CHE-345: Chemical Process Control

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CHE - 345

Chemical Process Control, Modeling and Simulation

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Lecture Notes and Homework            Link to Canvas


The course establishes the fundamentals of model development, parameter estimation, analysis of process dynamics and process control in chemical engineering:

Methods for developing mathematical models of chemical processes.

Differences between different control modes: feedback, feedforward and mixed.

Degrees of freedom analysis.

Application of Laplace transforms to solve linear ordinary differential equations.

Obtaining and applying transfer function between input and output process parameters and construction of block diagrams.

Analysis of first, second and higher-order processes using standard process inputs (step, ramp, pulse, and sinusoidal).

Analysis of dynamic response characteristics based on poles and zeros of the system.

Basic components of process control systems.

Development of dynamic models for multiple input and multiple output systems.

Process control systems and safety features.

Model parameter estimation with linear and non-linear regression.

Setup of control algorithms. Proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controllers.

Methods of tuning PID controllers.

Dynamic behavior and stability of closed-loop control systems.

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Instructor: Prof. Simon Podkolzin
Office hours: Burchard-426 on Thursday 4:50 6:50 pm
Teaching Assistant: Jason Robbins (
Office hours: Burchard-311 on Monday 10 am 12 noon

Schedule: Updated on January 17, 2017

Tuesday 4:00 pm 5:40 pm in Babbio-122

Thursday 4:00 pm 4:50 pm in Babbio-122

Textbook: "Process Dynamics and Control" by Dale E. Seborg, Duncan A. Mellichamp, Thomas F. Edgar, and Francis J. Doyle III, Publisher: Wiley; 3rd edition, ISBN-10: 0470128674, ISBN-13: 978-0470128671

Website updates will be posted on Twitter @Stevens_ChE345 to make it easier to track them.

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Class participation


Test 1


Test 2


Team project


Final exam



Letter grades will be assigned based on the absolute scale: 


























below 50

 Class tests and the final exam will be open book, open notes. You do not have to memorize lengthy formulas or definitions. You do, however, need to understand the material and know how to apply it to solving problems. If you do not know the material, you will run out of time on the tests.

 Homework is due in class on Tuesday. No late homework will be accepted for any reason. Each student may miss 1 homework assignment and still receive full credit for it. For students who complete all assignments, the homework with the lowest grade will be adjusted to 100%.

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Course outline: (Updated on January 17, 2017)

1.      Introduction: control of chemical processes, incentives, design aspects and hardware for a process control system.

2.      Modeling the dynamic behavior of chemical processes: development of a mathematical model, modeling for control purposes.

3.      Analysis of dynamic behavior of chemical processes: computer simulation and linearization of the nonlinear systems.

4.      Laplace transforms: solution of linear differential equations using Laplace transforms.

5.      Transfer functions and input-output models: transfer function matrix, poles and zeros, qualitative response.

6.      Dynamic behavior of first order systems: processes with first-order system description, pure capacitive systems, first-order lag systems, variable time constant and gain.

7.      Dynamic behavior of higher order systems: second-order system, multi-capacity processes, presence of controllers, N capacities in series, dynamic systems with dead time, inverse response.

8.      Analysis and design of feedback control systems: dynamic behavior of feedback-controlled processes, stability analysis, performance criteria and design.

9.      Frequency response analysis: Sinusoidal input, frequency response characteristics of linear processes, design of feedback control systems using frequency response techniques, Nyquist stability criteria.


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This site: (case sensitive)


Lecture notes and Homework


Link to Canvas

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