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ME 548 Control System Design

Catalog Description

ME 548 System Dynamics and Control (3). Prerequisite: ME 206, ME 311, ENGR 205. Modeling of mechanical, fluid, electrical, and mixed systems. Basic concepts and principles of feedback control systems. Formulation of linear control problems by classical methods. Analysis and synthesis techniques as used in the design of automatic, dynamic control systems. Study of transient and steady state response, use of time and frequency domain concepts. System performance specifications. Design applications.

Prerequisites by Topic

  1. Rigid body dynamics
  2. Fluid mechanics
  3. Differential equations


W.J. Palm III, System Dynamics, 2nd edition, McGraw Hill, 2008.


P.M. Quesada, Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Course Learning Outcomes

This course gives senior mechanical engineering students theoretical background and methodological experience for analyzing and designing mechanical, fluid and electrical dynamic processes and control systems. Design applications are emphasized through lecture topics and homework problem assignments.

Topics Covered

  1. Introduction to state-space methods (10 classes)
  2. Introduction to feedback control systems (1 class)
  3. Modeling of mechanical, electrical, fluid, thermal system elements (12 classes)
  4. Review of Laplace Transforms (2 classes)
  5. Control system representation: block diagram algebra, generalized FBC systems (1 classes)
  6. Effect of pole locations and time domain specifications (4 classes)
  7. Stability and Routh’s criterion (2 classes)
  8. Steady state tracking and system type (5 classes)
  9. Root locus method and dynamic compensation (5 classes)
  10. Frequency response methods (7 classes)
  11. Dynamic compensation (2 classes)
  12. Examinations (2 classes)

Computer Use

  1. Transient response of discrete systems
  2. Root locus plotting and design
  3. Frequency response plotting and design

Laboratory Projects


Class/Laboratory Schedule

Three 50 minute sessions per week devoted to lecture, discussion, and problem solving.


Homework: 10%, quizzes: 20%, exams: 30%, project: 20%, final exam: 20%.

Curriculum Criterion Contribution

Engineering science: 2 credits, engineering design: 1 credit.

Relationship to Program Outcomes

This course supports Mechanical Engineering Department B.Sc. program objectives by developing:

  • An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to identify, formulate and solve problems in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern tools necessary for the practice of mechanical engineering.

Prepared by P.M. Quesada, June 2009

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