Department of Engineering / About Us / Strategy / 21st Century Engineers

Department of Engineering

21st Century Engineers

21st Century Engineers

Strategic aim: Inspiring future generations of engineers, equipping them with the best integrated engineering education, and engaging them at the leading-edge of engineering thinking, so that they can change the world.


The world is subject to ever-changing challenges and opportunities. Whether we look at energy, climate change, ageing population, economic re-growth or a myriad of other big issues, we see engineers and new engineered solutions playing a pivotal role. We also see that the pragmatic yet principled engineering approach is incredibly valuable throughout government and business, as it enables practical and considered action in the face of uncertainties and unknowns. The challenge is to be extremely adaptable in meeting this demand with the best engineers and engineered solutions without any compromise to the quality of teaching and long-term research.


The Department’s greatest and most agile outputs are its graduates and postdoctoral researchers. The primary ambition of the Department is to attract outstanding students and researchers, equip them with the best engineering education, give them experience of solving problems at the leading-edge of the field, and support them in changing the world. We want our alumni to make a difference not just by knowing how to deliver a sound engineered solution, but by reframing problems, questioning established practice and making new breakthroughs.


The main thrusts of this mission are:

  • raising awareness, interest and understanding of engineering careers more widely among school children, parents and teachers through the Department’s award-winning outreach activity and its news stories
  • constantly evolving our unique undergraduate course to give students an education that covers all aspects of engineering, including team work and leadership
  • creating new facilities for students that foster creativity and collaboration both within the curriculum and in free time
  • offering ever more PhD and Masters opportunities for postgraduate study to the best students in the World with training for translating their vital specialist skills into practice
  • winning more postdoctoral fellowships for the early career development of the most talented graduating PhD students linking to college junior research fellowships
  • achieving recognition and success as a leader in improving the gender balance at all levels from student through to academic and research staff
  • develop the Language Unit’s courses and networks, so that an increasing proportion of our students can work outside their home language and culture in their professional engineering career
  • strengthen the network for our alumni through development of the Cambridge University Engineering Society (with support from the Cambridge University Engineers Association).