Lab Projects

You will be required to complete two group projects in the lab as part of this course. Groups will consist of 2 students for lab #1 and 3-4 students for lab #2. One report will be submitted for the group. Homework assignments will be reduced during the time when the project is assigned.


Physical Lab

Click here for instructions on the physical lab.


Simulation Lab

Click here here for instructions on the simulation lab.


Project Report

For each project you will need to limit your report to no more than 2 pages. This project report is a write-up of your results from the lab project. The focus of this report is to effectively communicate a message in a concise and polished format.

Evaluation of Written Project Reports

  1. Group developed a correct model for the system
    1. From First Principles
      1. Simulation of equations to generate step tests and fit to FOPDT
      2. Linearized model equations, performed Laplace transform, and generated transfer function
      3. Stability analysis, closed loop transfer function, controller tuning with simulation
    2. From Empirical Data
      1. Fit data to FOPDT or other appropriate model
      2. Group performed a step test or equivalent test properly and had a graph of the results
  2. Group solved the system model
  3. FOPDT constants are calculated and the results displayed in the report
  4. Tuning parameters for a controller are calculated
  5. A graph or table is made of the process response using the controller
  6. Controller maintains set point after a step or disturbance
  7. Professional Report
    1. Explanations accompany equations and figures
    2. Credible analysis
    3. Discussion of unexpected outcomes
    4. Clear conclusions and recommendations

Along with the project report, you'll have an opportunity to present your results in a 3-5 minute presentation for the simulation lab. This presentation can be in-class, a video, or some other media form that communicates the project results. Because there will not be sufficient class time for all of the presentations, groups will be able to present in sessions outside of class.

Chose Your Own Project

You may chose your own system for these lab exercises or stay with the assigned systems. This may be a system from your undergrad research or personal interest.

If you chose to do your own project, look for systems that have the following characteristics:

  • Dynamic system
  • Available measurement or simulation of the controlled variable response
  • Actuator that adjusts the controlled variable response
  • Process can be controlled by a computer

If you have questions or would like to talk about a potential project, please send a note or stop by the instructor's office.