A stirred-tank reactor was built with the objective of rapid and accurate temperature control in the reaction vessel. A first-principles heat transfer model was developed for the jacketed batch system, with the jacket inlet temperature used to control the vessel temperature. A model predictive controller was implemented to follow a rapidly changing temperature profile that cycled between steep heating and cooling motifs, and was tested experimentally at progressively shorter temperature cycles. For a water-solvent-water-jacket system, a cycle consisting of increasing and decreasing the temperature by 15°C over a period of 20 minutes was achieved in practice. The performance of the MPC controller was explained by calculating the dynamic operability characteristics of the process.