Module code: ENGM255

Module Overview

Automatic control is an essential technology to maintain safe, economic and environmentally benign operation of manufacturing processes. Process control is increasingly needed and challenging because modern plants have become more difficult to operate as the result of complex and highly integrated processes. This module aims to provide an introduction to process control, balancing theoretical and practical aspects. The module will review basic concept in control, including dynamics, feedback and stability, based on which more advanced and modern techniques will be introduced. It will integrate computer experiments, which closely simulate the operation of process plants, to enhance the understanding of process control principles.

Module provider

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Module Leader

CECELJA Franjo (Chst Chm Eng)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Lecture Hours: 11

Tutorial Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

  • Introduction to process operation hierarchy; the concept of control and system dynamics; classical feedback control and PID

  • Feedforward and ratio control

  • Enhanced single-loop control

  • Multiloop and multivariate control

  • Batch process control

  • Real-time optimisation

  • Model predictive control


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK 50
Examination Online ONLINE (OPEN BOOK) EXAM 50

Alternative Assessment

As above.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the full range of learning outcomes though examination and one individual piece of coursework.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         Unseen written examination – 50% (learning outcomes assessed 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, a, c)

·         Coursework: design of a single loop and a multi-input-multi-output controller – 50% (learning outcomes assessed 1-7, a, b, c, d)

Formative assessment

·         None


  • Verbal feedback during the computer lab based problem solving sessions (learning outcomes 1-7, a,c,d)

  • Written feedback on the coursework (learning outcomes 1-7, a-d)

Module aims

  • An understanding of the principles of automatic process operation
  • A knowledge of the analytic tools for analysing process dynamics
  • An understanding of the principles of process control
  • An understanding of the conventional control technologies
  • A knowledge of the design methods for process controllers
  • An understanding of how controllers' performance is evaluated

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Understand the key concepts of process control technology K
2 Develop control-oriented process models KC
3 Carry out analysis of process dynamics KC
4 Design controllers to maintain optimal process operation under various disturbances KC
5 Understand the difference between analogue and digital control systems KC
6 Understand the need to control multiple process variables in a complex manufacturing process KC
7 Integrate controllers with higher-level objectives to realise optimal process operation in a hierarchical manner KCP
8 Analysis and visualisation of data T
9 Technical report writing T
10 Reviewing, assessing, and critical thinking T
11 Use of simulation software T

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Cover in lectures the necessary fundamental knowledge and analysis of control problems;

  • Allow student to consolidate and apply understanding through computer lab based problem sessions and associated coursework.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures: 2 hours per week for 11 weeks

  • Computer lab based problem solving sessions: 2 hours per week for 11 weeks

  • Independent learning: 117 hours in total


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENGM255

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Chemical Engineering MEng 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Chemical and Petroleum Engineering MEng 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Process Systems Engineering MSc 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Renewable Energy Systems Engineering MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Petroleum Refining Systems Engineering MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2021/2 academic year.