Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

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Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge
Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge
Established 1875 (1875)
Head of Department David Cardwell
Location Trumpington Street, Cambridge, United Kingdom
52°11′54″N 0°07′18″E / 52.19827°N 0.121579°E / 52.19827; 0.121579Coordinates: 52°11′54″N 0°07′18″E / 52.19827°N 0.121579°E / 52.19827; 0.121579

The University of Cambridge Department of Engineering is one of the largest departments in the University of Cambridge. 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 David Cardwell.[1] The department was founded in 1875 by James Stuart.[2]

Notable alumni and researchers[edit]

Notable companies and projects founded by students and alumni[edit]


  • Division A Turbomachinery, energy and fluid mechanics
  • Division B Electrical engineering
  • Division C Mechanics, materials and design
  • Division D Civil, structural and environmental engineering
  • Division E Manufacturing and management
  • Division F 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 the department, 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.
  • 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),[4] 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).
  • 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.

Undergraduate education[edit]

The department of engineering allows undergraduates to take the engineering tripos and the manufacturing engineering tripos and is a pathway into the chemical engineering tripos. The department currently admits in excess of 300 students a year.[5]

Engineering tripos[edit]

Teaching at the department of engineering 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 department promotes 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 third year.


External links[edit]