Undergraduate Teaching 2023-24

Incoming students briefing notes

Incoming students briefing notes

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Table of contents

These notes are intended for students who are transferring into the Engineering Tripos from other Departments and those who are undertaking an exchange at the Department.

If you wish to apply to transfer to Part IIA of the Engineering or Manufacturing Engineering Triposes please see the guidance notes and complete the application form.

You might also find the Terminology Guide for Cambridge and/or Engineering-specific jargon, abbreviations and acronyms useful as you settle in to the Department.

Information specific to transferring and exchange students

Industrial experience

Transferring students are urged to make an appointment with the Industrial Experience Coordinator at the earliest opportunity.   Visit the industrial placement website for further information.


Registration will be online, in conjunction with your Director of studies

Registration will take place online, and the details will be sent to you by your DoS.  This enables you to access the Departmental teaching systems. You will be emailed with your lab group numbers early in the week starting 2 Oct.  All students (Part IA plus those transferring to any Part of the Tripos from other Departments) need to register.

Introductory Lectures

Introductory lectures: Wednesday 4 October 2023, 9.15–11.00 in The Constance Tipper Lecture Theatre.

09.15 Welcome to CUED Prof. Colm Durkan, Head of Department
09.25 Aims of the Engineering Tripos Prof. John Durrell, Deputy Head (Teaching)
09.35 Introducing the Teaching Office Dr Graham McShane, Director of Undergraduate Education
09.40 Introducing Academic Reps Aakash Gupta, SSJC representative
09.45 Laboratory work / Maths Quiz Prof. Stuart Scott, IA Lab Coordinator
09.55 Week 1 Lego exercise Prof. Andrew Gee, IA Lego Coordinator
10.05 Language programme Mr David Tual, CLIC Director
10.15 Health and Safety Talk Mr Gary Steele, Departmental Safety Manager
10:35 Introduction to the Student Support Department Eleanor Girt-Izod, Senior Disability Advisor (ADRC)
10:50 Introduction to Library services Representative from the CUED Library team.

Recording is now available

Health and safety at work lecture

All new and incoming students to Engineering must attend this talk which takes place during the above session on Wednesday 4 October 2023. 

Where are the lecture rooms/theatres?

Constance Tipper Lecture Theatre, LR4:  ground floor Baker building                  LR5, LT6:  first floor Baker building

LT1, LT2:  ground floor Inglis building                   LR10, LR11, LR12: ground floor Baker South Wing

LR3, 3A, 3B:  up steps in Inglis building             

See also the map of the Engineering Department

How to read the lecture card

Essential equipment

Drawing equipment

All students will need the following essential drawing equipment.  Depending on which lab group you are allocated to you may need it for the Structures Lab, which for some students will start in week 2.

A supply of complete kits are available for purchase from the vending machine located in the Design and Project Office (DPO) at a cost of £22.00.  The vending machine also sells some of the items individually.  Cashless payments only on the vending machine, these include debit or credit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay etc.

The drawing kit comprises of the following items (full details/part numbers available here):

  • HB Pencil
  • Shine Plastic Eraser
  • Blundell Harling 300mm ruler
  • Ecobra Compass
  • Rumold Circle template
  • Rumold Protractor

*Please note, using equipment that does not meet the criteria we have set out may affect the quality and accuracy of your work and therefore it is possible you may be penailised when submitting for marking.

If you wish to purchase your own equipment we would advise you to buy items of at least a similar standard to those we have recommended.

University approved calculator

The only modules of electronic calculator that are permitted to be taken into the exams are:

  • CASIO fx-991 (any version)
  • CASIO fx-115 (any version)
  • CASIO fx-570 (any version) 

The Department currently sells the Casio FX-991-ES-Plus model of calculator which is available from the vending machine in the DPO at a cost of £27.00, this is a University approved version for use in the exams.

Each such calculator must be marked by the Department in the approved fashion before bringing it to an examination. Please see instructions below on purchasing and marking an approved calculator.

No other calculator may be brought into the exam room. This is a University regulation and cannot be varied by the Department. Please refer to the official University notice for more information.


A full set of Databooks can be found online here. Paper copies of databooks will be issued to students at the Introductory Lectures.


There is no need to purchase a computer specifically for the Engineering course, as student use desktop computers with course software pre-installed are available in the department.

Many students find having their own computer to be convenient. If you are contemplating buying your own computer you may wish to be aware of the following:

  • Most software used in the course is generic and/or web based (Python, Microsoft office etc.)
  • The PicoScope provided to students in the 1st year for the IEP project works with Windows, macOS and Linux machines. It does not work with many Chromebooks (although some success has been obtained with more modern Chromebooks that offer a Linux virtual machine).
  • The CAD software used in the course is only available for Windows, (but can be run on macOS using emulation with the purchase of extra software). Most students will find using it on the dual monitor machines provided in the department preferable to using a laptop. There is no need to buy a high specification Windows machine optimised for CAD for the modest teaching use in the Engineering course.
  • The ANSYS Materials Selector Software, optionally used in the materials course, only runs on Windows (but will run on macOS with emulation software).


Non-compulsory costs

Centre for Languages and Inter-Communication (CLIC) trips

The cost of these optional trips for those taking language courses (which are often open to students in all years) is c. £300.

Photocopying and printing

Students are required to pay for photocopying and printing if they exceed their quota, which is designed to accommodate the majority of the requirements of the course.

Last updated on 23/08/2019 16:32