Course Title: Automatic Control Systems

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Automatic Control Systems

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


115H Aerospace, Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Roger La Brooy

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 6009

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Assumed Knowledge: It is assumed that students have successfully completed the course Engineering Dynamics or an equivalent, before attempting this course.

Course Description

This course develops your capabilities in automatic control systems. You will build on prior knowledge of engineering dynamics to understand the nature and behaviour of dynamic systems and examine the subsequent design of automatic control systems. The course will have three major components:

1) The mathematical modelling and simulation of basic engineering processes, components and a variety of physical systems, leading to the nomination of Transfer Functions and time responses to standard inputs for dynamic control systems 

2) Rapidly predicting a system’s Frequency Response to an incoming frequency spectrum and modifying system parameters to meet basic performance specifications. Subsequent System Identification from Frequency response analysis

3) Improving system performance by using PID controllers and focusing on tuning PID coefficients

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

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes:

  • Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline
  • In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.
  • Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering solving
  • Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.
  • Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

On completion of this course you should be able to:

1) Model and simulate linear and non-linear physical systems using basic laws using MATLAB
2) Rapidly predict a system’s frequency response
3) Improve an existing system’s performance by using controller actions such as PID controllers

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities can include lectures, lecture-tutorials or lectorials, quizzes, major and minor assignments and a final exam or test.
The course will be based heavily on Project-Based Learning (PBL), self-directed study and can involve team activities.
It is vital that you keep up-to-date with all learning activities. Details of assignments will be posted via Blackboard or via email. There will also be milestones for your project which must be achieved by certain dates. Tutorial activities have been designed to enable you to achieve these milestones within the appropriate time frame.
This course is designed to commence your in-depth technical knowledge of engineering automatic control systems. Some assessments have also been designed to give you practice in the interpretation of data, the management of information. Tutorial questions will test your analytic, written and communication skills.

Overview of Learning Resources

Course-related schedules and resources will be provided to students via the course Blackboard or email. This can include supplementary course notes, tutorial material, lecture material, problem sheets and solutions.

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).

Assignment 1: Test on Modelling and Time Response 

Weighting: 15%
Related course learning outcomes: 1

Class test: Frequency response
Weighting: 30%
Related course learning outcomes: 2

Assignment 2: Tutorial book
Weighting: 5%
Related course learning outcomes: 3

Examination (Final)
Weighting 50%
Related course learning outcomes: 1, 2, 3