MSc Advanced Control and Systems Engineering with Extended Research

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Nonlinear and Adaptive Control Systems

Course unit fact file
Unit code EEEN60252
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


  • Characteristics of nonlinear behaviour, linearized models.
  • Phase-plane methods; approximate construction of state trajectories.
  • Describing functions; use in predicting oscillations.
  • Stability theory, Lyapunov functions; methods of construction and use K-Y lemma; circle criteria.
  • Compensation for nonlinearities; feedback linearization.
  • Integrator backstepping and iterative backstepping design.
  • Model reference control and model reference adaptive control of linear systems; adaptive laws and stability analysis.
  • Robust issues in adaptive control, dead-zoon and sigma modifications in adaptive laws.
  • Adaptive control of nonlinear systems and adaptive backstepping


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Control Fundamentals EEEN64401 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
State-Space and Multivariable Control EEEN60109 Pre-Requisite Compulsory


The course unit unit aims to:

  • Enable the stability and performance analysis and design of nonlinear systems and controllers.
  • Enable the use of control schemes which adapt to unknown and/or slowly varying systems

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the effects of non-linearities on the operation of control systems.
  • Show an understanding of methods for reducing nonlinear effects in control systems.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the principal structures used for adaptive control systems.

Intellectual skills

  • Obtain locally linearized models for nonlinear dynamic systems.
  • Apply the describing function method to nonlinear feedback systems.
  • Use backstepping design for control of nonlinear systems.
  • Design adaptive controllers, for linear and nonlinear systems

Practical skills

  • Simulate nonlinear control systems using Matlab and Simulink.
  • Implement adaptive control schemes for engineering systems.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Use the relevant simulation tools, and apply parameter estimation methods, in other areas.

Assessment methods

Unseen Written Examination

Four questions, each with 25 marks.  Answer all questions

Length of examination: 2 hours

Calculators are permitted in this examination

The maximum mark for this examination forms 70% of the total unit assessment

Course Work Not Based On Laboratory Attendance

coursework 1: Control design for nonlinear systems and simulation studies

Submission date: Friday Week 2, 2nd semester

The maximum mark for coursework1 forms 15% of the total unit assessment

Coursework2: Adaptive control design for nonlinear systems and simulation studies

Submission date: Friday Week 3, 2nd semester

The maximum mark for coursework2 forms 15% of the total unit assessment

Feedback methods


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Tutorials 6
Independent study hours
Independent study 114

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
William Heath Unit coordinator
Guido Herrmann Unit coordinator

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