Experimental Projects in Teaching Process Control


  • Mikhail Skliar University of Utah
  • Jesse W. Price University of Utah
  • Christopher A. Tyler University of Utah


This paper describes experiences with introduction of experimental projects into the graduate process control course.  The unit operations laboratory equipment integrated and controlled by the industrial distributed control system gives students a wide choice of experiments and flexibility to quickly implement and test advanced control algorithms.  We discuss the positive effect that the control experiments have on teaching process control and outline some direction for further integration of experiments in the control curriculum, including distant experimentation over the computer network.  Examples of the students' experimental projects are also included.

Author Biographies

Mikhail Skliar, University of Utah

Mikhail Skliar is Assistant Professor of Chemical and Fuels Engineering at the University of Utah. He received his MSEE degree from Odessa Technical University, his Candidate of Science degree in Control of Technical Systems from Kiev Polytechnic Institute, and his PhD from the University of Colorado, Boulder. His research interests include process control and identification, and inverse problems.

Jesse W. Price, University of Utah

Jesse W. Price is a graduate student in chemical engineering at the University of Utah. He is currently pursuing a MSc degree, having received his BSc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Utah in 1996. His research is centered on crude fractionation processes, including simulation and inferential control.

Christopher A. Tyler, University of Utah

Christopher Tyler (not pictured) is a graduate of the University of Utah in chemical and fuels engineering, with an emphasis in mathematics and applied science. He helped build, debug, and design the department's Opto 22-based DCS. He is now attending graduate school at the University of Minnesota, seeking his PhD in chemical engineering.