CORE Module “Automation and Control”

This module builds on top of the material learnt in the “Introduction to IMS” module and covers the general areas of control and automation, including also an introductory course in electronics with an accompanying lab. Topics covered include (but are not limited to): stability analysis, frequency (Laplace) domain modeling of systems, Bode plots, programmable controllers, basic electronics, and sensors and actuators used in industrial automation.

Control Systems

This course offers a systematic introduction to linear dynamical systems and their control. Topics include: 1. Modelling in time & frequency domain focusing on the concept of transfer functions. 2. Zero-Pole plots and the corresponding time response. 3. Reduction and analysis of complex block diagrams including feedback systems.  4. Stability concepts and criteria. 5. Steady state errors. 6. System analysis and design via root locus, Bode plots, and Nyquist diagrams.

Aim: Students will be able to represent linear electrical and mechanical systems in terms of ordinary differential equations. Based on frequency domain methods, students will be able to analyze and understand the system behavior. They will also be able to design simple controllers in order to improve the system response.

  • Semester: Fall (3rd Semester)
  • ECTS: 5
  • Instructor: Dr. Mathias Bode


Automation is the application of technology to monitor and control the production and delivery of products and services. The field of Automation has considerable overlap with the fields of Control and Robotics. However, the distinguishing aspect is the emphasis on industrial application, along with the concomitant focus on robustness and efficiency under factory conditions.
Topics covered in this couse include: an introduction to industrial sensors used in process control, operational principles of industrial motors and drives, an introduction to Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), programming PLCs, fuzzy logic and controllers, and artificial intelligence (AI) concepts used in automation.

  • Semester: Spring (4th Semester)
  • ECTS: 5
  • Instructor: Prof. Dr. Francesco Maurelli

Embedded Systems Lab

The goal of this lab course is to establish an understanding of the architecture of a microcontroller as well as how to program it in C and assembly language. The goal is achieved by guiding the students in an application-oriented manner through a series of design tasks like reading/controlling various sensors/actuators, processing internal/external interrupts, generation of PWM signals, and AD/DA conversion. The basic architecture of a microcontroller with its ALU, timer/counter, memory, I/O interface; the concepts of working registers, interrupt vectors, program counter will be introduced. At the end of the course, students should be able to develop and implement their own solutions for typical applications on AVR/ARM based microcontrollers.

  • Semester: Fall (3rd Semester)
  • ECTS: 5
  • Instructor: Dr. Fangning Hu