Undergraduate Teaching

Part IIA briefing notes - Lent term supplement

Part IIA briefing notes - Lent term supplement

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Table of contents

This section contains updates for the Lent term and should be read in conjunction with the briefing notes issued in the Michaelmas term.  Please make sure you read them as they contain information relevant to the Easter term as well as Lent.

Link back to main IIA briefing notes.

Dyson Centre for Engineering Design

The Dyson Centre for Engineering Design will open for business on Thursday 14 January, with a party and a day of challenges. Between 10am and 5pm there will be refreshments, including freshly made popcorn, and short construction projects to start getting undergraduates familiar with the Centre and what they can do there. There will be two maker competitions: students can work individually or in teams to build automatic musical instruments (in 40 minutes), or to build a cardboard bridge. See the Dyson Centre website for more information about this event and the Centre itself:


For more information email the Outreach Officer.


Library internal opening event

As you will know, there has been considerable construction work over the last six months to refurbish the library, which is now linked by a new bridge to the Dyson Creativity centre.  The library is now ready for use: staff and students are invited to explore the new facilities at the internal opening event on Thursday 14 January, when the Dyson Centre is also opening for business.

The key changes are that the library has been split into two main areas, a silent study area and a more collaborative area. The collaborative area is linked via the new bridge to the Dyson Centre.

Module choices

You will be emailed a reminder to log on to COMET to confirm or change the Lent modules you selected in October.  The system will check your selection is valid before you finally register them.  You may not discard a Michaelmas module at this stage.  It is important to attend the first timetabled period of any module of interest since it is then that the leader will give a general description of its content.  Please note that you may not take more than one module from any set, even if there is no clash on the lecture timetable, because modules in the same set are examined at the same time.

The deadline for confirming choices for Lent term modules is midnight on Wednesday of week 1 (20th January).  Your choice of Lent modules will be finalised at this point. Please note you will not be able to cancel an entry for a Michaelmas module.

Syllabuses and clash information are available on the CUED undergraduate teaching web pages.  Queries about particular modules should be addressed to the module leader (as shown at the top of the syllabus or in the Guide to Part IIA)

Coursework marks

Extension Activity: You should either have already done the group activity or be signed up to do it.  Any student who has not made arrangements for the group activity should do so immediately.

Full Technical Reports: Lent term FTR's should be submitted no later than 4pm on Friday 11th March and handed in to the relevant group centre.  [Marked Michaelmas FTR's can be collected (usually from wherever you handed them in to) from Thursday 14 January.]

Remember all your marked laboratory reports and full technical reports must be handed in again in the Easter term, together with a cover sheet which includes a declaration for you sign stating that all work handed in is your own.

Third-year supervision

NB: Module leaders will appoint supervisors and notify you of their details soon after COMET closes (Wednesday 21st January)

The number of supervisions to be given for each IIA module is usually four, comprising three (one hour) supervisions in the term of the module plus a later 'revision' supervision.  Any additional supervision must be authorised in advance by your Director of Studies.  Note: any problems with regard to supervisions should be brought to the attention of your DoS promptly in the first instance.  You may also use a dedicated fast feedback facility for IIA supervisions.

Examples classes rather than normal supervisions may be provided for 3E modules (management); more information should be available on the syllabus page for each module.

Third-year projects: Easter term

Project allocations were notified in the Michaelmas Term, and are final from the Friday before the Lent Term.  In most cases, all project work is conducted after the examinations in the Easter Term.  However, a small number of projects (GC3, GD1 and GM1) will have compulsory introductory (afternoon) sessions in the Lent Term.  It is essential that you keep these sessions free of other commitments, so you must consult the project descriptions before booking other activities such as Extension Activities and Labs.  If you have any queries about the projects, please contact the project leader directly, or the Teaching Office.

First notice about fourth-year projects

Third-year students who wish to propose their own fourth-year project, rather than choose from the selection advertised by staff, should submit a proposal to the relevant group project coordinator as early as possible in the Lent term.  You will need to fill out a type (b) project proposal form and submit it to the group coordinator before Tuesday 19th April.  If you would like to get an idea of the breadth of projects that are likely to be offered by staff before deciding whether or not to put forward your own proposal, you can look on the web at the final allocation list published for this year's students.


In July, the Department will issue College Tutorial Offices with an electronic transcript for each student showing details of their performance over the academic year .  Transcripts will be passed on to you by your Tutorial Office or your Director of Studies.  Should you require a transcript before this time, or one for previous years, you should contact your Director of Studies or your College Tutorial Office, not the CUED Teaching Office as copies of this Departmental transcript are not kept by the Department.

