00196 - Automatic Controls

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Industry, innovation and infrastructure Sustainable cities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The aim of this course is to give the students the background and fundamental principles of automatic control systems behaviour, examining both open and close loop configurations.

During the course basic tools and techniques are introduced in order to perform:

- analysis of linear stationary dynamic Single Input / Single Output (SISO) system characteristics and properties

- synthesis of feedback control systems

- utilization of main components (actuators and sensors) in control loops.

Course contents

1) Introduction

Material and simbolic manipulations: concepts.

Dynamical systems. Mathematical models. Examples.

Automatic control systems: open loop control and feedback control.

Examples of automatic control systems: position and velocity servos, level and temperature control.

2) Mathematical models and transformation methods

Differential equations systems.

Laplace transformation and anti-transformation: definitions and properties.

Transfer function and impulse response function


3) Dynamic system analysis

Parameters of first and second order dynamic system step responses.

Disturbance sensitivity and parameter variations.

Stability. Routh criterion.

Steady-state errors.

4) Frequency response function. Definition.

Relationship with impulse response function

Polar diagrams and Bode diagrams: examples.

5) Feedback

Description of fdback control systems. Main properties of feedback.

Nyquist stability criterium for close loop control system stability

Amplitude and phase margins for dynamic behaviour analysis

6) Syinthesis of regulators

Pole assignment. Root locus. Phase lead/lag controllers. Standard regulators.


Course lecture notes available on IOL - Unibo.

K. Ogata, L. Biagiotti, Fondamenti di Controlli Automatici, quinta edizione, Pearson. 2020

A. V. Papadopoulos, M. Prandini, Fondamenti di Automatica - Esercizi, seconda edizione, Pearson, 2020

P. Bolzern, R. Scattolini, N. Schiavoni, Fondamenti di Controlli Automatici, IV edizione, Mc Graw Hill Education, 2015

G. F. Franklin, J. D. Powell, A. Emami-Naeini, Feedback Control of Dynamic Systems, 6th edition, Prentice-Hall, 2010

R. C. Dorf, R. H. Bishop, Controlli Automatici – undicesima edizione, Pearson Italia (Prentice Hall), Milano Torino, 2010

F. Golnaraghi, B. Kuo, Automatic Control Systems – Ninth Edition, John Wiley & Sons, 2010

G. Marro, Controlli Automatici - Quinta Edizione, Zanichelli, Bologna, 2006

M.E. Penati, G. Bertoni, Automazione e sistemi di controllo Vol. I, II. Esculapio, Bologna, 2000

Teaching methods

Classroom lessons

Assessment methods

There is a two day exam session: the first day there is the written part of the exam, where the student is asked to resolve an exercise made composed of five-six questions. The questions are about the analysis and design of a given control system. Every question has its indicated score. The written exam is passed when the obtained score is greater than 14/30.

It is mandatory to register at the list of the participants to the written test. The list is published many weeks in advance before the test, and it closes three days before the written test date.

Test results are published on ALMAesami website by the day before the date of the oral part of the exam, that is the same date of the exam mark verbalization.

The oral exam is optional and can be sat if the written exam is passed. The date of the oral is the date immediately subsequent to that one of the written exam, after which the written result is no more valid. The oral exam cannot be sit on the date of a subsequent exam.

In case of the oral exam, the final score can be whichever, independently from the written test result. Type and number of questions during the oral exam depend on the written test result. The oral exam consists of questions about control system theory and some additional exercises, where the student is asked to prove his/her mastery in the matter.

In case of no oral exam, even if the written test is passed, the final mark of the exam will be registered according to the indication in the following table.

In both cases of oral or no oral choice, when the written test result is passed, it is mandatory to register in the oral exam list to have the final mark verbalised. The list is open until the date of the oral exam. Verbalisation is done that day. In case one wants to verbalise without giving the oral exam, it is possible to send an email to the professor with the formal acceptance of the written test result as the final mark, according the rules indicated on the table. The email has to be sent by the date of the oral exam, and it is also possible to not physically present oneself that day for the verbalisation, nevertheless the registration to the oral exam test is mandatory.

At the oral/verbalisation day it is possible to have the one’s written test seen and commented together the professor, whichever the written test is passed or not. For this no list registration is required.

During the written test, lecture notes, books, personal course notes can be brought and used or referred. No tablet, computers, smartphones are allowed. It is suggested to have with yourself a pocket calculator (normal or scientific or programmable)

Teaching tools

Blackboard, video and slides projection

Office hours

See the website of Matteo Zanzi