The refurbishment and development of the Trumpington Street site has continued during the year with a planned schedule of building and extension work. Improvements to the Inglis Hydraulics/Structures Laboratory have led to the addition of open-plan office and research accommodation on two floors. In addition a major scheme has been completed to improve the three lecture rooms on the Coe Fen side of the Inglis building and to convert the roof-space above Lecture Room 3 for our Engineering Design Centre. And as well as these substantial projects, renovations to the Oatley Laboratory for the Electrical Power Research Group, to the Whittle Laboratory and to the Department's accommodation at the Mill Lane Press Site have been completed. In November 1998, Dr J.B. Young was elected to the Hopkinson and ICI Professorship of Applied Thermodynamics and he has initiated plans to substantially improve the Thermodynamics Laboratory and its supporting facilities. Work has also begun on a major extension for the Laboratory for Communications Engineering which is funded in part by the AT&T Company.
During the year, AT&T acquired the Olivetti and Oracle Research Laboratory on the Old Addenbrooke's Site in Cambridge and Professor Andy Hopper, who is our Professor of Communications Engineering, became Managing Director of the AT&T Laboratory. We anticipate that AT&T's already strong links with the University will continue to flourish.
In October 1998, the Vice-Chancellor inaugurated the Seiko-Epson Cambridge Research Laboratory at a ceremony in Trinity College. Epson is now supporting research on polycrystalline silicon thin film transistors and flat panel displays led by Dr Migliorato in the Department and by Professor Friend at the Cavendish.
We are pleased that the research grant income of the Department has risen significantly during the year as a result of more grants and contracts being won by staff members. The downside of this success is the continually increasing pressure on research student accommodation.
In November 1998, the Department welcomed two new Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professors, Ian Liddell, FREng, FICE and John Parnaby, CBE, FREng. Professor Liddell was responsible for the design of the Millennium Dome and Professor Parnaby is well-known for his role in planning the EPSRC's engineering doctorate scheme. At the end of the year the number of Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professors increased to 7 by the further appointment of Professor Peter Guthrie, OBE, FREng of the consulting company, Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick. Professor Guthrie will be working closely with us to develop teaching material in the field of sustainable development. He is one of 10 Visiting Professors at different universities who are expected to collaborate as they work to enhance the understanding and practice of sustainable development.
Many departmental staff members have continued to win awards and distinctions throughout the year. The US Society of Engineering Science awarded its Eringen Prize and Medal to Professor Mike Ashby and its William Prager Medal to Emeritus Professor Ken Johnson. Professor Andy Hopper gave the 1999 Clifford Paterson Lecture at the Royal Society on May 11th and Professor Ann Dowling was elected to a three-year term as one of the Royal Academy of Engineering's Vice Presidents. Professor Dowling also gave the Royal Aeronautical Society's Lanchester Lecture on May 6th. We congratulate Mr Ken Wallace on his election to Fellowship of the Royal Academy and Dr Jan Maciejowski who is serving as a Vice-President of the Institute of Measurement and Control for the calendar year 1999.
Sadly a number of former senior members of our staff died during the year. Viscount Caldecote who died in September 1999 had played a key role in the construction of the Baker Building in the immediate post-war years and, after a distinguished career in industry, became the second President of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He remained interested in and supportive of the Department's work throughout his distinguished professional career. Professor John Coales, who was our first Professor of Control Engineering, died in June 1999. He had held many prestigious posts, including being President of the IEE in 1971-72. Dr Tom Fuller, who was his close colleague in the Department, died shortly afterwards. Also, I am very sorry to have to record the deaths of Dr David Maull, who had retired only recently, and of Mr Ken Knell who was our librarian for many years.
The following members of the academic staff retired on 31 July 1999: Dr J H Brunton, Dr J A Greenwood, Dr R E McConnell, Dr C E Maloney, Dr A J Organ, Dr R J Richards and Mr B N Wootton. At a large gathering of past and present staff in November 1999, we paid tribute to their outstanding contributions to Engineering in Cambridge, all for very long periods.
The complexities of academic life continue to increase and I am very grateful for the support of all my colleagues in handling the relentless flow of administrative duties. During the year Dr Dai Jones took over as Secretary of the Faculty Board of Engineering, one of our key administrative posts, on the retirement of Dr John Brunton. Professor Robin Langley took over as Deputy Head (Graduate Studies) for three years on the retirement from this post of Professor Ann Dowling and Dr John Williams became Deputy Head (Teaching) for three years taking over from Mr Ken Wallace who retired from this post in order to lead the Rolls-Royce/BAe design initiative in the Department. Dr Geoff Parks took over from Dr Richard Prager as our Director of Undergraduate Teaching.
The Cambridge University Engineers Association's Annual Conference was held in September with the theme The Communications Explosion. The Conference was sponsored by AT&T and organised by the University's Programme for Industry Office, and was very well attended. Next year the Association will hold a special event in July to mark the 125th Anniversary of the Department and the Royal Academy of Engineering will hold its Summer Soirée in the Department to mark this occasion. We look forward to these events with pleasure.
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Last modified: June 2000