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Automatic control theory

The Automatic control theory is known as a scientific discipline with a deep mathematical background. However real life projects need just few basic principles of automatic control. This course was developed for students of engineering and managerial professions who want to know most popular practical applications of automatic control theory.

About This Course

This course represents:

  • basic principles of automatic control system design
  • basic blocks of automatic control systems
  • computation methods for adjusting automatic regulators

The course will give you the following knowledges:
  • design methods for automatic control systems
  • how to choose a suitable model for control system
  • how to program the controller
  • sensors and interfaces of control systems

The course will help to understand:
  • Quality of control
  • Feedback principles
  • Stability analisys
  • Theory of PID regulation
  • Relay control
  • Description in terms of transfer functions
  • Models of sensors, motors and other blocks of automatic control systems
  • Frequency domain analisys
  • Nyquist plot

Learning Outcomes

This course helps developing basic automation skills for undergraduate students of engineering programs and graduate students in managerial programs. We discuss automatization tasks for few real objects: crane, electrical furnace, water level control. The first step will be a simple logic controller, after that we will discuss adjustment of PID controller. The next step will help you to understand why control system usually does not work the way it was promised to: we will study nonlinearities and time-delays. As a practical result of the course we offer building your own control system with usage of Arduino platform.

LO1. Understand and differentiate basic models of control systems: linear systems, nonlinear systems, time-delay systems, time-varying systems.

LO2. Understand basic control schemes and algorithms: feedback control, PID controller, relay controller.

LO3. Ability to optimize and adjust controller with given structure.

LO4. Understand analitical methods for estimation of control system stability.

LO5. Experinence of building automatic control systems with usage of Arduino platform or Atmel 8-bit controllers.

LO6. Develop managerial skills for automatization projects development: problem identification, seeking for the better solution, writing a schedule of the project, electrical schemes design, choosing control system components, building and testing the real control system, presentation of the project.

Expected Prior Knowledge

Minimal knowledges to start the course:

  • Differential equations
  • Fourier transform
  • Laplace transform

Course Instructors

Course Staff Image #1

Leonid Chechurin

Leonid Chechurin is the Professor of Industrial Management Department and Head for the System Engineering group at LUT University (Finland). He received his Doctor of Science Degree in 2010 with the dissertation on Mathematical Modeling and Analysis of Dynamic Systems. He has more than 40 publications in the fields of control and system theory and automation, mathematical modeling, creativity and innovations. He has been involved in the supervision of about 50 M.Sc. theses and dissertations.

Prof. Chechurin has the outstanding industrial experience, he was employed by leading innovating technology companies like Samsung Electronics or LG Electronics as a consultant for engineering design group (5 years in total). He has been consulting or teaching at General Electric Global Research Center (USA, Germany, India and Shanghai), Wrigley (USA), British American Tobacco (UK-USA), FMC (USA) and others (in total more than 50 seminars and consulting sessions and several research projects on inventive engineering design).

Course Staff Image #2

Anton Mandrik

Anton Mandrik is the assistant of the Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnical University. He got his Master Degree in 2010. He has 4 years of experience as engineer-researcher in such projects as: glass hardening, wind turbine blade optimization. Anton Mandrik has 5 years of experience in developing non-destructive testing equipment. He has 10 years of teaching experience. His fields of interest are: differential equations, electrical curcuits, control systems, technical problems, industrial design.

ECTS Credits

3 credits

Course Content and Structure

The course is restructured into 5 modules: (1) system classification, (2) control systems schemes, (3) adjusting algorithms, (4) control systems components, and (5) automatization project.

The course structure and learning activities through 10 weeks:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Linear time-invariant systems.

Operational amplifier, technical principles.

Arduino platform. Technical characteristics.

Quality criteria for control systems.

PID controller.

Linear time-varying systems.

Analogue electrical schemes.

Arduino platform. Sensors, transmitters, drivers.

Stability analisys.

Gain scheduling control.

Nonlinear systems.

Atmel 8-bit microcontrollers.

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Examples of automatization problems in real life.

Simulation model, choosing controller design.

Purchasing control system components.

Assembling the control sytem.

Final report, video presentation.

Discussion of automatization problems.

Electrical scheme design.

Assembling the control system.

Adjustment of the control system.

Building a schedule of the automatization project.

Assessment Methods and Weighting Scheme

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Recommended Readings and Other Learning Resources and Tools

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Language of Instruction

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Frequently Asked Questions

How does the flipped classroom setting work?

The flipped classroom included learning activities to be executed before-class, in-class, and after class:

Before-class (out-of-class activities): Watching the videos (micro-lectures) presenting the theory and answering the related online quizzes with the support of the reading material, and doing a homework exercise. Elaborating the project deliverables is also part of the homework exercise.

In-class: The students will discuss, interact, debate and solve problems together, with the assistance and guidance from the immediate feedback given by the lecturers.

After-class (out-of-class activities): The students will reflect on the feedback and upload versions of their homework.