ACS342 Feedback Systems Design 

Module Description

The module provides an introduction to the modelling, analysis and design of feedback control systems using classical control theory. The focus is linear time-invariant (LTI) systems in the continuous-time domain, although a brief introduction is also provided to digital controllers.

Credits: 10 (Spring semester)

Pre-requisites: EEE224 or equivalent

Module Leader

Paul TroddenDr Paul Trodden

If you have any questions about the module please talk to me during the lectures or the labs in the first instance. It is likely that other students will learn from any questions you ask as well, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Outside of lectures please contact me via email, or drop in to see me.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students will be able to:

  1. Model simple electrical and electro-mechanical systems using ordinary differential equations and Laplace transforms. [SM2m, EA1m]
  2. Identify and evaluate transient and steady-state performance criteria. [EA1m, EA2m]
  3. Identify and quantify system stability. [EA1m, EA2m]
  4. Sketch root locus diagrams and Bode diagrams for systems. [EA1m, EA2m]
  5. Design phase lead and phase lag compensators using root locus and frequency domain methods. [EA1m, EA4m, D1fl]
  6. Tune a Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) controller. [EA1m, EA2m, D1fl]
  7. Describe the relationship between continuous-time and sampled-data control systems. [SM2m, EA1m]


This module includes the following topics:

  • Introduction to systems, review of Laplace transforms, mathematical modelling of electrical and electro-mechanical systems.
  • Structure of transfer functions, system analysis (first order, second order, introduction to stability).
  • Steady-state errors, impact of open-loop gain on closed-loop poles, procedure for sketching root loci, using MATLAB for drawing root loci.
  • Introduction to compensation and types of compensator, concept and process for phase lead compensation using root locus methods.
  • Concept and process for phase lag compensation using root locus methods.
  • Introduction to frequency response, sketching Bode diagrams.
  • Key attributes of systems in frequency domain terms, relationship between performance criteria in the time and frequency domains, using MATLAB for frequency domain analysis.
  • Concept and process for phase lead compensation in the frequency domain.
  • Concept and process for phase lag compensation in the frequency domain, summary of phase lead and phase lag compensator characteristics, pre-filter design.
  • Introduction to PID control, effects of P, I and D terms on system response, determining P, I and D gains, practical PID control issues.
  • Introduction to digital control, sampler and zero-order hold, basic introduction to z-transforms, method for digital controller design, effect of sampling time.
  • Module review of learning outcomes.
Teaching Methods

Learning and Teaching Methods

  • Lectures: 24 hours
  • Problem Solving Classes: 12 hours
  • Independent Study: 64 hours
Teaching Materials

Learning and Teaching Materials

All teaching materials will be available via MOLE.



Formal examination 100% (2 hours; 3 questions from 4).

No resit examination is available for this module.



  • Formative assessment in this module is via problem sheets, which the students attempt to answer and bring to organized and interactive tutorial classes. In the latter, students have the opportunity to receive support and feedback on their work. Moreover, the module leader has the opportunity to listen to general feedback about the module and the way it is taught, and, if necessary, take action.
  • Following the written examination, the examiner's report, which is made available to students via the EEE teaching resources page, provides a detailed breakdown of how well questions were attempted by the cohort, and identifies any areas for concern. The EEE teaching resources page also holds the examiners reports for previous years.
Student Evaluation

Student Evaluation

Students are encouraged to provide feedback during the module direct to the lecturer. Students will also have the opportunity to provide formal feedback via the Faculty of Engineering Student Evaluation Survey at the end of the module.

Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading

  • Dorf R. C. and Bishop R. H., Modern Control Systems, 12th Ed., Addison-Wesley, 2010. [7th edition onwards recommended]. [Available in Information Commons & St. George’s Library, 629.8312 (D)]
  • Ogata K., Modern Control Engineering, 5th Ed., Prentice Hall, 2010. [Available in Information Commons & St. George’s Library, 629.8 (O)]
  • Nise, N., Control Systems Engineering, 6th Ed., John Wiley, 2011. [Available in Information Commons & St. George’s Library, 629.8 (N)]
  • Golnaraghi, M. F., and Kuo, B. C., Automatic Control Systems, 9th Ed., John Wiley, 2008, . [Available in Information Commons & St. George’s Library, 629.831 (G)]