Process Dynamics and Control



James McLellanDupuis 316james.mclellan@queensu.ca613-533-2785


Mohammad JahvaniDupuis
Seyedabbas AlaviDupuis

Course Description

The dynamic behaviour and automatic control of processes are studied. Mathematical tools for analyzing the transient behaviour of open and closed-loop systems are presented. The steps of controller development are treated: process characterization (using mathematical models), controller design, and implementation. Methods for assessing system stability and performance are investigated, and are used in the design of controllers. Frequency response methods are introduced, as is the development and implementation of controller enhancements including feedforward and cascade control. (0/0/0/30/12)

PREREQUISITES:  CHEE 210, CHEE 222 or MINE 201, MTHE 225 (MATH 225), CHEE 321 or permission of the department.

Objectives and Outcomes

The basic definition of the fundamental control problem can be given as follows:

“The central problem in control is to find a technically feasible way to act on a given process so that the process adheres, as closely as possible to some desired behavior. Furthermore, this approximate behavior should be achieved in the face of uncertainty of the process and in the presence of uncontrollable external disturbances acting on the process” (Goodwin et al. 2001).

The basic objective of this course is to provide a comprehensive introduction to the concept of controller design of dynamical systems.  We will consider primarily a model-based approach where the dynamics of the process to be controlled have been modeled adequately using either black box or mechanistic models.

We will first emphasize the development of control system analysis tools for continuous-time linear systems. These include frequency response analysis techniques such as the Nyquist stability criterion and the Bode stability criterion. 

The primary emphasis will be on controller design techniques, in particular, model-based controller design. The course will attempt to assemble a set of tools for the design of controller in the presence of delay and process disturbances.

By the end of this course the student should be able to: 

  • derive transfer function models from process models and process data
  • recognize important process dynamic features of SISO linear dynamical systems
  • apply modern control theory to design a controller for uncertain SISO linear dynamical systems
  • understand the trade-off in performance that arise in the design of a controller

Relevance to the Program

Course Structure and Activities

3 lecture hours + 1 tutorial hour per week. 


Seborg, D.E., T.F. Edgar, D.A. Mellichamp, and F.J. Doyle, Process Dynamics and Control, Wiley, New York (2010).

All course lecture slides, assignments and tutorials will be posted on the course website.