ECEN872: Automatic Control Theory

Instructor: Dr. Ali Karimoddini, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, NC A&T University, Email: akarimod at

Prerequisite: ELEN-410 or consent of instructor

Course Overview: The aim of a control system is to influence the system's behavior to achieve a desired performance. Many control systems can be described by a linear model for which there are well developed analysis and synthesis tools. The focus will be on linear time invariant lumped systems which are described either by state space equations or rational transfer functions. Different analysis and design techniques will be discussed. The course will discuss both the continuous and discrete time systems.


  • Topics will include most of the following:
  • Introduction to Linear Control Systems
  • Mathematical models for linear systems and their analysis
    • Overview of linear algebra and matrix theory
    • State-space solutions and properties
    • Canonical forms and realizations
    • Minimal realizations
  • Qualitative analysis of linear systems
    • Stability
    • Controllability
    • Observability
  • Design
    • State feedback controller
    • State estimator
    • Pole placement
    • Linear-quadratic regulators


  • Required: C. T. Chen, Linear System Theory and Design , Fourth Edition, Oxford University Press, 2012. (ISBN: 978-0199959570)

Optional: P. J. Antsaklis, A. N. Michel, A Linear Systems Primer, Birkhauser, 2007 (ISBN: 978-0817644604)

Simulation Tools

  • MATLAB with SIMULINK toolbox

Robotics Experiments

The students will be expected to apply the course materials to different robotic platforms including aerial and ground robots.