Michael D. Sidman, Ph.D.

SIDMAN Engineering, INC.  

Mechatronics  ▪  Motor & Motion Control  ▪  Servo Systems

Matlab Partner
Since 1994

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practical course for control system, Firmware,
mechanical and electrical engineers and technical managers|


This practical and comprehensive three day on-site course enables attendees to rapidly become proficient in the use of digital control techniques used in high performance mechatronic or servomechanical products. The course covers the essential theory and classical and modern control system fundamentals required for digital servo design. Its unique interdisciplinary approach integrates mechanical, electrical and control system dynamics. The advantages and tradeoffs of various practical digital control techniques are discussed. Attendees also learn about performance optimization and practical adaptive control techniques that can be used to significantly increase servo system performance and robustness. 

Students profit from a very interactive classroom environment. And, by scheduling this course on-site, attendees are able to discuss design issues of concern to them and receive expert advice regarding their specific technical issues.

Dr. Sidman has taught this course over the past 20 years to design engineers spanning a wide range of industries, refining it into the most comprehensive and practical course of its kind.


  • Insights into S-Plane, Z-Plane and Discrete-Time Systems
  • Insights into Root Locus and Bode Plot Design
  • Seek Performance and Velocity Profile Design
  • State-Space Design Methods and Analysis
  • State-Space Model of a High Performance Actuator
  • Digital Control of a Lightly Damped Actuator
  • Issues in Implementation of Digital Control Systems
  • Automatic Bias Torque Correction
  • Feedforward Repetitive Disturbance Correction
  • Active Control of Shock, Vibration and Windup
  • System Identification Techniques and Examples
  • Self Tuning Adaptive Control Methods
  • High Performance State Estimators
  • Actuation and Sensing Strategies
  • Simulation and Optimization of Digital Servo Systems.


  • Customized on-site instruction
  • Expert advice on client's specific design issues
  • Unique interdisciplinary approach
  • Quickly ramp up your team's productivity
  • Practical application and trade-offs of digital control techniques
  • Design technique caveats and solutions
  • Unifies mechanical, electrical and control system dynamics
  • Classical and modern digital control fundamentals
  • Practical adaptive methods for performance enhancement
  • MATLAB/SIMULINK based class examples
  • Includes about 400 pages of course notes, MATLAB scripts, case studies and examples


  • Mechatronic systems
  • Magnetic disk and optical disc drive servo systems
  • Computer system peripherals
  • Motion control applications
  • Motor control and drives
  • Rotating machines
  • Flexible structures
  • Active damping
  • Vibration control
  • Machine tool control
  • High performance DSP-based servo systems
  • Aerospace and naval control systems
  • Automotive control systems
  • Electromechanical systems and products

A variant of this course entitled Digital Servo Systems Short Course for Disk Drives focuses on the unique problems of head positioning digital servo control in contemporary magnetic disk drives (HDD's), capitalizing on Dr. Sidman's 35 years of design experience and 17 patents in the disk drive industry. Also of interest may be the comprehensive, open architecture Disk Drive Servo System Simulation Model.

Who should attend?

This course is intended for engineers and technical managers involved in digital servo product and system design. Those most benefiting include mechanical, electrical and control system designers of digital servo systems, drive mechanics, real time/DSP hardware and software and those wishing to keep abreast of rapidly evolving control technology. Whether you are controlling milliwatts or hundreds of horsepower, your team will benefit from this comprehensive and practical course.



Dr. Sidman is a recognized leader in both servo system product development and applied research with over 35 years experience spanning a wide range of industries. As a pioneer and expert in high performance digital servo systems and adaptive control, he brings a practical perspective and unique interdisciplinary approach that integrates the diverse skills of your design team. Participants also benefit from Dr. Sidman's extensive experience in the simulation and optimization of dynamic systems.

Dr. Sidman is the named inventor on 18 U.S. patents, author of many technical papers and received a Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1986. As Digital Equipment Corporation's top servo systems guru, Dr. Sidman was responsible for developing novel servomechanical technology for disk drives and founded DEC's Servo-Mechanical Advanced Development Group.   The Adaptive Runout Correction System (ARCS) developed by Dr.  Sidman in 1977-78 is considered to be the first use of digital signal processing in a disk drive. Dr. Sidman also pioneered and demonstrated active shock and vibration correction using angular accelerometer feedback and the use of high bandwidth actively damped head positioning microactuators in HDDs.  Dr. Sidman is a Senior Member of the IEEE and Past Section Chair of the ASME and has been a Third Party Provider for The MathWorks since 1994. He founded his engineering consulting business in 1989. 

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