UCSB ME 106A and ECE 147C, Spring 2013
“Advanced Mechanical Engineering Lab” & “Control Systems Project”
Instructor: Francesco Bullo

This is the website for the UCSB course ME 106A “Adv Mech Engr Lab” and ECE 147C “Control Systems Proj”, Spring 2013 (lecture times during period: 01apr2013 through 7jun2013). This information is available at the URL http://motion.me.ucsb.edu/ME106A-Spring2013. A pdf version of this documentation is available on the course website.


The objective of this course is to provide students with the necessary knowledge to design, implement, and document a control engineering project.

The course has three components: lectures, prepared laboratories (in the form of a project that is the same for all students), and a design project (specific to each group of students).

The lectures and laboratories cover a range of special topics related to the practical implementation of control systems that are not covered in introductory control courses but that are likely to arise in the professional career of controls engineers. These include:

  • Model identification and parameter estimation (least-square identification of a auto-regressive model; nonparametric identification in the time domain; and nonparametric identification in the frequency domain)

  • Robust Control (Nyquist-plots, small-gain, and passivity)

  • Optimal control (LQR/LQG for state-space systems and time-optimal controller for the positioning of a mass using force actuation)

  • Nonlinear control (Lyapunov’s stability method; feedback linearization controller for a fully actuated 2nd order mechanical system; backstepping for triangular nonlinear systems)

The course is heavily project-oriented and the students will be required to design, implement, document, and present a significant control systems project, which requires them to address the issues covered in the lectures.

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Students practice control oriented modeling of dynamic systems

  • Students learn to implement, commission, and test control systems

  • Students practice integrated system and control design

  • Students practice working in teams

  • Students learn effective technical writing and presentation skills


ECE147A or ME155A or ME173 or equivalent. Open to all engineering majors.

Lecture Time and Place

Lecture Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 12:30pm-1:45pm
Lecture Place: PHELP 3515

Laboratory Place: “ECE Undergraduate Control Laboratory”, Harold Frank Hall (HFH), room 3120A


Lecture Place: South Hall (SH) 1430

Course credit

  • Units: 3 units for ME106A

  • Units: 5 units for ECE147C


The course will be based on notes developed by Professor Joao Hespanha. The PDF file is available here.


Professor Francesco Bullo
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Email: bullo-at-engineering.ucsb.edu
Website: http://motion.me.ucsb.edu

Office hours

Place: Room 2325, Engineering Bldg II
Time: Tues 2pm-3:30pm

If you have any questions about the course, please send me email. I will try to respond as quickly as possible. Additionally, I will share questions that are particularly good (and their answers) with the rest of the class by broadcasting my answer to the entire class.

If you plan to come to office hours for questions about homework, please be prepared to show attempts at solving the problem that you prepared before coming.

Teaching Assistant

Mitchell Craun, craun-at-umail.ucsb.edu
Office hours Time: To be announced
Office hours Place: To be announced

Please come to office hours with prepared questions. Due to time constraints, only limited help will be given for Matlab debugging problems.

Grading and Assessment

Your grade will be assigned roughly according to the following percentages.

3 units (ME106A)

  • 1-2 homework assignments (individual, needed for the laboratory) – 5 %

  • Laboratories (group mid-term report) – 40%;

  • Final Project (includes a group end-of-term report and a group in-class presentation) – 55%

5 units (ECE147C)

  • 5-6 homework assignments (individual) – 25 %

  • Laboratories (group mid-term report) – 35%;

  • Final Project (includes a group end-of-term report and a group in-class presentation) – 40%

Collaboration Policy

Collaboration Policy for this course & Academic Dishonesty @ Wikipedia