Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering (MSChE)

Degree Level



Chemical Engineering


Tom Spicer

Committee Member

Ed Clausen

Second Committee Member

Roy McCann


Applied sciences, Process control, Undergraduate experiments


It is the intent of this work to develop a process control apparatus and series of experiments that will help students visualize the PID (Proportional-Integral-Derivative) control of a process and enhance their understanding of the subject. The apparatus is a computer-controlled PID mixing system that responds quickly to set point changes and process disturbances which are directly observable. The system can easily be simulated with a transfer function model in Matlab's Simulink, so that the controller can be optimized for the desired system response. Four experiments can be conducted with this system including: exploration of system modeling and controller optimization in MatLab, set point tracking and disturbance rejection, the destabilizing effect of a time delay, and variable pairing in MIMO systems using the relative gain array (RGA). Several controller tuning methods are discussed, with both simulations and process performances reported and analyzed.