Electrical and Computer Engineering

Robotics, Automation, and Controls

General Description

Automatic control systems permeate life in all advanced societies today. Control systems are integral parts of applications such as automatic toasters, heating and cooling systems, washers and dryers, space vehicles, robots and industrial processes. The successful operation of the space shuttle depends on the proper functioning of a large number of control systems.

At TTU, you will learn the principles of how to control a given system and make it behave in a desirable fashion, so that the ultimate operation of such systems is successful. To specialize in this area, you should take one junior level course, ECE 3210, two senior level courses, ECE 4210 and one other from the focus area list, and one lab, ECE 3260.

The junior level course includes modeling of physical systems and analysis of the stability and the transient and steady state responses of such systems. The first senior level course includes the basic principles used in designing analog compensators to improve the stability and the transient steady state response of a given system. The second senior level course includes the design of digital controllers and the use of computers to control such systems. Due to advances in computer technology, many industrial companies are using computers for control purposes.

Relation to Other Areas

The control systems area affects, in one way or another, all other engineering disciplines. Many practical systems utilize a control system. Control of power systems, mechanical systems, and chemical processes are examples that are related to ECE, ME, and CHE, respectively.

Job Opportunities

Because control systems can be used in all engineering disciplines, a control system engineer has a wide market for employment. Control systems engineers are in demand in manufacturing and industrial organizations.

For further information about the control area, students are encouraged to talk to any of the faculty members involved in this area.

Courses

The following courses are in the robotics, automation, and controls area.

  • ECE 3210 Control System Analysis
  • ECE 3260 Control System Laboratory
  • ECE 3270 Programmable Logic Controller Laboratory
  • ECE 4210 Control System Design
  • ECE 4240 Computer-Based Control Systems
  • ECE 4370 (ME 4370) Mechatronics and Intelligent Machines Engineering