Alpha Omega Engineering, Inc.

An engineering consultancy on the Central Coast of California

Practical Control Systems Engineering

A Hands-On-Equipment Seminar

16-20 June 2014
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, California

Sign up now! Space limited to eight participants only.

To pay by credit card:

Please note: A charge of 3% will be made in the event of refund for payment by credit card.

Or send a check, made out to "Alpha Omega Engineering", to

Alpha Omega Engineering, Inc.
872 Toro Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
attn: Christine Haas

For questions, call or email:
Frank Owen, (805) 441 3995,

Control systems engineering is a little-understood topic in industry due to its highly mathematical nature. Many control loops operate non-optimally due to this lack of understanding of the technology. This seminar brings control systems engineering down to earth and presents it with a very practical, common-sense approach. It utilizes the very successful, lab-based approach developed and utilized at Cal Poly over the past decade.

What previous participants say...

"I had a great time and learned a large amount of information backed by actual lab work which solidified the principles being taught."

"The changes and tuning of the PID control algorithm and understanding the additions of each term made it clear to me how one would go about creating a controller after understanding the actuator, plant, and sensor. "

"I would recommend this course to others as I learned a great deal, created contacts with others in industry, observed others problems and how they were solved, and learned a lot about control theory as well as practice."

"All of the labs were informative and useful, especially to someone like me with zero background and zero formal instruction in controls."

"I would absolutely recommend to others that they take this course! I thought it was an excellent intro to the material, yet I think those who have substantial experience with controls also got a lot out of the class as well. It was a good mix of theory and application…"

"This was an outstanding course! I enjoyed the camaraderie you guys fostered. The extra curricular activities (impromptu offsite group lunches, Farmers Market, bread, cheese, drinks, and homemade treats, etc.) were a nice addition. I also appreciated your willingness to stay late to accommodate those of us who wanted to stick around and make that last mental connection between textbook and lab."

Course format

One-week course in classical control systems featuring these topics:

  • System modelling of real-world systems using industry-standard modeling tool, Matlab/Simulink
  • Standard control-loop anatomy−what questions to pose when approaching an unknown system or designing a new control loop
  • PID controllers−their anatomy and the use of each of the three actions
  • PID controller tuning methods−focuses on some of the best-known methods for tuning PID controllers for better system performance and energy savings


Some classroom lecture (33%) but primarily staged in Cal Poly's modern Mechanical Control Systems Laboratory. Electro-mechanical, electro-hydraulic, and electro-pneumatic motion control, tank-level control.


$3299 for 35 hours of instruction in two-person teams. $300 discount for registration prior to 2 June 2014.


Course brochure


Hemanth Porumamilla, PhD, Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Hemanth Porumamilla joined Cal Poly in 2007 as a lecturer for one year and has worked here as an Assistant Professor since 2008. Dr. Porumamilla's PhD research was in the area of active pneumatic suspension technologies using advanced controller designs. His doctoral work was not only awarded the Research Excellence award by the Mechanical Engineering Department of Iowa State University but also resulted in the filing of an intellectual property jointly owned with the university. At Cal Poly Dr. Porumamilla has worked on multiple research projects individually as well as in collaboration with fellow faculty in the Mechanical Engineering Department and in the process has advised several undergraduate students on their senior design projects and graduate students on their masters theses. These research studies have resulted in several publications in peer-reviewed international conference proceedings and journals. Dr. Porumamilla has also worked as a guest professor at the Munich University of Applied Sciences where he has taught a course in Automotive Mechatronics. Dr. Porumamilla's passion is both in teaching lab-oriented courses in Control System Design and working on projects in applied research that aim to address the needs of the real world.

Mr. Daniel Gonzalez, MS, Mechanical Engineering, Cal Poly

Mr. Daniel Gonzalez is a masters student in Mechanical Engineering student specializing in Controls Engineering, working with Professor Frank Owen, who started the industry course Practical Control Systems Engineering. Mr. Gonzalez is a hands-on Mechatronics expert who has done a great deal of R&D in the M.E. Controls Lab developing new systems with more modern components and control architecture to upgrade the lab for the years to come. Mr. Gonzalez has also worked as an intern for Toyota Technical Center in Torrance, California.