Course Title: Automatic Control

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Automatic Control

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014


Voc Training Ctre of Hong Kong


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering


Offsh3 14,
Offsh2 15


Stansfield College


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering


Offsh 3 09,
Offsh 4 09,
Offsh 1 10

Course Coordinator: Assoc. Professor Jie Yang

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99256169

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: RMIT University Bundoora East Campus, Building 251, Level 3, Room 30

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

MIET1076 Mechanical Vibrations, or equivalent

Course Description

This course deals with the application of control theory in general engineering applications. Analysis of automatic control systems using transfer function, block diagram, time response and frequency response are discussed and applied to control system evaluation and design.

Please note that if you take this course for a bachelor honours program, your overall mark in this course will be one of the course marks that will be used to calculate the weighted average mark (WAM) that will determine your award level.
This applies to students who commence enrolment in a bachelor honours program from 1 January 2016 onwards. See the WAM information web page for more information.(;ID=eyj5c0mo77631)

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

This course contributes to the following program learning outcomes:

1 Knowledge and Skill Base
1.1.  Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.
1.2.  Conceptual understanding of the mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the engineering discipline.
1.3.   In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.

2 Engineering Application Ability
2.1  Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving
2.2. Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources


Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

Upon successful completion of this course you should be able to:

1 Develop mathematical model of a control system in transfer function form,
2 Represent a control system using block diagram,
3 Obtain the analytical time response solution of 1st-order and 2nd-order control systems,
4 Predict the frequency response characteristics of a control system,
5 Develop solution strategies for control problems,
6 Use of Bode diagrams to design simple control systems.




Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities throughout the course include: Lectures, tutorials, laboratory work, and assessments.

Overview of Learning Resources

All lecture Powerpoint slides, model answers of questions in the lectures, tutorial sessions, and tests are available from the RMIT Learning Management System.

Students are strongly recommended to obtain a copy of the prescribed text:

  • Norman S. Nise, Control Systems Engineering, Wiley; (2010) 
  • Automatic Control Learning Package, RMIT University 


Recommended additional texts include:

  • Farid Golnaraghi and, Benjamin C. Kuo, Automatic Control Systems, Wiley; (2009).
  • Richard C. Dorf  and, Robert H. Bishop, Modern Control Systems, Prentice Hall; (2010).
  • Katsuhiko Ogata, Modern Control Engineering, Prentice Hall; (2009).

Overview of Assessment

X This course has no hurdle requirements.

☐ All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching).

Assessment item 1:  Assignment 1 (individual)
Weighting of final grade:  20%     
Related course learning outcomes:  1, 2, 3
Description:  Representing a control system by block diagram and transfer function, and obtaining time response of 1st-and 2nd-order systems

Assessment item 2:  Assignment 2 (individual) + Laboratory (group)
Weighting of final grade:  30%     
Related course learning outcomes:  1, 3, 4, 5, 6
Description:  Control system analysis and design using Bode diagrams, PID controllers; Determination of time constant in the transfer function of a control system.

Assessment item 3:  Final Exam (individual)
Weighting of final grade:  50%        
Related course learning outcomes:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Description:  The exam is an assessment of your knowledge and skills in transfer function, block diagram, PID controllers, frequency response analysis using Bode diagrams and design of a simple control system.