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Last modified: 25 Mar 2016 11:34

Course Overview

This course focuses on the fundamental principles of control theory and the practice of automatic process control. The basic concepts involved in process control are then introduced, including the elements of control systems, feedback/forward control, block diagrams, and transfer functions. The mathematical techniques required for the analysis of process control are covered, focussing on Laplace Transform analysis. Development to more general situations is made through the study of second order systems and the application of compensation including PID control. The control theory developed is applied to a range of chemical engineering problems using simulation tools.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 10 credits (5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Panagiotis Kechagiopoulos

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

1.      Need for process control.

2.      Terminology in process control.

3.      Elements of a control system.

4.      Sensors and control valves

5.      Dynamics of chemical processes. Unsteady and input/output models. Transfer functions. Laplace transform. Dynamics of first order processes. Dynamics of second order processes.

6.      Feedback control. Proportional, integral and derivative control action.

7.      Dynamics of controlled processes. Transfer function of controlled processes. Effect of P, I, D control actions on the dynamic response of controlled processes.

8.      Stability of controlled processes. Tuning of controller parameters.

9.      Cascade control.

10.    Feedforward control.

11.    Degrees of freedom of unit operations. Number and choice of controlled and manipulated variables.

Recommended textbook. George Stephanopoulos. Chemical Process Control. An introduction to Theory and Practice. Prentice Hall, 1984.

Further Information & Notes

Available only to candidates following an Engineering degree programme.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 1 three-hour written examination paper (80%), and continuous assessment (20%) made up from the following two elements:

  • Simulation of a control problem using Simulink
  • Control Lab
Resit: Where a resit is offered, the mark reported will be 1 three-hour written examination (80%), and in-course assessment mark from the 1st attempt (20%)

Formative Assessment

Solutions to tutorial solutions provided.


Solutions to tutorial solutions is provided. Students are expected to ask for feedback on their level of understanding at the weekly feedback/tutorial sessions.
Tutorial questions will be handed in each week.
Students requiring feedback on the exam should make appointments within this session to see the Course Coordinator.

Course Learning Outcomes


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