Exams skills

Examinations study skills session

A study skills session on 'exam skills' will be held on Wednesday 15th March 2017 from 2.00-4.00pm in lecture room 4.  The course is particularly targeted at first-years, exchange students and incomers from other courses.

How to save time in Part IA Engineering Exams: Know how to use your calculator

It is clear from many answers in CUED Tripos Examinations that candidates are simply unfamiliar with the standard-issue calculator and thereby lose marks.  Some calculator exercises can be found here.

Workshop skills sessions (Lent term)

This voluntary practical is based on the manufacture of a small oscillating air engine. The engine will consist of several parts, some of which will be supplied. You will be required to make the remaining parts and then assemble the engine. Manufacture will include turning, milling and drilling operations using workshop machine tools.

Sessions for this activity take place in the Instrument Workshop (reached from the south-east corner of the DPO) and last from 9 am to 4 pm with an hour's break for lunch. This activity will take place on Friday 10 March 2017.

12 students can be accommodated, and you should book on the booking sheet, which will be posted in the Instrument Workshop on Thursday 23 February 2017.

If you book a session and then find you are unable to attend, please inform Dr Parks (tel. 748553) or Mr Ross (tel. 332853) at the earliest opportunity.


Science and engineering ambassadors

Cambridge Science Festival, the highlight of the Outreach year, takes place at the end of Lent term.  If you only do one Outreach activity, this is it!  Put Saturday 12th March into your diary now.

Over 1000 people will attend this flagship event and make model aircraft powered by rubber bands to take away.  It is big, buzzy and fun, it will remind you why you wanted to study Engineering in the first place and you get the great tee shirt as a souvenir.  You don't need to be a STEM Ambassador to volunteer for the Science Festival, just email the Outreach Officer or come and see me in the DPO.

The Outreach Development Group will continue to meet at 1pm on Thursdays in LR5.  Join us to organise the scope, logistics and marketing of the Light Flight Challenge and eat cake. 

Lower key Outreach opportunities will also occur.  If being part of a panel who answer questions from a group of 15 sixth formers and dispel their misconceptions of Cambridge is more your style, get onto the Outreach mailing list by emailing the Outreach Officer.

Online guide to writing skills

The online guide to writing skills incorporates advice to students on report writing, record keeping and plagiarism, introduced through IA Exposition.  But the guide also progresses to the much greater depth required by the time students complete their IIB project report.  It will also be linked to any other guidance specific to particular report writing tasks, providing a one-stop shop on the Teaching webpages.  Feedback and any suggestions for improvements to the resource would be welcome and should be sent to Dr Hugh Shercliff.

Fast feedback facility

The fast feedback facility can be used to send rapid messages to warn teaching staff of problems as they arise (or to complement teaching staff on a job well done).  These messages are automatically anonymised (email addresses are hidden).  In order for the system to work, it is necessary to specify the general topic area of each feedback comment using the menus at the top of the comment window.  Note that all fast feedback traffic is monitored (before anonymisation) by the Director of Undergraduate Education in the Teaching Office.

To use the fast feedback facility for a machine in the DPO either (i) type "feedback" at the teaching system prompt, or (ii) click on the "fast feedback" icon on the desktop. To access the facility from elsewhere: click on the "fast feedback" link on the CUED local web page, which takes you to http://www.eng.cam.ac.uk/teaching/apps/FFF/.  If you have any problems with the fast feedback facility please contact the Director of Undergraduate Education.

Course material on Moodle

Most courses in the department have a page on the University's Virtual Learning Environment Moodle.

These pages are maintained by course lecturers. Students registered to these courses are automatically enrolled at the start of the course and can engage in the course activities, including coursework submission when appropriate.

Other members of the University, staff or students, can self-enroll as observer and gain access to handouts and other documents made available to the students by the lecturers. This access is provided to students so that they can make an informed decision regarding their course selection. There might be copyright restrictions to the course material; any use of the course content that is not related to students education is not allowed. The material should not be redistributed by the students in any circumstances.

A key is needed to self-enroll on any course. By using this key, you indicate that you agree with the condition above.

Enrolment key: cued_moodle_access

NB. If you wish to unenrol yourself from a page that you have enrolled yourself on, please look for the Administration block within the course (usually lower down the page on the left) and click 'unenrol me'.

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Last updated on 07/01/2016 11:43