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CUED Division A

Energy, Fluids and Turbomachinery

Course details


Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that all courses will be offered every year due to the availability of teaching staff and capacity limitations. The list below is not exhaustive and some of the listed courses may not be offered.


A. Core Courses (Obligatory)

The aim of the core courses is to bring everybody up to the same level, to introduce key terminology and skills, and to communicate the theme of the MPhil.  We are trying to cover each main primary energy source separately.  Each course counts as one credit.

ET-A1 Energy Topics
Research methodology; literature search, Presentation skills, Report writing. Invited seminar from industrialists, policy-makers, power generation, case studies.
Weekly. Offers a regular "get-together" of the whole cohort, the aim is to bring about the many different points of view in the Energy area.
ET-A2 Review of Fundamentals
Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, numerical analysis, Matlab, programming languages, Energy, Pollution and the Environment.
ET-B1 Clean Fossil Fuel Technologies
Carbon capture and sequestration
Coal characteristics and combustion, power plants.
Natural gas, oil, gas turbines, engines, fundamentals of combustion, pollution.
ET-B2 Renewable energy: wind, tide and hydro
Wind turbines
Tidal power
Hydroelectric plants
ET-B3 Renewable energy: solar and biomass
Solar panels
Biofuels, their production and use
ET-B4 Energy systems and efficiency
Exergy analysis, materials, energy in the manufacturing sector, systems analysis
Efficiency measures

These courses are delivered in Michaelmas and Lent, with seminars running throughout the year. Assessment is by coursework, which may involve either 2 x 2000-word reports or one 4000-word report.

B. Electives

Each course = 1 credit = about 16 lectures

The student must select 5 or 7 courses, depending on whether a student takes the "long thesis" or the "short thesis" option respectively. The final selection of courses will need the approval of the Course Director to resolve timetabling conflicts and avoid repetition.

B.1  Courses in CUED

4A2 Computational Fluid Dynamics
4A3 Turbomachinery
4A7 Aerodynamics
4A9 Molecular Thermodynamics
4A10 Flow Instability
4A12 Vortex Dynamics and Turbulence
4A13       Combustion and IC Engines
4A15 Aeroacoustics
4B14 Solar-electronic Power: Generation and Distribution
4B19 Renewable Electrical Power
4E4 Management of Technology
4E11 Strategic Management
4I10 Nuclear Reactor Engineering
4I11 Advanced Fission and Fusion Systems
4M16 Nuclear Power Engineering
4M22 Climate Change Mitigation
4M19 Advanced Building Physics
5R1 Stochastic Optimization Methods
5R9 Experimental Methods in Fluids
5R10 Turbulent Reacting Flows
5R18 Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Air Pollution
  • Selected courses from the MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development and from the MPhil in Nuclear Energy, if capacity permits.

Potentially, some 3rd-year courses for students with no prior experience in a particular area may be used (for example, a civil engineer who has basic fluid mechanics and is interested in wind energy may be allowed to take a 3rd-year heat transfer and aerodynamics course).

B2. Courses from other Departments:

From the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology (their MPhil in Advanced Chemical Engineering):

  • Particle Technology*
  • Catalysis*
  • B2 Electrochemical Engineering

From the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy:

  • NE.10: Micro and Nano-electrochemistry

From the BP Institute / Department of Mathematics:

  • Fluids and Natural Resources

C. Research project

C1. Long thesis option:
Runs from January until August
20,000-word dissertation
C2. Short thesis option:
Runs from March until August
10,000-word dissertation

Projects will be offered at the beginning of the year; final selection to be made by middle of Michaelmas term for the "long thesis", and by middle of Lent for the "short thesis" option. Group projects (2-4 students) and projects suggested by students are possible.


* Not offered 2015-16.

D. Student Load

At Cambridge, the lectures are very intensive so the students are expected to show significant initiative and exercise very tight time management.

A student taking the "short thesis" option will have an average of 6 courses per term, (with a little more load in Michaelmas than in Lent). Typically, each course has 16 lectures, which means 2x6=12 lectures per week. A student taking the "long thesis" option will have a little more free time from courses, to be spent on the research project.

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