Control of Distributed Parameter Systems

The course "Control of Distributed Parameter Systems" is offered by Prof. Thomas Meurer in the summer semester as a block course at the Vienna University of Technology.


This module gives an introduction to modeling, analysis, control and numerical simulation of distributed parameter systems described by partial differential equations (PDEs). Mathematical modeling leads to a distributed parameter description in terms of PDEs when spatial or property-distributed effects must be considered in addition to temporal dynamics. Examples include diffusion-convection-reaction systems in chemical engineering, flexible structures in mechanics and mechatronics, coupled multi-agent systems in robotics, or quantum mechanical as well as fluid dynamic systems. The module covers the following topics:

  • Introduction to the control of distributed parameter systems (mathematical modeling, classification, solution methods, basic principles of control and observer design).

  • Analysis and synthesis in the frequency domain (input-output stability, output feedback)

  • Analysis and synthesis using state space concepts (controllability and observability, stability theory for distributed parameter systems, control design by state feedback, backstepping)

  • Flatness-based methods for trajectory planning and feedforward control


  • Lecture notes