Modelling and control by Anthony Rossiter

Lectures and resources in modelling and control

This website is intended to be used like a textbook, either as a reference for checking specific topics or to learn topics from scratch. It is made up of a combination of:

  1. PDF files with basic notes summaries.
  2. Video lectures which talk through topics in slower time (streamed from Youtube).
  3. Tutorial sheets with worked solutions that students can use for self testing.
  4. Occasional quick fire questions to test progress.
  5. MATLAB files for core engineering problem analysis.
  6. Other resources on IFAC repository.


Content will cover a broad range of topics mostly aimed at years 1 and 2 of engineering undergraduate. Many of the videos on youtube have been viewed by a global audience and received extremely positive feedback. Follow the left hand links for more detail.

Main themes and topics

  1. Chapter on mathematical skills (Roots of polynomials, Laplace Transforms, Inverse Laplace, Complex numbers, Logarithms and exponentials, Binomial expansions for A level, Logarithms for A level, Trigonometry for A level, Simultaneous equations, matrices and determinants.)
  2. Chapter on use of MATLAB (Solving ODEs, creating transfer functions, closed-loop transfer functions, analysing transfer functions, step responses, closed-loop offsets to steps and ramps, responses for general inputs, trial and error design for offset, poles and loop analysis, generic matlab coding skills.)
  3. Chapter on linear models and behaviours (Modelling principles and analogies, modelling of 1st and 2nd order systems, responses of 1st and 2nd order systems, classifying behaviours.)
  4. Chapter on concepts of feedback and control (Block diagrams, impact of uncertainty, importance and impact of feedback, closed-loop offsets, simple design approaches.)
  5. Chapter on classical control analysis and design tools (Root-loci, Bode diagrams, Nyquist diagrames, gain/phase margins, lead and lag compensation.)
  6. Chapter on state space models beginning from definitions and equivalence to transfer function models and then moving through behaviours, controllability and observability, and finally an introduction to control design, observer design and optimal control.
  7. Chapter on predictive control
  8. Powerpoint files and MATLAB files are available on a googlesite.

About the Author: Dr John Anthony Rossiter has been an academic in UK universities for over 20 years and taught a huge variety of courses in that time, but with special interest in the topics of modelling, analysis and control. He was educated at Oxford University where he was also awarded his doctorate in 1990 and has been working in The University of Sheffield since 2001. He has a number of prizes for teaching as well as publishing extensively in the academic literature, mainly in the field of predictive control. Currently employed in Automatic Control and Systems Engineering:

About the resources: Dr Rossiter's perception of education is that the world is changing and in particular the historical reliance on conventional text boks and didactic lectures is already outdated. Moving into a world that encourages and supports independent and flexible learning, it is important that students have suitable resources. A full suite of learning resources will include laboratories, quizzes, question and answer sessions, interactive resources and so on. However, it is still necessary to have at the core some didactic material students can use for their first exposure to topics and for reference where necessary. Consequently, these videos are intended to act like lectures, partially didactic and partially with worked examples. Students can view these off line to get to grips with a topic. Videos can be paused and restarted and even reviewed over and over again and thus, through repetition and/or active engagement, students' understanding will improve. In several places they are supplemented with tutorial sheets students can use to test their progress.

The material will cover topics and content which could be presented anywhere within the first three years of an engineering undergraduate degree; years 2 and 3 would be more typical. The presentation of material is such that many chapters are standalone, so students do need to view all the preceeding chapters in order to find them useful. However, within the chapters themselves there are often references back to earlier videos so it is advisable to view the chapter videos in order.

Organisation of this site: Each chapter has a number of videos which are currently hosted on Youtube. The relevant links are provided. However, in addition, there are links to the source powerpoint files, and where appropriate, uncommented MATLAB script files containing the MATLAB code used in production of the figures and examples (these are linked to each video).

Internation Federation of Automatic Control