Control theory and practice

The details
Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (School of)
Colchester Campus & Apprenticeship Location
Spring Special
Undergraduate: Level 5
Sunday 17 January 2021
Friday 26 March 2021
29 July 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

This module is to introduce the fundamental knowledge of modern control theory to solve the complex control problems. It focuses on theories and techniques in both time and frequency domain for linear control systems. It includes dynamic system modelling, MATLAB simulation, stability analysis, controller design, and optimal state controllers and observers.

This module presents a control engineering methodology that, while based on mathematical fundamentals, stresses physical system modeling and practical control system designs with realistic system specifications.

Module aims

This module aims to introduce the fundamentals of complex control theory focussing on time and frequency domains for linear control systems.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of this module the student should have the ability to:

1. Demonstrate a broad understanding of the basic theory underpinning advanced control design strategies.
2. Assess the appropriateness of various control strategies to analyse the system behaviour.
3. Investigate the robustness of control system design and evaluate their effectiveness through stability analysis.
4. Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the use of software tools for the modelling, design and characterisation of control systems.

Module information

Syllabus Outline

The topics covered in the control part include:

* Control System Characteristics
* Mathematical Modelling
* Stability
* Analysis Methods (Root Locus, Frequency Response, Time Domain)
* Compensator and Controller Design
* Digital Control Systems
* State-Space Representation
* Observability, Controllability
* Robust Systems

Learning and teaching methods

20 hours Lectures and 20 hours labs


  • Nise, Norman S. (2017) Nise's control systems engineering, Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Lay, David C. (c2012) Linear algebra and its applications, Boston, Mass: Addison-Wesley.
  • Femmam, Smain. (2017) Signals and Control Systems: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Progress Test - Wk 21    20% 
Coursework   Assignment    80% 
Exam  120 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main) 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
40% 60%


Coursework Exam
40% 60%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Anirban Chowdhury, email: a.chowdhury@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Anirban Chowdhury, Dr Ali Kafash Hoshiar
School office, email: csee-schooloffice (non-Essex users should add @essex.ac.uk to create full e-mail address), Telephone 01206 872770



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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