The Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy has a large and vigorous research school, with about 100 research fellows, postdoctoral scientists and visiting scientists, and more than 140 research students studying for the PhD degree. The growth in our research activities over the past twenty years has been almost exponential, with a current research income of more than £4 million per year and a doubling time of about seven years. Although our research has always been closely linked with industrial needs and supported in large part by industry as well as government, recent trends have seen the development of larger-scale working relationships with major research sponsors such as Rolls-Royce, Regenesys Technologies and Pfizer. Similarly, our wide range of international contacts which bring visiting researchers to Cambridge from all over the world has been extended through formal collaboration agreements with institutions in Switzerland, Singapore and most recently, the USA via the Cambridge-MIT Institute.
The Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy furthermore plays a central and major role in research and teaching in materials science. With an academic staff of over 30, including Research Fellows, the Department's research covers all major areas of the subject, and this breadth is reflected in the scope of our four-year undergraduate course. The emphasis in undergraduate teaching is always on the underlying principles which are applicable to the whole range of engineering materials; ceramics, metals, polymers, composites, solid state device materials. The lecture courses are integrated with laboratory work, projects, example classes and supervisions in small groups. Contact with industry plays an important part in the course through visits to industrial facilities, speakers from industry and vacation placements.