Objectives and Syllabus

The life cycle of a control project is followed from inception through to replacement with emphasis on the management aspects of each stage. The various standards and statutory requirements are identified and introduced. Topics covered include evaluation, cost & benefit analysis, design, development, testing, acceptance, installation, commissioning, system management, routine maintenance, modifications and improvements: contracts; reimbursable & lump sum, IChemE Red & Green Books, terms & conditions, partnering: project management; requirements specification, tendering & supplier selection, functional specifications, planning, resource allocation: quality & TQM; ISO9000, quality procedures, the cost of quality, quality improvement teams: management of safety; legislative framework, HSE, requirements for hazardous plants, safety auditing: management of safety related systems; PES guidelines and IEC61508 requirements, certification & training, verification & testing, security: management of the environment; EU directives, compliance with Environmental Agency and Local Authorities, responsibilities under EPA, environmental auditing, integrated pollution control, monitoring of emissions, contingency planning.

A series of case studies are provided for discussion and structured group work.

Module Details
Code: CME 8388 (formerly ACS 688)
Time Allocation: Lectures 40 hours
Assignments 40 hours
Private Study 70 hours
Prerequisites: First degree or equivalent in an appropriate discipline
Weighting: 7.5 credits
Assessment: By report on assignment
By 1 x 2 hour examination
Advanced Process Automation


To provide an understanding of the issues involved in the management of control and automation projects, from specification right through to decommissioning, whether from a user’s, contractor’s or supplier’s perspective, and to become familiar with good practice.


  • To appreciate how to do a costs and benefits analysis for an automation project, and how best to present it to management. 
  • To understand a range of techniques relevant to the management of automation projects, and to appreciate how and when to apply them. 
  • To be aware of the life cycle issues relating to control systems and application software. 
  • To develop an ability to make judgements about, and to take responsibility for, technical issues in an industrial context. 
  • To become aware of relevant standards, industry guides and legal requirements.


This is a stand-alone module and has no prerequisites as such.

Note that there is, by intent, some overlap with the content of the Batch Processing and Automation (CME 8372) and Control Systems Technology (CME 8378) modules.

Study Modes

This module is of one week's full-time intensive study consisting of a series of lectures and case studies.  It is followed by an assignment to be carried out in the student’s own time.


Module delivery is structured around the various phases of the life cycle of a control and automation project.  A variety of case studies are used to illustrate the aspects of the management of automation projects.  These provide a vehicle for group discussion about issues such as project evaluation, presenting the case, contracts, quality, safety, viability, etc.  Reference is made to standards as appropriate but these are not covered in detail per-se.


The assignment is typically based upon a critical appraisal of the contractual basis of a major contract, lumpsum or reinbursible, with which they have been involved.