Skip to main content


EEE8151 : Distributed Control Systems

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Mohammed Elgendy
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


Advancing information Technology knowledge with respect to Industrial Automation and manufacturing applications

Outline Of Syllabus

Introduction to Distributed Control Systems (DCSs): Automated systems in modern manufacturing processes; production control components; sensors and actuators; microprocessor technology and system measurements; task execution within a microprocessor; real-time control systems; centralised and distributed control system; benefits of distributed control systems; introduction to SCADA Systems; remote terminal unit hardware.

Communication networks for DCSs: Communication media for wired data transmission; sources of noise and signal distortion; data transmission; network topologies; frame concept; medium access control (MAC) methods; error checking mechanisms; factors affecting network performance; line drivers; data synchronisation.

Network Protocols: ISO Reference Model: Standards used in automation industry; DCS Network Protocols; 7-layer ISO Reference Model; the General framework of the OSI reference model; details of the 7 Layers of the ISO/OSI model.

CAN: Controller Area Network: the history of the development of CAN; CAN specifications; CAN ISO/OSI reference model; CAN physical layer; bit stuffing; bit timing configuration; CAN bus basic operation; frame format and CAN extended data frame; CAN controller organisation; standalone and embedded CAN technology; bus arbitration message filtering; Basic and Full CAN implementations; CAN error handling; overview of the CAN hardware market; simulation of CAN bus based DCS network.

CANopen: CAN application layer; CAN based message specification, network management, distributor and layer management; CANopen profiles; CANopen device profiles;       CANopen communication profile; application layer services; communication models; the object dictionary.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture152:0030:00Present-in-Person (PiP): Five 2-hr lectures per week for three weeks. Non-Essential
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion201:0020:00Completion of summatively assessed individual piece of coursework
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion101:0010:00Revision for final exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Final exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical23:006:00Present-in-Person (PiP): Lab sessions Non-Essential
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading124:0024:00Reading of recommended literature and text books
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery81:008:00Two one-hour online synchronous sessions per week with Q&A. Non-Essential
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1001:00100:00Reviewing lecture notes; general reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide core material and guidance for further reading, problem solving practice is integrated into lecture structure. Coursework provides examples of knowledge implementation. Topic is supported by case studies.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A75N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M25Summatively assessed individual piece of coursework
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Practical/lab report2MExercises formatively assessed using discussion boards and within the synchronous teaching sessions.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination provides the opportunity for the student to demonstrate their understanding of the course material. The problem solving aspects of the assessment enable the student to demonstrate that they are able to apply this understanding and their analysis and synthesis skills to novel situations.

The report will demonstrate the students' ability to apply the course material to a more practical situation and obtaining results from various DCS network scenarios.

The formative exercises will test student current knowledge and implementation throughout the module.

Reading Lists