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Control Engineering for Environment and Sustainability


Dr. Abubakr Muhammad, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering

Email: abubakr [at] lums.edu.pk

Course Description

In Spring 2015, we underwent an interesting and unusual experiment in our EE curriculum, where in an introductory control engineering course (EE-361) we exposed our undergraduate students to issues of environment and sustainability. Designed as a series of 50 min recitations, we exposed students to contextual and societal issues in water, agriculture, disease etc., even while the content has strong example-based connections to the main text. Large parts of the lectures are accessible to engineering students at the Junior / Sophomore level and to general science & engineering faculty.


EE361 Sec 1. Monday 11:30am. Venue. A4 EE361 Sec 2. Thurs. 9:30am. Venue. 10-301.

General Objectives

  • Introduce environmental issues and concepts of sustainability.
  • How to connect technology to the real-world and solve societal grand challenges.
  • An accessible introduction to cutting-edge research.
  • Underline the importance of paying attention to the 'Right Problems!'
  • Demonstrate how student involvement helps develop high impact research.
  • Introduce students to the general issues of water and agriculture in Pakistan.
  • Identify future areas of research and study.

Specific Objectives

  • Introduce students to applications of control & robotics in everyday life.
  • Demonstrate how to model complex systems like water and select appropriate abstraction and detail.
  • Connect textbook knowledge of signals and systems to real-life control engineering.
  • Present examples of single-input single-output linear control design in complex scenarios.


Courses EE-310. Signals and Systems EE-361. Feedback Control Systems

Topics Laplace transform, differential equations, basic signals & systems


Lecture 1 River basins; Irrigation canal networks in the Indus river basin; water resources as cyber-physical systems; modeling open channel flows; distributed parameter systems Control Engineering in Water Resources (3 parts)

Handout 1

Lecture 2 Lumped parameter models of irrigation channels; system identification of canals; building telemetry systems for water flow; Control Engineering in Water Resources (3 parts)

Handout 2

Lecture 3 Control design for downstream control; distributed control of complex irrigation networks; security of cyber-physical systems; detection of non-technical losses; Control Engineering in Water Resources (3 parts)

Handout 3

Lecture 4 Agricultural profile of Pakistan; elements of Green revolution; ICT driven Precision Agriculture technologies; GPS auto-steering; satellite imaging; control technologies in variable rate input; Robotics and Control in Agriculture (2 parts)

Handout 4

Lecture 5 Agricultural robotics; sensing, control and decision in Ag robotics; examples from leading research groups; challenges of small farming and the potential of Ag robotics; Robotics and Control in Agriculture (2 parts)

Handout 5

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