University of Utah

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

ECE 5670/6670                     Control of Electric Motors                 Spring 2024


This syllabus is intended to serve as an outline and guide for the course. Adjustments may be made with reasonable notice communicated to students through announcements on Canvas.


Instructor:                   Professor Marc Bodson

Office:                         MEB 3230

Contact:                      messaging on Canvas (preferred) or email to

Course web pages:      Canvas and


1.   Introduction

Electric actuators are at the core of many industrial applications, including manufacturing, process control, and transportation. New developments in power electronics and computing technology have made it possible to control a variety of motors, including AC motors, while achieving fast and precise tracking of commands. Advanced features of computer-controlled systems, such as adaptation and efficiency optimization are also becoming increasingly common.

2.   Course objectives

The objectives of the course are to:

·         provide an understanding of the operation of the motors, of their state-space models, and of the use of these models for computations, simulations and control system design.

·         give a working knowledge of methods used for the control of DC and AC motors, including open-loop and closed-loop methods and the selection of the controller parameters.

3.   Course contents

Introduction to electric motors: Basics of electromagnetic energy conversion and derivation of electric motor models. Linear and switching amplifiers, pulse-width modulation. Power electronic devices, topologies of electrical drives, and quadrants of operation. Optical encoders, resolvers, and other position sensors.

Control of brush DC motors: Construction and operation of brush DC motors. Model of a permanent-magnet brush DC motor. Steady-state characteristics and torque limits. Dynamic response under voltage and current command. PID control laws for speed and position regulation. Switching and time-optimal control algorithms. Separately excited and series DC motors. Field weakening.

Control of synchronous motors: Construction and operation of synchronous motors. Model of a two-phase permanent-magnet synchronous motor. Static and dynamic characteristics. Open-loop control, stepping and microstepping. Closed-loop quadrature control. DQ transformation and DQ model. Closed-loop control in the DQ frame of reference. Torque optimization and field weakening. Hybrid stepper motors and reluctance motors.

Brushless DC motors and three-phase synchronous motors: Construction of brushless DC motors. Modeling and characteristics of three-phase permanent magnet synchronous motors. Sinusoidal commutation and quadrature control. Six-step commutation. Sensorless control. Three-phase to two-phase transformation. Equivalent two-phase model. Control of three-phase synchronous motors using the DQ transformation.

Control of induction motors: Construction and operation of induction motors. Model of a two-phase induction motor. Steady-state characteristics, equivalent circuit, and torque curves under voltage and current commands. Open-loop control with constant V/f. Closed-loop slip control. Models in rotating frames of reference. DQ transformation for induction motors and field-oriented control. Modelling of three-phase motors and equivalent two-phase model. Control of three-phase induction motors.

4.   Prerequisites

A basic course on control system design (ECE 3510, ME EN 5200/6200, CH EN 4203, or equivalent) is required. Students may take the prerequisite class concurrently or study the material on their own. The textbook Foundations of Control Engineering written by the instructor is available at together with some complementary material.

5.  Textbook

An abridged version of the textbook Control of Electric Motors written by the instructor is available for download on Canvas, with the condition that students keep the file for their personal use and do not make it available to anyone else. The pdf file is named textbook.pdf and is placed under the Files section.

6.  Software

Students should download and install the software MATLAB/SIMULINK on their personal computers. A free license is available at Alternatively, students may access the computers in the Analog Lab of the ECE Teaching Labs (MEB 2365). Users need to have a Windows account of the CADE Lab, which is a computer lab operated by the Price College of Engineering. Accounts can be created and managed on the web page:

7.  Regular and on-line sections

Students enrolled in the regular section (001) are expected to attend the lectures. The online section (090) does not require attendance. The work assigned to the online students is the same as for the regular section and must be submitted at the same due dates (specified in the assignments on Canvas). A tentative schedule is available under the Files section on Canvas, with the name schedule.pdf.

8.  Course content

The course content will be divided into approximately 24 lectures, plus a first lecture introducing the class. The last two lectures of the semester are cancelled to give students extra time for their final project. For online students, the material consists of:

Practical information will be presented in some videos that is not included in the textbook but illustrates its concepts. Previews of the results of the labs will also be given in videos uploaded on the class web page.

In-person lectures will be longer than the video recordings, giving students opportunities to ask questions. Participation is strongly encouraged.  Students may also use remaining class time to ask for help with simulations. Readings from the textbook are also recommended to complement the lectures.

9.  Grading

Grades will be based on homeworks, software labs, a project (as described in a document project.pdf found under the Files section of Canvas), and class participation assignments. The homeworks and labs will count together for 70% of the grade (with individual weights determined by total points), the project for 25%, and class participation for 5%.

The closing date for assignments will generally be set to 3 days after the due date. Submission is possible between the due date and the closing date with no penalty. After the closing date, work can only be submitted by contacting the instructor and will only be permitted in limited circumstances.

10.  Office hours

The instructor will be available for questions during lectures as well as through email, Canvas messages and Canvas discussions. A weekly online meeting on Zoom will be scheduled for online students to ask questions about the course material and assignments. All students are encouraged to arrange separate on-line meetings, either individually or in groups. Online meetings will not be recorded.

11.  College guidelines

Please check:

12.  University policies

1.       The Americans with Disabilities Act. The University of Utah seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services, and activities for people with disabilities. If you will need accommodations in this class, reasonable prior notice needs to be given to the Center for Disability & Access, 162 Olpin Union Building, (801) 581-5020. CDS will work with you and the instructor to make arrangements for accommodations. All written information in this course can be made available in an alternative format with prior notification to the Center for Disability & Access.

2.       University Safety Statement. The University of Utah values the safety of all campus community members. To report suspicious activity or to request a courtesy escort, call campus police at 801-585-COPS (801-585-2677). You will receive important emergency alerts and safety messages regarding campus safety via text message. For more information regarding safety and to view available training resources, including helpful videos, visit

3.       Addressing Sexual Misconduct. Title IX makes it clear that violence and harassment based on sex and gender (which Includes sexual orientation and gender identity/expression) is a civil rights offense subject to the same kinds of accountability and the same kinds of support applied to offenses against other protected categories such as race, national origin, color, religion, age, status as a person with a disability, veteran’s status or genetic information.  If you or someone you know has been harassed or assaulted, you are encouraged to report it to the Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, 135 Park Building, 801-581-8365, or the Office of the Dean of Students, 270 Union Building, 801-581-7066.  For support and confidential consultation, contact the Center for Student Wellness, 426 SSB, 801-581-7776. To report to the police, contact the Department of Public Safety, 801-585-2677(COPS).

4.       Academic Misconduct Statement. It is expected that students adhere to University of Utah policies regarding academic honesty, including but not limited to refraining from cheating, plagiarizing, misrepresenting one's work, and/or inappropriately collaborating. This includes the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools without citation, documentation, or authorization. Students are expected to adhere to the prescribed professional and ethical standards of the profession/discipline for which they are preparing. Any student who engages in academic dishonesty or who violates the professional and ethical standards for their profession/discipline may be subject to academic sanctions as per the University of Utah’s Student Code:

5.       Other important information:

a.       Student code:

b.       Accommodation policy (see Section Q):

c.       Financial resources web page for ECE students: