Academic Programme

All students will take an engineering course comprising four modules covering different cutting edge topics in engineering; areas in which Cambridge has a particularly strong reputation, namely nanotechnology, jet engines, renewable electrical power and quantum technologies. Students will have a minimum of 45 hours of contact time, and they will receive a grade for the work they complete at Girton.


In this module we will look at what Nanotechnology is and where it is used. We will explore the evolution of modern science and see how it paved the way for nanoscience, which set the foundations for nanotechnology. We will look at the basic scientific principles behind the properties of matter and how and why they change at the nanoscale, and see how to make use of this in our everyday lives in areas such as automotive and aerospace, medicine, construction, computing and cosmetics as examples. There will be some hands-on experience with an atomic force microscope that is used to visualise nanometer structures at the heart of nanotechnology.

Quantum technologies

In this module we will look at what quantum technologies are, where they have come from and where they can and are being used.  We will explore the foundations of quantum mechanics and how they led to a deepening of our understanding of the world around us, and how many of the properties of matter can be explained.  We will look at how this has led to novel devices in computing, data storage, information processing and other fields, and gain an appreciation for this often-misunderstood branch of science.

Renewable Electrical Power

This module will start with an overview of the various technologies that underpin the generation of electricity from renewable sources, and explain the relative importance of each technology. Wind power is by far the most rapidly increasing contributor to renewably-produced electricity, and so the rest of the course will focus on the science and engineering of wind turbines. We will also consider the economics of running a wind farm to achieve optimal financial return. Finally, we will look at applying the course material to consider which of four alternative systems leads to the best return on investment: offshore fixed speed turbines; offshore variable speed turbines; onshore fixed speed turbines; onshore variable speed turbines.

The Jet Engine

In this module we will explore how different pieces of 'cold metal' can be integrated together to achieve this amazing thing - jet propulsion. It is going to introduce the past, the current and the future path of this revolutionary technology. We will learn the basic ideas and the fundamental principles which keep the engine running. This will also lead us to explore the state of the art technologies of making the current engines more safe, efficient and environmentally friendly. Consequently, we will discuss the directions and challenges of developing future generations of jet engines. Finally, a number of high impact academic researches carried out in Cambridge to the evolution of the jet engines will be introduced. This will give an example of what is good academic research in this field looks like. Throughout the module there will be hands-on opportunity to closely examine the real components of jet engines.