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MEC2501 Process Control Systems

Semester 2, 2021 Online
Short Description: Process Control Systems
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 030399 - Process and Resources Engineer
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Catherine Hills


Pre-requisite: ELE2103 or (MEC1501 and ELE2101 as Co-requisite or Pre-requisite) or Students must be enrolled in the following Program: GEPR


The drive to meet consumer demands for economically competitive and high quality products requires effective and efficient process control technologies. These process control technologies are required to transform raw materials to final products with the optimal use of those raw materials in a sustainable and safe manner, using minimal energy, and producing less harmful less harmful by-products. The effective specification, design and implementation of process control systems are fundamental in achieving these goals.


This course takes a multi-disciplinary approach to provide the student with the knowledge base and application skills to design and implement process control systems. These designs would include the specification of vital hardware systems and associated sensors and actuators to allow safe and effective control of the overall system's performance. The principles of control theory that the course relies on is covered in the co-requisite course `Control and Instrumentation'. The course also further expands on the fundamental knowledge gained in the pre-requisite course `Introduction to Industrial Processes' by enabling students to undertake the specification, design and implementation of selected control systems suitable for food processing, manufacturing, mining, ore processing, and petro-chemical processes. An awareness of safety system roles and architectures is also developed.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. apply the basic principles of fluid flow to the analysis of flow control systems;
  2. apply the basic principles of heat transfer to the analysis of temperature control systems;
  3. apply the basic principles of applied mechanics to the analysis of speed and position control systems;
  4. explain the basic electrical and electronic circuit theory applicable to practical process control systems;
  5. design and implement programmable logic controller (PLC) or microcontroller-based process controllers, including appropriate industrial sensors and actuators and verify that requirements of relevant hazardous area standards are met; compare independent safety systems with the option of integrating safety systems within process controllers;
  6. develop user interface systems to allow for the effective and safe operation of the given industrial process.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Basic electrical and electronic circuit theory applicable to industrial process control systems 10.00
2. Analysis of practical flow control systems 10.00
3. Analysis of temperature control systems 10.00
4. Analysis of practical speed and position control system 10.00
5. Safety management, safety requirements, and safety system implementation 15.00
6. Design and implementation of process controllers incorporating PLCs, microcontrollers and industrial sensors and actuators 30.00
7. Human-machine interface, including the design of GUI’s 15.00

Text and Materials

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Bartelt, TLM 2011, Industrial automated systems, instrumentation and control, Delamr/Cengage Learning, New York.

Reference Materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student Workload Expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 52.00
Directed Study 52.00
Private Study 51.00

Assessment Details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 200 20 12 Aug 2021
ASSIGNMENT 2 200 20 09 Sep 2021
ASSIGNMENT 3 200 20 07 Oct 2021
ASSIGNMENT 4 400 40 05 Nov 2021 (see note 1)

  1. Students will be provided further instruction regarding the assignment by their examiner via StudyDesk.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to be awarded a passing grade in this course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), i.e. the end of semester examination by achieving at least 40% of the weighted marks available for that assessment item.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks (or grades) obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment Notes

  1. Students must familiarise themselves with the USQ Assessment Procedures (

  2. If electronic submission is specified for a course assessment, students will be notified of this on the Course Study Desk. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment irrespective of holidays. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  3. If hardcopy submission is specified for a course assessment students will be notified of this on the Course Study Desk. The due date for a hardcopy assignment is the date by which a student must submit at USQ or despatch the assignment to USQ irrespective of holidays.

  4. USQ will NOT accept submission of assignments by facsimile or email unless expressly requested by the course examiner.

  5. Referencing in Assignments must comply with the Harvard (AGPS) referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (APGS) style to be used is defined by the USQ library’s referencing guide. These policies can be found at

Date printed 8 November 2021