Last Updated S012019


Unit Name Process Instrumentation and Control
Unit Code BIA108S
Unit Duration 1 Semester

Bachelor of Science (Engineering)

Duration 3 years    

Year Level One
Unit Creator / Reviewer N/A
Core/Sub-Discipline: Sub-discipline
Pre/Co-requisites BSC101C
Credit Points


Total Course Credit Points 81 (27 x 3)

Mode of Delivery Online or on-campus. 
Unit Workload (Total student workload including “contact hours” = 10 hours per week; 5 hours per week for 24 week delivery)
Pre-recordings / Lecture – 1.5 hours
Tutorial – 1.5 hours
Guided labs / Group work / Assessments – 2 hours
Personal Study recommended – 5 hours

Unit Description and General Aims

The objective in presenting this unit is to introduce students to the basic principles of process instrumentation and control. The subject matter covered in this unit will include: the underlying principles of measurement science, in conjunction with the principles of measurement of pressure, level, temperature, and flow; the fundamentals of control, including tuning loops; and, an overview of advanced process control principles. The student will learn how to identify, select and size control valves and to also have the knowledge to apply MATLAB/SIMULAB tools for different applications.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Evaluate and apply the principles of measurement science.
    Bloom’s Level 4
  2. Specify, design, install, commission, and troubleshoot a range of instrumentation systems.
    Bloom’s Level 6
  3. Identify, select, size and maintain control valves for different applications.
    Bloom’s Level 4
  4. Evaluate the fundamentals of control and control systems.
    Bloom’s Level 4
  5. Assess and apply MATLAB and SIMULINK tools in control applications.
    Bloom’s Level 4
  6. Examine the procedures used in loop tuning.
    Bloom’s Level 4

Student assessment

Assessment Type When assessed Weighting (% of total unit marks) Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assessment 1

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Topic: Fundamentals of measurement, statistical analysis, pressure, level, temperature measurements.

Students may complete a quiz with MCQ type answers and solve some simple equations to demonstrate a good understanding of the fundamental concepts

Due after Topic 4 15% 1, 2

Assessment 2

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Topic: Control valve sizing and selection, control basics.

Students may provide solutions to simple problems on the listed topics

Due after Topic 6 20% 3, 4

Assessment 3

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation / Project / Report

Topic: Closed loop stability, configurations, MATLAB, SIMULAB

Students may complete a quiz with MCQ type answers or solve some simple problems or using software to complete a practical.

Due after Topic 10 20% 4, 5

Assessment 4

Type: An examination covering all topics but with emphasis on control loop tuning

Topic: All

An examination with a mix of detailed report type questions and/or simple numerical problems to be completed in 3 hours.

Final Week 40% 1 to 6

Attendance / Tutorial Participation

Example: Presentation, discussion, group work, exercises, self-assessment/reflection, case study analysis, application.

Continuous 5% 1 to 6

Prescribed and Recommended Readings

Suggested Textbook

• Singh, SK 2010, Industrial Instrumentation and Control, 3rd edn, Tata McGraw, ISBN-13: 978-0070678200

Reference Materials

• Whitt, MD 2012. Successful Instrumentation and Control Systems Design, 2nd edn, ISA, ISBN 978-1-62198-550-1 Online version available at:

• Meier, FA. Meier, CA.2011. Instrumentation and Control Systems Documentation. (2nd edn. ISA. Online version available at:

• Peer reviewed Journals
• Knovel library:
• IDC Technologies publications
• Other material and online collections as advised during the lectures

Unit Content 

Topic 1

Introduction to Measurement Science

1. Fundamentals of measurement science (static characteristics calibration, accuracy, precision, repeatability; dynamic characteristics (response speed, lag, dynamic error, and etc.)
2. Statistical analysis
3. Units and standards

Topics 2, 3 and 4

Pressure, Level, Temperature and Flow

1. Pressure units, characteristics and types of pressure (Gauge, absolute, vacuum, and etc.)
2. Methods of pressure measurement, calibration (manometers, force balance, and etc.)
3. Level measurement (direct and indirect methods, sight glass, float-type air bellows, calibration, maintenance and repair, and etc.)
4. Temperature scales, fixed points
5. Methods, characteristics, calibration (Thermometers, electrical temperature measurement, Pyrometers, fibre optic systems, and etc.)
6. Flow measurement (inferential, quantity, mass)
7. Inferential flow methods and characteristics (variable head, magnetic, target, turbine, thermal, ultrasonic, and etc.)
8. Quantity methods and characteristics (positive displacement, metering)
9. Mass flow methods and characteristics, calibration, maintenance and repair

Topic 5

Control Valve Sizing, Selection and Maintenance

1. Control valves theory
2. Valve types, materials and characteristics
3. High-pressure drop applications, and sizing
4. Actuators and positioners
5. Installation and maintenance
6. Quality standards (ASME, NACE, ISO9000, and etc.)

Topics 6, 7 and 8

Fundamentals of Control

1. Basic concepts of control (on/off, modulation, feed-forward, feedback, PID)
2. Stability in closed loops (causes, PID control modes)
3. Compare alternative closed loop configurations (cascade, feedforward, combined feedback and feed-forward)

Topic 9

Introduction to Matlab Control Toolbox and Simulink

1. Principles of Matlab and exercises in scripting
2. Block diagram models and transfer function manipulation
3. Frequency response testing methods

Topics 10 and 11

Tuning Control Loops

1. Fundamentals of tuning loops (PID controllers and modes, load disturbances and offsets, speed and stability issues, and etc.)
2. Tuning rules (Pessen, Ziegler Nichols, simplified lambda, and etc.)
3. Tuning value controllers (Hysteresis, striction)
4. Automated tuning (Self-tuning, adaptive control)
5. Tuning complex systems (Multivariate, ratio, feed-forward, cascade and interactive loops)

Topic 12

Unit Review

In the final week students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far. Opportunity will be provided for a review of student work and to clarify any outstanding issues.