The ECOSSE Control HyperCourse
Welcome to the ECOSSE Control HyperCourse. I hope that you will find
the material presented here both interesting and stimulating!
What is it?
Basically it is a course on control available on the WWW.
At Edinburgh the students have
access to the WWW whenever they want. All chemical engineering subjects
have taken advantage of this and most teaching material is available
online. The control hypercourse takes this concept a step further and
includes interactive simulations.
Why was it written?
First and foremost it was written to benefit the students at Edinburgh
University studying chemical engineering. Now if a lecture is not
understood they can go to the computer where the material may be
presented in a different manner. Also the students can work at their
own pace and review or preview material at any time. This is an
excellent resource, especially at exam time.
Who is it for?
Primarily the material is to be used by students at Edinburgh as a
followup to their lectures. However, it could also be used by other
chemical engineering departments or process engineers in industry as a
refresher course for those involved in the development or use of control
Features of the Course
- The course is written for process engineers in a language they will
- It is about controlling complete, real process, not idealised parts of
- It aims to simplify a complex task by providing a systematic approach
and explicit guidelines.
- It is not mathematical.
Where mathematics is necessary, a straightforward numerical and
computational approach will be used, rather than complicated algebra.
- It will be useful both to students and to practising engineers.
What does it cover?
At present the course covers three years of undergraduate study. This
work can be found in modules 1 to 3. These are intended to be a self
contained introductory course and could be subtitled All You Really Need to
Know about Process Control. All process engineers should become familiar
with the concepts and techniques discussed here, because they are an
integral part of understanding and designing processes, rather than
specialist topics which may only occasionally be of importance to the
Modules 4, 5, 6 and 7, which are in the process of being written will
discuss advanced control techniques. This will
include a brief resumé of classical methods in process control.
They will be written very much with process engineers in mind, but
some of the contributors have a classical or non-process control background.
This section is intended to allow process engineers to use the knowledge
gained from modules 1 to 3 to understand state-of-the-art techniques,
judge their suitability for a given process application, and then to supervise
their implementation by specialist control engineers.
How does it Work?
The course has been written in HTML, a HyperText Markup Language which
allows links from page to page by simply clicking on an highlighted
words. It incorporates images, sounds, movies and interactive sections
to make the subject matter more interesting and therefore hopefully
easier to understand.
The teaching material is presented to the students in a number of
- Firstly there are theory sections which duplicate material from
lectures and may also contain additional work for more able students.
- Then there are casestudy sections which include worked examples and
tutorial questions. In some cases the worked examples may be
interactive. The student is given hints and comments as they work
through the exercise, in response to answers to specific questions.
- Finally there is The Virtual Control Laboratory which is a set of
interactive simulations designed to convey specific points in process
control. These are based on experiments in our own laboratory.
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