Electrical Engineering 128 — Feedback Control Systems (4 Units)

Course Overview


This course looks at the advantages of using feedback systems in order to obtain a desired output. The three main design methods considered are root locus, frequency response, and state space. Contrary to the course catalog's description, usually very little or no time is spent on sampled-data/discrete-time systems and instead the course focuses on continuous-time systems.


  • EE16B, 120
  • Math 54

Topics Covered

  • Transfer functions
  • Linearization
  • Frequency response
  • Bode plots
  • First and Second-Order Systems
  • Routh-Hurwitz Criterion and stability
  • Steady-state error analysis
  • Root locus
  • PI/PD/PID control design
  • Lead-lag compensator design
  • Nyquist stability criterion
  • Pole/zero cancellation
  • Sensitivity and complementary sensitivity functions
  • State space feedback and pole placement
  • Observers
  • Discrete time control


Course Work

  • One problem set per week
  • One lab per week
  • One midterm
  • One final
  • One final project

Time Commitment

There are three hours of lecture and two hours of lab per week. An average problem set takes around six hours to complete and an additional one to two hours may be spent on a lab report. Also, depending on the lecturer, you may spend a good amount of time reading the textbook (one chapter is roughly two hours). The overall time commitment is around 15 hours, which is less time-intensive compared to other design courses.

Choosing the Course

When to take

Since this class does not lead to many other courses, it is not crucial to take early on. However, if you are interested in control, take this class after completing the prerequisites.

What's next?

  • EE221A (Linear Systems) and EE222 (Nonlinear Systems) expand on this course.
  • EE C125 uses the material in this course in a real-life application.

Usefulness for Research or Internships

This course applies your skills to real-world, physical applications, and therefore is useful for internships and research.

Additional Comments

This course is also listed as Mechanical Engineering C134. Also, this course is usually only offered fall semester.

It is recommended that you take this class with an EE professor so you are used to the pace that EE material is taught, versus attempting to adjust to an ME professor.

Last Updated: Spring 2017