Sheffield overtakes Cambridge for engineering research income

The new Faculty of Engineering developmentThe University of Sheffield has overtaken the University of Cambridge for engineering research income, confirming the institution as a world-leader in the field.

The data, compiled by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) shows that for 2011/12 the University of Sheffield’s engineering research income of £46M surpassed that of Cambridge by almost 10 percent.

Professor Mike Hounslow, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Sheffield, said: “Research income is an important measure of excellence as it shows the level of confidence that our outstanding partners have in us, and also enables us to ensure our cutting edge facilities are second to none.

“Alongside our decision to invest in an £81M state-of-the-art new engineering building at the heart of campus, this demonstrates that the University of Sheffield is a truly exceptional prospect for engineering students of the future.

“We are one of the largest providers of engineering research and education in the UK – we operate across all the main engineering disciplines and have world-leading capability in areas as diverse as in-silico medicine, electrical machines, semiconductors, control systems, metals, water, pharmaceuticals, speech processing and building vibrations, to name but a few.”

The excellence spreads throughout the institution. The University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing is a world class centre for advanced machining and materials research for aerospace and other high-value manufacturing sectors.

Launched in 2001, the AMRC has become a model for collaborative research centres worldwide and now boasts 75 partners, including Boeing and Rolls Royce. The AMRC has expanded to include the Nuclear AMRC, opened by HRH The Duke of York in May 2012, and the AMRC Training Centre which provides 250 apprenticeships to young people every year.

Research Director of the AMRC, Professor Keith Ridgway, CBE, said: “The fact that the University of Sheffield has overtaken Cambridge is a fantastic accolade. The AMRC plays a major role in attracting world class industrial partners to invest in the University and we’re committed to continuing the cutting edge work that puts Sheffield on the map.”

The latest HESA statistics mean that the University of Sheffield is now second only to Imperial College London in terms of engineering research income, putting Cambridge into third place. Recruitment for students at the University is stronger than it ever has been, with application numbers growing over the last 5 years and a 23 per cent rise this year.

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “Engineering is a real strength not only of the University of Sheffield but also of the city itself. Sheffield has a proud tradition of innovation in manufacturing, and the University’s research income underscores the confidence that industry and funders have in our exceptional capabilities in this area. It is also a source of real pride to us that the engineering research we carry out at the University in areas such as green energy, advanced manufacture and medical technologies bring enormous benefits to the local and national economy, as well as to individuals who are directly helped by the engineering solutions developed by us. ”

Additional information

The Faculty of Engineering

The AMRC with Boeing

Engineering in Sheffield

The Faculty of Engineering at the University of Sheffield - the 2011 Times Higher Education’s University of the Year - is one of the biggest and best engineering faculties in the UK. Its seven departments include over 4,000 of the brightest students and 900 staff, and have research-related income worth more than £50M per annum from government, industry and charity sources. Its research income recently overtook the University of Cambridge, confirming its status as one of the best institutions in the world to study engineering. The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) confirmed that two thirds of the research carried out was either Internationally Excellent or Internationally Leading.

The Faculty’s expertise is extensive – its academic departments and two interdisciplinary programme areas cover all the engineering disciplines. They are leaders in their fields and outstanding contributors to the development of new knowledge, with world-leading academics linking their research to the teaching of the engineers of tomorrow.

The Faculty has a long tradition of working with industry including Rolls-Royce, Network Rail and Siemens. Its industrial successes are exemplified by the award-winning Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and the new £25 million Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC).

The Faculty of Engineering is committed to ensuring students studying at Sheffield continue to benefit from world-class labs and teaching space through the provision of the University's new Engineering Graduate School. This brand new building, which will become the centre of the faculty´s postgraduate research and postgraduate teaching activities, will form the first stage in a 15 year plan to improve and extend the existing estate in a bid to provide students with the best possible facilities while improving their student experience.


For further information please contact:

Amy Stone
Media Relations Officer
The University of Sheffield
0114 222 1046