CHEM ENG 3031 - Process Control & Instrumentation

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2018

The purpose of this course is to introduce the key concepts in automatic control and instrumentation of process plants. Material and energy balances are extended to unsteady state (dynamic) systems and Laplace Transforms are introduced as a means of conveniently representing process control systems and solving ordinary differential equations. First order, second order, and integrating systems including dead time are treated with basic controller algorithms. Commonly used sensing, transmission and final control elements are described and depicted in piping and Instrumentation Diagrams (P&IDs). The course is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials and exposure to simulation programs currently used in industry. Once you have completed the course, you should be able to characterise and tune simple processes and appreciate the relevance of control systems to safety and profitability.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code CHEM ENG 3031
    Course Process Control & Instrumentation
    Coordinating Unit School of Chemical Eng and Advanced Materials(Ina)
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible CHEM ENG 3015
    Assumed Knowledge MATHS 2201, CHEM ENG 2010
    Assessment assignments, quizzes, final examination
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Zeyad Alwahabi

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1 Explain the basic principles & importance of process control in industrial process plants;
    2 Specify the required instrumentation and final elements to ensure that well-tuned control is achieved;
    3 Define the use of block diagrams & the mathematical basis for the design of control systems;
    4 Design and tune process (PID) controllers;
    5 Use appropriate software tools (e.g. Matlab Control Toolbox & Simulink) for the modelling of plant dynamics and the design of well tuned control loops;
    6 Explain the importance and application of good instrumentation for the efficient design of process control loops for process engineering plants; and
    7 Draw a PID (Process & Instrumentation Diagram) & devise simple but effective plant wide control strategies using appropriate heuristics.

    The above course learning outcomes are aligned with the Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standard for the Professional Engineer.
    The course is designed to develop the following Elements of Competency: 1.1   1.2   1.3   2.1   2.2   3.1   

    University Graduate Attributes

    No information currently available.

  • Learning Resources
    Recommended Resources

    Stephanopoulos, G 2005, Chemical Process Control; An Introduction to Theory & Practice, Prentice-Hall

    Reference Book

    Seborg, DE, Edgar TF & Mellichamp DA 2008, Process Dynamics & Control, 2nd Edition, John Wiley.

    Online Learning
    A range of online resources will be provided via MyUni.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Activity Contact Hours Workload Hours
    Lectures 23 46
    Tutorials 20 40
    Quizzes 2 4
    TOTAL 45 90
    Learning Activities Summary
    Topic 1: Model Development & Differential Equations

    Solution of differential equations; use of Laplace transforms; development of dynamic models; Taylor series linearization of non-linear differential equations, inverse Laplace transforms; partial fraction expansion.

    Topic 2: Block Diagrams

    Closed-loop systems; block-diagram algebra.

    Topic 3: Step Responses & Controller Algorithms

    Step response of first & second-order systems, PID control – simple elements proportional, integral
    & derivative mode; ideal & real-world controllers.

    Topic 4: More Complex Transfer Functions

    Higher-order systems; inverse response; dead time.

    Topic 5: Stability

    Introduction; poles & zeros; Argand diagrams; Routh array, root locus plots; degrees of freedom.

    Topic 6: Controller Tuning & Model Fitting

    Model development using plant step test data; Cohen Coon & Zeigler Nichols tuning methods.

    Topic 7: Process Instrumentation

    Sensors & transducers; data transmission; accuracy & repeatability, final elements in control loop;
    pressure, temperature, level & flow rate measurement.

    Topic 8: Final elements

    Motor speed control; control valves – installed & inherent characteristics; PID (Process control &
    Instrumentation Diagrams).

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Weighting (%) Individual/ Group Formative/ Summative
    Due (week)*
    Hurdle criteria Learning outcomes
    Further information will be available prior to the start of semester.
    Total 0
    * The specific due date for each assessment task will be available on MyUni.
    This assessment breakdown is registered as an exemption to the University's Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy. The exemption is related to the Procedures clause(s): 1. a. iii    1. b. 3.   
    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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  • Policies & Guidelines
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