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EEE3018 : Digital Control Systems

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Matthew Armstrong
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To provide the students with an understanding of the fundamentals of Digital Control theory and the theoretical and practical principles for design. To provide advanced understanding of sampling principles. To provide guidelines of current trends in the field.

Outline Of Syllabus

Introduction to Digital Control Fundamentals

Sampled signals, linear difference equations and discrete transfer functions, sample and zero order hold operations, quantisation effects, block diagrams, stability analysis techniques, signal analysis and dynamic response, discrete time specifications and their correlation with time and frequency domains, discrete equivalents to continuous transfer functions, different loop structures, regulation and serving functions.

Digital Control Designs using Classical Methods

Discrete time implementations of classical design methods, digital PID controller, root locus design technique, frequency response based designs, introduction to direct design methods.

Design using Modern Methods

z- plane specifications pole placement based design, introduction to minimum variance design concept, deadbeat objective and concept of control ripple. Serving versus regulation objectives. Practical implementation considerations.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials180:206:00Non-Synchronous (recorded)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Revision for, and completion of, final examinations
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical112:0022:00Present-in-Person (PiP): Matlab exercises Non-Essential
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading125:0025:00Reviewing lecture notes, recommended subject related reading
Guided Independent StudySkills practice110:0010:00Tutorials, and completion of Self Directed Learning exercises
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity180:206:00Student reflection on Recorded Lecture Materials (equal time to delivery)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery111:0011:00Synchronous (live) Non-Essential
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

There is a combination of lectures and practical sessions using CAD packages like Matlab/Simulink. Through this combined approach, students will be able to better understand and apply the concepts of advanced digital control systems. Tutorials provide students with the opportunity to apply knowledge and confirm the taught concepts. Tutorials typically align with the expectations of the examination. Self Directed Learning exercises provide students with the opportunity to explore complex problem based learning exercises using Matlab/Simulink. Self-Directed-Learning exercises also typically align with the expectations of the examination.

All face-to-face activities can be replaced with online synchronous sessions supported by non-synchronous recordings if the public health situation requires it.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination602A7560 minute Closed Book Examination
PC Examination902A2524-hour open book practical exam using Matlab
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
EEE8152Digital Control Systems2N/A
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written Examination2M24-hour Open Book Test: Examination Practice
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment reflects the innovative combined teaching style and consists of a 24-hour open book exam. The written examination requires students to have a formal knowledge of the basic principles of digital control systems, and the practical examination requires a formal knowledge of using Matlab/Simulink in the design of advanced digital control systems. Whilst the format of the examination is the same for all students, each paper contains student specific design parameters. This yields a unique solution and conclusion set for each candidate.

Reading Lists