Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford

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Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford
Thom Building.JPG
The Thom Building from the Banbury Road.
Established 1908 (1908)
Head of Department Prof Lionel Tarassenko
Location Banbury Road, Oxford, United Kingdom
Coordinates: 51°45′35″N 1°15′34″W / 51.75972°N 1.25944°W / 51.75972; -1.25944
Campus Keble Road Triangle

The Department of Engineering Science is the focus of study of engineering science at Oxford University, England.[1] It is located on the triangular plot formed by Banbury Road to the west, Parks Road to the east and Keble Road to the south. The main building is the tall 1960s Thom Building that dominates the local landscape, especially the view from the University Parks to the east. Further lower buildings have been added to the north since. The department shares buildings with the Department of Materials.


The department is based in the Thom Building, built in 1960, which houses two main lectures theatres, four floors of laboratories, the departmental library and canteen. The adjacent hexagonal tower houses departmental professor and postgraduate research space. A new Information Engineering building was completed in 2004 to house robotics, process and information engineering research labs. The adjacent materials building is shared with Department of Materials.


Holder Tower

The department was originally established in 1908 with the appointment of the first Professor of Engineering Science at Oxford, Frewen Jenkin,[2] grandfather of Lord Jenkin of Roding. The Jenkin Building is named after him. On 2 February 1909, the Honour School of Natural Science (Engineering Science) was formally instituted by a Statute of Oxford University.[2] The School was initially located at 6 Keble Road, on the south side of what is now known as the Keble Road Triangle, part of the Oxford University Science Area. The main part of the department has remained and expanded at this location to the present day.

The Thom Building, built in 1963, is named after Alexander Thom (1894–1985), a Scottish engineer who was also a professor of engineering at Oxford. The adjacent Holder Building followed in 1976.

The current (2015) head of department is Prof Lionel Tarassenko, who took over from Guy Houlsby in 2014.

The department celebrated its Centenary in 2008 and Lord Jenkin acted as its Patron.[3]

Degree courses[edit]

Undergraduate courses
  • Engineering Science
Graduate courses
  • MSc Engineering Science
  • DPhil Engineering Science

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Alastair M. Howatson, Engineering Science at Oxford: A History, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Howatson, Alastair (2008). Mechanicks in the Universitie: A History of Engineering Science at Oxford. Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford / The Holywell Press. ISBN 978-0-9526208-2-2. 
  3. ^ "Centenary of Engineering Science: Programme". Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford. 2008. 

External links[edit]