Control of a Hydraulically Actuated Mechanical Structure


Content, progress and pedagogy of the module

Learning objectives


  • Have knowledge about mechanical structures with complex dynamics and elements with non-linear behaviour.


  • Be able to apply identification methods for determining system dynamics, when system information is not available
  • Be able to apply the fundamental aspects of non-linear control theory and enable him/her to utilise the available system information to apply selected non-linear control methods on the considered system using digital platforms
  • Be able to use methods for documenting the project work as a scientific paper and poster and make an oral presentation
  • Be able to verify the different scientific analysis methods combined with laboratory experiments or real measured data series
  • Have an innovative and entrepreneurial behavior giving value for the developed system/apparatus


  • Be able to control the working and development process within the project theme, and be able to develop new solutions within the area of control of hydraulic actuated mechanical structures
  • Independently be able to define and analyse scientific problems within the area of control of hydraulic actuated mechanical structures, and based on that make and state the reasons for decisions made
  • Independently be able to continue own development in competence and specialisation

Type of instruction

Problem based project organised project work in groups.

The project can be a disciplinary project, a cross disciplinary project or a part of a multi-disciplinary project, where several groups from the department do different parts of a larger project. Finally, the project can also be a part of a so-called MEGA project, where several project groups from more departments are participating, each doing their part of the large project to find a total solution.

Project work including supervision may be supplemented with lectures, workshops, presentation seminars, consultant meetings regarding PBL content, laboratory tests, etc.

The project work is split in two periods:

  • P0 period for problem definition, and
  • P1 period for definition of methodology for solving the problem and implementation of the methodology

The P0 period lasts about 5-6 weeks starting at the beginning of the semester. The work in the P0 period includes a problem analysis and a problem formulation for the subject to be dealt with in the P1 period of the project. The problem analysis and problem formulation is written in a P0 document including also a process analysis for the P0 period. The P0 document is presented in a P0 status and presentation seminar, where the submitted documents for the P0 period are discussed.

The project takes its base in a hydraulically actuated mechanical system, which is to be controlled as a feed-back system. Models of both the mechanical structure and the actuation system are made and system identification methods should be used for critical parts where no component/system information is available.

The models or critical parts hereof should be experimentally verified to show the validity of the models. Based on the developed models one or more selected non-linear control methods should be used to develop a control algorithm for the system, which should be implemented and verified experimentally and the results should be compared to what may be obtained with standard linear controllers.

The project work must be documented in a scientific way by a summary report, a paper and a poster as described under "Additional Information".

The summary report should include both the problem analysis, problem formulation, methodology and implementation as it would be in the case of a standard project report.

Extent and expected workload

Since it is a 15 ECTS project module, the work load is expected to be 450 hours for the student


Prerequisite for enrollment for the exam

  • It is a precondition that students participate in the Conference for MSc Energy Students (CES). Students are obliged to prepare a scientific paper and a poster which must be presented at the conference.
  • In case of a re-exam, the student will have to present the scientific paper and poster in front of a committee made up of the supervisor and at least one internal adjudicator.


Name of examControl of a Hydraulically Actuated Mechanical Structure
Type of exam
Oral exam based on a project
The project group should orally present the project work and scientific paper as specified in the Examination Policies and Procedures. The project group members will undergo an oral examination with internal adjudicator, based on the scientific paper, poster and the project summary report.
Permitted aids
With certain aids:
For more information about permitted aids, please visit the course description in Moodle.
Assessment7-point grading scale
Type of gradingInternal examination
Criteria of assessmentThe criteria of assessment are stated in the Examination Policies and Procedures

Additional information

For students with a Bachelor´s degree from Aalborg University heading for the specialisation in Mechatronic Control Engineering.

Guidance for the Project of 1st Semester MSc in Energy Engineering

1. Demands to the project documentation
The project should fulfil the objectives of the 1st semester project theme and should be documented to an acceptable technical and scientific level. The documentation shall include a scientific paper and a poster, which shall fulfil the standard for an international conference, e.g. the IEEE specifications. Moreover, the documentation shall include a project summary report - see below.

2. Project documentation
The following material must be uploaded to the system “Digital Exam” on the date given for the submission:

  • Scientific paper, max. 10 pages, which presents the primary content and results of the project work
  • Project summary report (see below)
  • Project poster

3. Conference participation
The paper must be presented, by one or more group members at a conference arranged within the Department of Energy. The conference will be run in the same manner as an international conference. The project poster must also be presented at this conference. All group members must attend the conference and the poster session to be allowed to participate in the project examination.

4. Project summary report
The project summary report should elaborate the project details and conclusions. The maximum length of the summary report (report without appendices) is 50 pages . For more information see semester description in Moodle.

5. Project exam
The project evaluation will take place at a later date than the conference.

At the project examination the project group shall present its project work in accordance to the Examination Policies and Procedures.

The presentation and assessment of the project is conducted in English.

Facts about the module

Danish titleRegulering af et hydraulisk aktueret mekanisk system
Module codeN-EE-K1-3C
Module typeProject
Duration1 semester
Language of instructionEnglish
Empty-place SchemeYes
Location of the lectureCampus Aalborg
Responsible for the module


Education ownerMaster of Science (MSc) in Engineering (Energy Engineering)
Study BoardStudy Board of Energy
DepartmentDepartment of Energy
FacultyThe Faculty of Engineering and Science