The world faces major challenges in meeting the current and future demand for sustainable and secure energy supply and use. The one-year MPhil programme in Energy Technologies is designed for graduates who want to help tackle these problems by developing practical engineering solutions, and who want to learn more about the fundamental science and the technologies involved in energy utilization, electricity generation, energy efficiency, and alternative energy.
Energy is a huge topic, of very significant current scientific, technological, environmental, political and financial interest. The complexity and rapid change associated with energy technologies necessitates engineers with a very good grasp of the fundamentals, with exposure and good understanding of all main energy sources and technologies, but also with specialization in a few areas. This is the prevailing philosophy behind this MPhil, fully consistent with the prevailing philosophy and structure of the University of Cambridge Engineering Department as a whole.
The educational target of the MPhil in Energy Technologies is to communicate the breadth of energy technologies and the underpinning science. The objectives of the course are:
1. To teach the fundamental sciences behind technologies involved in energy utilization, electricity generation, energy efficiency, and alternative energy.
2. To develop graduates with an overall view of energy engineering, while offering specialization in a selected area through a research project.
3. To prepare students for potential future PhD research.
Students will be expected to have developed fundamental knwoledge on primary and secondary energy sources, on energy transformation, and on energy utilisation technologies. They will also have developed proficiencies in project management, in research skills, in team work, and in advanced calculation methods concerning energy technologies.
Graduates from this MPhil will be excellent candidates for doctoral study (at Cambridge and elsewhere) and for employment in a wide variety of jobs (for example: in industrial Research and Development departments; in policy-making bodies; in the utilities industry; in the manufacturing sector; in energy equipment manufacturing).
The course is centred around taught courses in core areas, covering basic revision and skills needed (such as Communication and Organisational Skills, Mathematical and Computational Skills, Review of Basic Energy Concepts, and Research Topics), various energy technologies (such as Clean Fossil Fuels, Solar, Biofuels, Wind etc), and energy efficiency and systems level approaches.
Elective courses may be chosen from a broad range, which includes topics such as Turbulence, Acoustics, Turbomachinery, Nuclear Power Engineering, Solar Panels, and Energy Efficiency in Buildings. Elective courses are delivered mainly by the Department of Engineering with input from the Department of Chemical Engineering and other departments in Cambridge.
Research projects are chosen from a list offered by members of staff and are linked to the principal areas of energy research in the respective departments.
Students can expect to receive reports at least termly on the Cambridge Graduate Supervision Reporting System. They will receive comments on items of coursework, and will have access to a University supervisor for their dissertation. All students will also have personal access to the Course Director and the other staff delivering the course.
Students taking 12 elective modules will write a short thesis (up to 10,000 words). Students taking 10 elective modules will write a long thesis (up to 20,000 words). In both cases, 10% of the marks will be assigned through a pre-submission presentation, and 10% of the marks will be assigned through a post-submission presentation.
Students will take 5 core modules, and then either 5 elective modules (and a long thesis) or 7 elective modules (and a short thesis). All core modules are examined purely by coursework. Some of the elective modules are also examined wholly or partly by coursework.
Some of the elective modules are examined wholly or partly by written examination.
At the discretion of the Examiners, candidates may be required to take an additional oral examination on the work submitted during the course, and on the general field of knowledge within which it falls.
Students wishing to apply for continuation to the PhD would normally be expected to attain an overall mark of 70%.