Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Larry E. Banta.


Most control systems currently used for glass furnaces monitor temperature with a thermocouple placed in the crown of the furnace and adjust the flow rate of the fuel to maintain a set point. The temperature measured is much closer to that of the combustion gasses within the furnace rather than the temperature of the glass. Models that predict the temperature of the glass are available in the form of complicated Computational Fluid Dynamics packages that are cost prohibitive to companies with small profit margins.;In this work, a simplified mathematical model has been developed to represent the dynamic performance of a small glass furnace. The output temperatures of the model are used to simulate the measurable and immeasurable parameters of a furnace.;Two system observers were designed. The first was a reduced order observer using only the currently measured combustion gas temperature for error feedback calculations. The second observer was designed using the measured combustion gas temperature and additional suggested refractory temperature measurements for feedback. It is shown that the observer based on combustion gas temperature does not accurately track the system states within a reasonable time period and is completely unable to track the system states when noise and disturbance inputs are introduced. It is then shown that the observer based on current and suggested temperature measurements has a fast response time and is robust to noise and disturbance.