Oxford Brookes University Engineering

Oxford Brookes University LogoOxford Brookes University Engineering

The Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences provides a range of professionally accredited mechanical, automotive, motorsport, mathematical and statistical programmes of study. Our focus is to provide world class, high quality teaching and applied research so as to give our students an excellent experience.

We are very fortunate to be uniquely positioned in Oxfordshire at the centre of the ‘hub’ for clean automotive and related industries which enhances the work we do and provides further opportunities to students such as placements. For research and knowledge transfer, our ethos embodies the combining of fundamental science and market intelligence to create sustainable technologies and solutions for the real world minimising environment impact and delivering economic performance. This is then fed back into our research-led teaching and our track record in working with research councils and organisations such as BMW is exemplary.

We are situated on the Wheatley campus in a purpose-built £9m facility which is well equipped and is the envy of many local organisations and creates an environment in which technical expertise is enhanced by creativity and imagination. This promotes a friendly, close knit community of staff and students with excellent student support staff and facilities close at hand. The Department has around 700 students supported by experienced and well qualified academic and technical staff who also spend a significant proportion of their time working with outside organisations, many global, as practitioners in their discipline. For example, academics help Formula 1 Teams with the dynamics of racing cars or support medical specialists understand the statistics of epidemiological studies. This work is well funded by government and industry and our reputation is second to none. For example, we host the World Motorsport Symposium each year which attracts many of the leaders and famous participants of motor racing to our campus. We are proud that we can engage in local, regional, national and international agendas.

Our unique portfolio of programmes, which is research-led, develop practitioner skills and place students in a competitive position to secure their desired career path. We are distinctive in developing students to solve real-world problems and add value to their future organisations by identifying and then implementing solutions in a professional manner. We also seek to support student activity such as the Formula Student Team – Oxford Brookes Racing (OBR). Formula student is an annual competition in the UK where students design, build and then race their car at Silverstone. Our students also enter similar competitions in Michigan (USA) and Hockenheim (Germany). Our team is truly global and competes with over 800 universities. OBR has an impressive track record since its creation having won the competition and repeatedly holding a top flight position within the various competitions in the UK, USA and Germany. In all our programmes, we aim to equip our students with the specialist knowledge and skills, experience of latest technology and specialist software packages and to develop as individuals so as to leave us in a position to compete in a competitive employment market. This is recognised by many employers, especially in Formula 1, who recruit a significant number of our graduates. Many of our students also receive sponsorship and we are very privileged to receive support from organisations such as Santander. The Department is also proud of its achievement in widening participation and works in close partnership with a range of colleges in the region to support foundation degrees to ensure an equivalent student experience.

The Department is a major international centre for research, which as part of the Faculty of Technology Design and Environment, which offers a dynamic and stimulating environment for staff, students and visiting scholars. We participate in leading edge projects such as the MINI-E and advanced engine design and have been recognised for our research excellence. We are committed to promoting a sustainable future such as our work in developing a commercially available bamboo bike shows excellence in the emerging field of sustainable engineering. Uniquely, it shows how integrating engineering principles with nature can deliver an exciting and affordable product without consuming the Earth’s valuable resources. Inherent in all our activity is the value we place in partnerships with business and industry, because it not only helps us to do better teaching and research and provide learning opportunities such as student projects, but it allows us to add-value back into the economy. We are proud to have helped a range of companies through the Government’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership scheme and welcome new opportunities to support organisations big and small. Our offering includes services such as expert consultancy and materials testing to bespoke short courses. In short, whether it is teaching, research, knowledge transfer we strive to help students, staff and our partners reach their full potential.

Gareth Neighbour

Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences