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Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

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Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge
Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge
Established 1875 (1875)
Head of Department Ann Dowling
Location Trumpington Street, Cambridge, United Kingdom

The Cambridge University Engineering Department (CUED) at the University of Cambridge is one of the largest departments in the university. The main site is situated at Trumpington Street, to the south of Cambridge city centre. The department is the primary centre for engineering teaching and research activities in Cambridge, and is currently headed by Professor Dame Ann Dowling. It was founded in 1875 by James Stuart.[1]

Notable alumni and researchers

Notable companies and projects founded by students and alumni


  • Turbomachinery, energy and fluid mechanics
  • Electrical engineering
  • Mechanics, materials and design
  • Civil, structural and environmental engineering
  • Manufacturing and Management
  • Information engineering


Teaching of Engineering commenced in 1875 in shared accommodation in the New Museums Site in Free School Lane, but that site is no longer used by CUED, which now uses several sites around Cambridge:

Cambridge University Engineering Department Trumpington Street site looking southeast from the Inglis A Building in Nov 2004. The Baker Building is in the left background and the Leys School is in the right background (behind the chimney). The Inglis Building is in the middle and foreground.
  • The main buildings are located at Trumpington Street and Fen Causeway on the Scroope House site, where most of the undergraduate teaching in the Engineering Tripos is carried out. The first new building on the site was the Inglis building. Its first phase was commenced in 1920 and the move from Free School Lane was completed in 1921 by the transfer of administrative offices to the original Scroope House building. Further phases of the Inglis Building were constructed prior to the Second World War. The final phase was completed as soon as post-war funding was made available in 1948, immediately followed by construction of the first phase of the Baker Building, completed in 1952. Further phases of the Baker Building followed, with Scroope House being demolished in 1961 to make room for the third phase. The whole building as originally planned was complete in 1965. However, construction work then immediately shifted back to the Inglis Building. In 1961, plans had been announced for "rebuilding" it in five stages, and the first of these was complete by 1967. Since then, both buildings have been modified on many occasions, to increase floor area and improve conditions. Mezzanines, loft conversion within the Inglis Building and a further storey on the Baker Building have been added, as the buildings have been adapted to suit the continual evolution of teaching and research requirements. Major parts of the building designs and redesigns have benefited from improved methods of analysis which have been developed during departmental research, sometimes demonstrating by re-analysis of earlier designs that greater loads can be taken by existing structural elements than were believed appropriate when originally constructed.
  • Various sections which could not easily be accommodated on the main site have moved to the University's West Cambridge site, including the Whittle Laboratory (a turbomachinery laboratory, founded by Sir John Horlock, in 1973),[3] The Geotechnical Centrifuge laboratory (opened in 1987 and renamed the Schofield Centre in 1998), the Microelectronics Research Centre (1992), the Centre for Advanced Photonics & Electronics (CAPE) and the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) (opened in 2009). Some of these moves were associated with funding from industry. This was the second move for both the Microelectronics Research Centre, which had, under its previous name of Microelectronics Research Laboratory, moved to Cambridge Science Park in 1982, and the IfM, which had, under its previous name of Manufacturing Engineering Group, moved to the former Cambridge University Press building in Mill Lane in 1984.
  • A few of the smaller buildings on the Old Addenbrooke's Site, in Trumpington Street opposite the Scroope House Site, have been used by the department from time to time. Currently, the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership is in the end building of that site, 1 Trumpington Street, having expanded and moved there under its previous name of Cambridge Programme for Industry in 1991. One of the other buildings was previously occupied by administrative offices of what had been the Engineering Department's Management Studies section, before generous sponsorship from Sir Paul Judge allowed it to become what is now the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, occupying the whole of the previous main hospital building.[4]

Undergraduate Education

The CUED allows undergraduates to take the Engineering Tripos and the Manufacturing Engineering Tripos and is a pathway into the Chemical Engineering Tripos. The department currently admit in excess of 300 students a year.[5]

Engineering Tripos

Teaching at the Engineering Department consists of lectures reinforced by examples, of which there are several provided every week, and labs, carried out in lab groups of two along with several other lab groups. At present the Engineering Department tries to maintain as few afternoon lectures and labs in the first two years as possible.[6]

The first two years of the Tripos (Parts IA and IB respectively) cover many subjects allowing for the general aspect of engineering to be taught. In the second two years (Parts IIA and IIB) undergraduates choose to specialise into more specific areas of Engineering or can move to the Manufacturing Engineering Tripos which starts in the 3rd year.


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "The AOUG Sir John Horlock Award for Science". Association of Open University Graduates (AOUG). Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  4. ^ Cambridge University Engineering Department (2000). "University of Cambridge: Department of Engineering: 1875-2000: 125 years engineering excellence". (This reference covers almost all facts within the Buildings sub-section). Cambridge University Engineering Department. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links

  • Departmental website
  • Institute for Manufacturing website
  • CAPE website
  • Whittle Laboratory
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