Undergraduate Teaching

Engineering Tripos Part IA, The Engineer in Society, 2020-21

Engineering Tripos Part IA, The Engineer in Society, 2020-21

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Prof T Minshall, Dr M Kumar


The aims of the course are to:

  • Introduce students to the economic, social and technical context within which engineers work.
  • Seek to provide a sense of the 'bigger picture' within which any engineering-related organisation operates.
  • Show why an understanding of this context is important and to raise awareness of the non-technical competences that engineers need to develop in order to be successful.


As specific objectives, by the end of the course students should be able to:

  • Have a knowledge of the economic, industrial and social contexts of engineering.
  • Be able to understand how these contexts influence engineering decisions.
  • Be able to produce a non-technical report on topics related to these contexts.


A combination of CUED teaching staff and industrial speakers will address the following topics:

Please note that the order of these talks may change based upon the availability of our guest speakers

1. Introduction - what engineering really is

2. Economic context - everything is changing.

3. Engineering and ethics - doing the right thing

4. Engineering and entrepreneurship – making change happen.

5. Engineering and sustainability - saving our future

6. Engineering, complex systems and humanitarian aid

7. Bioengineering - engineering + life sciences

8. Beinging it all together, and setting the coursework challenge


The topics for a report based on this lecture course will be set in the final lecture. Details on where and when to submit will be given at the final lecture and via email.


Additional on-line resources for this module will be provided via Camtools

Examples papers

Please see the Booklist for Part IA Courses for references for this module.

Examination Guidelines

Please refer to Form & conduct of the examinations.

Last modified: 13/05/2020 12:32