Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

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The Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology has an outstanding reputation for interdisciplinary collaborations across the fields of chemistry, physics, mathematics, clinical medicine and biology.

Its scientists work with industry leaders and entrepreneurs to develop innovative solutions to a range of global challenges, from finding new ways to create sustainable energy and conserve the environment to developing novel healthcare technologies to diagnose and combat disease.

The Department was formed by the merger of the Department of Chemical Engineering, and the Institute of Biotechnology in 2008.  Following a £60 million investment by the University, the Department moved into a new state-of-the-art building in 2016. This brought the whole cycle of scientific investigation in chemical engineering and biotechnology, and its teaching and commercialisation, together under one roof. 

Located on the West Cambridge site, the University’s science and engineering campus, the Department is perfectly placed to maximise links with a number of other faculties, including Physics at the new Cavendish Laboratory, the Computer Science Laboratory, the Institute for Manufacturing and Cambridge Enterprise.  

Our research projects are pioneering advances that contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with a key focus on:

  • Developing accessible, affordable and sustainable healthcare for all 
  • Providing renewable energy solutions and increasing the energy efficiency of our devices, systems and processes
  • Reducing humanity’s environmental impact, on an individual and industrial level, and empowering communities to effect change through citizen science
  • Harnessing the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence to develop truly sustainable processes

In addition to advancing the University’s world-leading research, a core objective of West Cambridge is to support the commercialisation of knowledge through entrepreneurship and collaboration with industry, capitalising on the University’s location within one of Europe’s largest technology clusters. Here, top scientific and entrepreneurial minds can come together in a well-connected research and development environment, designed to promote scientific innovation. 

To fully exploit the breadth of opportunity this presents, the Department is seeking support for:

  • A cohort of academic posts specialising in the following areas:
    - Accessible healthcare technology 
    - Clean energy
    - Sustainable processes
  • Studentships at Masters and PhD level
  • Development of eLearning resources and course development
  • Funds to support outreach to citizens, schools, and underrepresented groups

Support for these important additions will accelerate and strengthen the Department’s delivery of tangible benefits to society, from finding solutions to grand challenges to training the sustainable development leaders of tomorrow and boosting the local and national economy. Our commitment is to apply research for the benefit of society. We hope you will join us.

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The John Davidson Fund

Professor John Davidson

Professor John Davidson (1926-2019), known as the 'founding father of fluidisation in chemical engineering', was a hugely influential figure in the fields of fluid flow, process dynamics, gas absorption and fluidisation technology. He was passionate about chemical engineering teaching and learning, and an important role model to generations of students, researchers, and industry leaders.

The Department is launching the Davidson Fund to honour John's life and celebrate his distinguished work and achievements, by supporting our students' academic activities. The chemical engineers and scientists of the future will then be equipped to deliver high-quality research to tackle the toughest global challenges and develop sustainable and innovative technology solutions.

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Contact us

Alternatively, to discuss your philanthropic goals or explore opportunities for collaborative investment, please contact:

Victoria Thompson

Head of Development — Technology

This opportunity is part of

The School of Technology is concerned with the development of new technologies and processes to improve the quality of life of society as a whole.