Note: This unit version is currently being edited and is subject to change!

AMME9501: System Dynamics and Control (2020 - Semester 1)

Download UoS Outline

Unit: AMME9501: System Dynamics and Control (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: School of Aerospace, Mechanical & Mechatronic Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Dr Shi, Guodong
Session options: Semester 1
Versions for this Unit:
Site(s) for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: AMME9500.
Prohibitions: AMME8501.
Brief Handbook Description: This unit of study is about dynamics (how things change over time) and control (how to make them act the way you want them to).

The study of control systems engineering is of fundamental importance to most engineering disciplines, including Mechanical, Mechatronic, Biomedical, and Aerospace Engineering. Control systems are found in a broad range of applications within these disciplines, from aircraft and spacecraft to robots, vehicles, manufacturing processes, and medical diagnostic and intervention systems.

This subject will cover the mathematical foundations and most widely-used engineering techniques for system analysis and design.
Assumed Knowledge: AMME5500 OR AMME9500.
Lecturer/s: Dr Shi, Guodong
Tutor/s: TBC
Timetable: AMME9501 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 2.00 1 13
2 Tutorial 3.00 1 12
3 Independent Study 6.00 12
T&L Activities: Tutorial: Tutorial and Laboratory Sessions

The combination of tutorial assignments and laboratory work will allow students to apply their newfound knowledge of control systems to a variety of practical systems, and obtain assistance from tutors in solving example problems and assignment questions.

Independent Study: Independent study for this Unit of Study will involve work on assignments to support the Learning Outcomes as well a group work to prepare laboratory reports.

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
Students will work on the fundamentals of science and engineering through assignment and laboratory work. (1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 3)
Develop an understanding of methods for modeling and controlling linear, time-invariant systems. (2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 3)
Opportunities to apply design and problem solving skills will be provided through hands-on laboratory experimentation and assignment material. Students will also be given the opportunity to design and conduct experiments and to analyse and interpret data from those experiments. (4) Design (Level 3)
Ability to use state-of-the-art software programmes to assist in the analysis and design of control loops.
Students will be required to submit reports outlining their solutions to problem sets and laboratory work.
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 1)
Students will work in groups as part of laboratory work and for selected design problems. Teamwork and project management skills will be developed in this context. (7) Project and Team Skills (Level 2)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 3)
1. Mathematically model mechanical and other systems and determine their response characteristics based on the physical properties of the system and Laplace transform methods
2. Understand how desired specifications of a mechanical system such as stability, overshoot, rise time, the time constant of a system, natural frequency and damping ratio can be represented mathematically and how they depend on system parameters.
3. Demonstrate an ability to design controllers and meet specifications using tools such as Root Locus, Bode Plots, and State Space. Understand the relative strengths and weaknesses of each technique.
4. Understand the role of feedback in providing robustness to modelling uncertainty and external disturbances.
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 3)
5. Ability to analyse and design control loops using Matlab and Simulink software tools.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Weekly problem sets No 5.00 Multiple Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
2 Design Project 1* No 10.00 Week 6 1, 2, 5,
3 Laboratory Report* Yes 10.00 Week 12 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
4 Design Project 2* No 15.00 Week 12 2, 3, 4, 5,
5 Final Exam No 60.00 Exam Period 1, 2, 3, 4,
Assessment Description: * indicates an assessment task which must be repeated if a student misses it due to special consideration

Assessment in this Unit of Study will be based on assignment and laboratory work as well as an end of semester examination. Tutorials will be conducted once a week. The tutorial will at times be in the tutorial rooms and at times will be conducted in the PC lab. The combination of tutorial assignments and laboratory work will allow students to apply their newfound knowledge of control systems to a variety of practical systems. The design projects and problem set questions are designed in concert with the laboratories to help students understand the relationship between the mathematical techniques and physical reality of feedback control systems.

The idea is that the weekly problem sets test straightforward application of mathematical techniques to example problems. Similar problems will be given as worked examples in the tutorials. Your score will be calculated from the best 10 out of 12 results.

The design projects test these skills and additionally a broader range of abilities, including critical reasoning about mathematical modelling, experiment design, data visualisation, drawing conclusions from mathematics and empirical results, and written communication skills.

The laboratory component allows hands-on experimentation with a real control system, and presents a series of increasingly challenging design problems. The laboratory is done in pairs, and a pdf report submitted at the end of semester.

Note: attendance and participation will be marked in the lab, and you will get zero for the lab component if you do not get the participation mark for your timetabled laboratory, unless you have a valid special consideration.

Students MUST pass the final exam in order to pass the subject. If you fail the exam, your mark will be calculated as usual (60% exam, 40% assignments), but cut off at a maximum achievable mark of your exam mark or 45%, whichever is higher.
Assessment Feedback: Students will receive feedback on their assessment work from their tutor, both online and in-class.
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Recommended Reference/s: Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books in the university library. Purchase is not required.
Online Course Content: Notes and material on Canvas LMS.

Free online textbook: Astrom and Murray, Feedback Systems: An Introduction for Scientists and Engineers:

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Lecture: Introduction to dynamics and feedback
Week 2 Lecture: First-order dynamical systems
Week 3 Lecture: First-order control systems
Week 4 Lecture: Second and higher-order systems
Week 5 Lecture: Second-order control systems
Week 6 Lecture: Linear systems: general theory
Assessment Due: Design Project 1*
Week 7 Lecture: State-feedback control design
Week 8 Lecture: State estimators and output feedback
Week 9 Lecture: Transfer functions and frequency response
Week 10 Lecture: Analysis via frequency response
Week 11 Lecture: PID control
Week 12 Lecture: Frequency-domain control design
Assessment Due: Laboratory Report*
Assessment Due: Design Project 2*
Week 13 Lecture: Perspectives on system analysis and control design
Exam Period Assessment Due: Final Exam

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Master of Professional Engineering (Aerospace) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Biomedical) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Mechanical) 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 1) Yes 0%
(7) Project and Team Skills (Level 2) Yes 0%
(8) Professional Effectiveness and Ethical Conduct (Level 2) No 0%
(5) Interdisciplinary, Inclusiveness, Influence (Level 3) No 0%
(4) Design (Level 3) Yes 0%
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 3) Yes 89.25%
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 3) No 10.75%
(1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 3) Yes 0%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.