bond graph framework giving a unified treatment of both physical-model based control and hybrid experimental–numerical simulation (also known as real-time dynamic substructuring) is presented. The framework consists of two subsystems, one physical and one numerical, connected by a transfer system representing non-ideal actuators and sensors. Within this context, a two-stage design procedure is proposed: firstly, design and/or analysis of the numerical and physical subsystem interconnection as if the transfer system were not present; and secondly removal of as much as possible of the transfer system dynamics while having regard for the stability margins established in the first stage. The approach allows the use of engineering insight backed up by well-established control theory; a number of possibilities for each stage are given. The approach is illustrated using two laboratory systems: an experimental mass-spring-damper substructured system and swing up and hold control of an inverted pendulum. Experimental results are provided in the latter case.