Last Updated S012019


Unit Name Analysis and Modelling of Dynamic Systems
Unit Code BIA209S
Unit Duration 1 Semester

Bachelor of Science (Engineering)

Duration 3 years    

Year Level Two
Unit Creator / Reviewer N/A
Core/Sub-Discipline: Sub-discipline
Pre/Co-requisites BSC202C, BIA108S
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 provide students with the essential skills for identifying and analysing the characteristics of physical processes that are to be managed or constrained by control systems and to provide the theoretical basis for the design of feedback control systems.

The subject matter covered in this unit will include an introduction to the principles of mathematical modelling of simple dynamic systems that are widely used to represent physical and chemical process operations; block diagram modelling with transfer functions using Laplace transforms; frequency and time domain analysis methods for the identification of dynamic lags in typical processes; and, classical feedback control models with a review of methods for determining stability of controllers and suitable loop gains and compensation parameters.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Interpret and recognize the mathematical basis of 1st and 2nd order dynamic systems, and demonstrate by example the characteristic responses to disturbances.
    Bloom's Level 4
  2. Explain and apply the principles of block diagram modeling using Laplace transforms in transfer functions.
    Bloom's Level 3
  3. Design block diagram versions of feedback control applications and evaluate them for the stability of control using Nyquist and Root locus plots.
    Bloom's Level 6
  4. Apply industry-standard software tools to expedite the design of a single loop control system.
    Bloom's Level 6
  5. Evaluate and discuss the advanced process and digital control in typical industrial control systems.
    Bloom's Level 5

Student assessment

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

Assessment 1

Type: Multi-choice test

Example Topic: Process dynamics, mathematical models, time response to inputs, block diagrams, transfer functions, Laplace transforms

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: Short answer questions / Problems / Exam

Example Topic: All topics to date

An examination with a mix of theory and simple numerical problems to be completed in 1.5 hours

Due after Topic 8 20% 1, 2, 3

Assessment 4

Type: Project / Report / Practical / Simulation

Example Topic: Physical system: Matlab model of a process with the development of a suitable controller showing responses (Bode plots, Nyquist, Root locus, PID). Include frequency diagrams, bode plots, frequency response, root locus, 1st order or 2nd order modeling of physical processes. Bonus: discuss and include advanced and / or digital control.

Due after Topic 11 25% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Assessment 4

Type: Examination

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

Example Topic: 1st order and 2nd order electrical and/or mechanical system modelling and simulation, applying block diagram reduction methods, Solving bode plot, Stability analysis based on Routh Hurwitz or root locus analysis, Digital control.


Final week 35% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Attendance / Tutorial Participation

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

Continuous 5% 1 to 5

Prescribed and Recommended Readings



• N. S. Nise, Control Systems Engineering, 8th ed. Wiley, 2019 – ISBN: 978-1119474227


• B. Barraclough, K. Dutton, S. Thompson, The Art of Control Engineering. Prentice Hall, 1997 – ISBN-13: 978-0201175455
• L. Ferrarini, C. Veber, Modeling, Control, Simulation, and Diagnosis of Complex Industrial and Energy Systems. ISA, 2009 – ISBN 978-1-62870-506-5.
Online version available at:

Notes and Reference Texts

IDC notes and reference texts as advised.
Other material advised during the lectures

Unit Content

Topics 1 and 2

Introduction to Process Dynamics and Mathematical Models

1. Review of 1st and 2nd order linear differential equations
2. Representation of physical processes by linear differential equations
3. Examples of linearity and non-linearity in physical processes
4. Representation of dynamic processes using transfer functions
5. Derivation of Laplace transforms for impulse, step, and ramp functions
6. The transfer function in block diagram models

Topic 3

Time Response Modelling

1. Block diagram notations and examples
2. Representation of process dynamics by 1st and 2nd order transfer functions
3. Transfer functions for time delays in the process response
4. Determination of time responses to pulse, step, and ramp inputs
5. Modelling of feedback control systems
6. Higher order dynamic models and their simplification to approximate 2nd order plus dead time

Topics 4 and 5

Modelling of process characteristics in Matlab

1. Steady state process model representations to identify inputs, outputs, and disturbance influences
2. Development of a 1st order model from typical physical process such as a stirred hot water tank
3. Development of a 2nd order model from a spring and weight model, and from a cascaded water tank process
4. Development of a feed heater model with disturbances
5. Detailed application model of a feedback control loop applied to a 1st order process

Topic 6

PID control and Frequency domain analysis

1. PID Control
2. Frequency response plots and their interpretation
3. Bode diagrams
4. Root locus diagrams

Topics 7 and 8

Stability analysis of single loop feedback controllers (SISO)

1. Stability criteria for feedback control
2. Nyquist Diagrams
3. Compensation by lead-lag elements to achieve stability
4. Configuration and tuning of feedback controllers using S plane models
5. Feed forward control techniques and benefits for disturbance rejection

Topic 9

Modelling, control, design and analysis of SISO systems using Matlab™

1. Case studies and exercises with Matlab to:
a. model, tune, and analyze 1st and 2nd order systems
b. verify stability and response of controllers

Topic 10

Advanced Process Control

1. Advanced vs classical control
2. Internal Model Control - IMC
3. Model Predictive Control - MPC
4. Reference models and Control model formulation

Topic 11

Digital (Discrete) Control System Fundamentals

1. Digital vs Analogue
2. Modelling a digital sampler and Zero-order Hold
3. The z-transform and transfer functions
4. Digital compensator and digital PID control

Topic 12

Project and 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. Instructors/facilitators may choose to cover a specialized topic if applicable to that cohort.

Software/Hardware Used


  • Software: MATLAB; SCILAB

  • Version: N/A

  • Instructions:  N/A

  • Additional resources or files: N/A


  • N/A