Control engineering or Control systems engineering is the engineering discipline that applies control theory to design systems with predictable behaviors. The practice uses sensors to measure the output performance of the device being controlled (often a vehicle) and those measurements can be used to give feedback to the input actuators that can make corrections toward desired performance. When a device is designed to perform without the need of human inputs for correction it is called automatic control (such as cruise control for regulating a car's speed).
Fig. 1: Automatic and systems control engineer work on a drone camera.
What is a control system in engineering?
A control system is a set of mechanical or electronic devices that regulates other devices or systems by way of control loops. Typically, control systems are computerized. Control systems are a central part of production and distribution in many industries. Automation technology plays a big role in these systems.
Definition from TechTarget
Control engineering is a large field and there are many specialties. Some engineers are more into physics and chemistry, designing things that use better materials in order to get things smaller. Other control engineers focus on the mechanical engineering side of things, knowing more about moving parts, aerodynamics and combustion. There are many places where one can focus, so we have provided a number of videos to help you learn about the origin of automatic control and some successful examples of people who have made amazing things.
What do controls systems engineers do?
A Control Systems Engineer is responsible for designing, developing, and implementing solutions that control dynamic systems. Dynamic systems are systems that constantly change. The aim of a Control Systems Engineer is to bring stability to these constantly changing systems to produce the desired outcome.
Automatic and systems control engineers create much of the complex and fun technologies on the planet. From consumer electric toys to the Saturn V rocket, control engineers use a base of knowledge in materials, mechanics, physics and chemistry to make things work. Robots, cars, airplane engines, submarines, and assembly lines all need a control engineer to design and maintain them.
What is an example of control systems engineering?
Some basic examples of a control system include a cruise control in a motor vehicle, temperature control in a building, the chemical concentrations in drinking water, the speed of a conveyor belt in a process plant.