


Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Lectures, tutorial problems, question sheets, worked examples. • Supervision for problem solving classes supporting lecture materials. The learning activities include: • Individual reading of background material and course texts, plus work on examples. • Assignment covering core techniques and principles. • MATLAB/SIMULINK based exercises. • Example sheets and worked solutions.

Completion of assessment task18
Wider reading or practice85
Preparation for scheduled sessions11
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

M. J. Usher (1985). Sensors and Transducers. 

G. F. Franklin, J. D. Powel and A. Emami-Naeni (2008). ‘Feedback Control of Dynamic Systems. 

H. K. Khalil (2008). Nonlinear Systems. 

N.S. Nise (2000). Control System Engineering. 

P.Horowitz and W.Hill, (1980). The Art of Electronics. 

J. Slotine and W. Li. Applied Nonlinear Control. 

K. Ogata (2008,). Modern Control Engineering. 

Lecture materials accessible on Blackboard.. 

C. L. Phillips and R. D. Harbor (2000). Feedback Control Systems. 

D. Jordan and P. Smith (2007). Nonlinear Ordinary Differential Equations: An Introduction for Scientist and Engineers. 





MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (120 minutes) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (120 minutes) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisites: FEEG2004 Electronics, Drives & Control or SESA3030 Aerospace Control Systems or equivalent

Share this module Facebook Google+ Twitter Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.