The main site is situated at Trumpington Street, to the south of the city centre of Cambridge. The department is the primary centre for engineering teaching and research activities in Cambridge. The Department is currently headed by Professor David Cardwell.
In 1782, the Reverend Richard Jackson of Torrington, former fellow of Trinity College, died leaving a substantial portion of his estate to endow a Professorship of Natural Experimental Philosophy. This became forerunner to the Professorship of Mechanism and Applied Mechanics, first held in 1875 by James Stuart.
The first engineering workshop at Cambridge was constructed in 1878, a wooden hut fifty by twenty feet. The department now boasts several sites around Cambridge:
There are about 1,200 undergraduate students in the Department at any time, with about 320 students admitted each year.
The first two years are essentially the same for all students and aim to give a broad overview, covering mechanical and structural engineering, as well as materials, electrical and information engineering. From the third year, students are required to specialise, undertaking either the Engineering Tripos or Manufacturing Engineering Tripos.