Engineering education at Trinity is designed to complement the full programme of lectures and laboratory work conducted within the Cambridge University Engineering Department (CUED). The course is broadly based. Students eventually specialise in a single engineering discipline, but only after they have been exposed to a range of general engineering topics. For most engineers, specialisation begins in the third year, but entry to Chemical Engineering is made at the beginning of the second year.
The wide coverage in the first two years (Part I of the Engineering Tripos) is one of the distinguishing features of Engineering at Cambridge. It is intended to provide students with a good grounding in scientific and engineering principles as preparation for a professional career that may take many turns as technology develops.
The College currently has seven teaching Fellows in Engineering:
- Dr Adam Boies – Energy and Environmental Engineering
- Dr Hugh Hunt – Dynamic Systems & Vibrations
- Professor Matthew Juniper – Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics
- Professor Nick Kingsbury – Information Engineering
- Dr Per Ola Kristensson – Intelligent Interactive Systems
- Dr Joan Lasenby – Information Engineering
- Dr Stuart Haigh – Civil Engineering Dynamics
- Dr Felice Torrisi – Graphene Technology
There are also three professorial Fellows: Piero Migliorato (Electronic Engineering), Daniel Wolpert (Computational Neuroscience) and Lynn Gladden (Chemical Engineering); and one retired Fellow who continues to teach for the College: Chris Morley (Structural Mechanics).
The teaching and professorial Fellows share the Direction of Studies at Trinity while also playing an active part in teaching and research in CUED. (College teaching in Chemical Engineering, which forms a separate University Department, is looked after by Professor Gladden.)
The Directors of Studies ensure that each student of Engineering in Trinity has on average about two hours per week of supervision (instruction and discussion), usually in pairs. The supervisor may be a Fellow of the College, a post-doctoral research worker, or a research student in CUED, but will always be a specialist in the area with which the supervision is concerned.
The range of topics available for study after the first two years is so wide that supervision cannot be provided entirely within a single college, even one as large as Trinity, but the teaching needed is arranged with other colleges.
CUED is the largest Department in the University and Trinity takes its proportionate share – between 18 and 22 – of the annual intake of undergraduate engineers. We expect successful candidates to achieve high grade A’s (usually including at least two A*s) at A-level in Physics, Maths and Further Maths. Applicants unable to take Further Maths may offer another Science subject instead but will be asked also for an A in AS Further Maths. A-level Chemistry is essential for those wishing to specialise in Chemical Engineering. Admissions requirements for candidates not taking A levels may be obtained through the Trinity Admissions Office.
Trinity welcomes applications equally from candidates opting for direct entry or planning to take a gap year. The College encourages entrants, where possible, to obtain some experience in industry before starting the Engineering course, either in the vacations or during a gap year.
Candidates for Engineering at Trinity take a short (one-hour) test comprising maths and physics questions followed by two interviews of about half-an-hour each with different members of the teaching staff. Some specimen questions are available below:
One interview concentrates on the candidate’s answers to the test questions and the other is of a broader technical nature and may include discussions of topics of interest to the candidate.
For more information about Engineering at Cambridge, please visit the departmental website: