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Why Choose Engineering?

When the pump stops working in rural Malawi it is a big deal, people nervously crowd around speculating hopefully that it is a mechanical fault, no one dares to mention the the harsh reality of the worse case, that it has dried up altogether. Luckily, there is one man in the village who can help, Francis the Engineer. Although he has no official training, single handedly he has brought water to scores of local villages through his ingenuity and hard graft. Painstakingly, through manual excavation and litres of sweat he perfected his own design of "elephant pump" using mud, rope, plastic bottles and bike tyres. As soon as he arrives on the scene the crowd parts, he scratches his head, takes off his trousers and hops into the well. The children peer down into the dark chasm and mass breath is released as the all clear is sounded - the rope has simply fallen off the pulley. Quickly order is resorted, a cheeky wink is fired off to me and my camera and the day carries on. Photo by A Rubinstein-Baylis.

Look around you. How much of what you see has been manufactured? Engineers are involved in the design and manufacture of (almost) everything from cars to computers, from web pages to widgets, from microchips to motorways. Many recent medical advances have been made as a result of work done by engineers: from brain scanners to the drug dispensers used by asthma sufferers. Engineers these days are also concerned with many important environmental and social issues: what is the best way to improve transportation and housing? How do you make recycling work efficiently?

If you want to be an informed member of society, able to understand modern technology as well as the infrastructure on which our society is built, then there can be no better training than that given to Cambridge engineers. Graduates of the Department have benefited from an education that enables them to make a real difference to the world outside while, at the same time, pursuing successful and rewarding careers.