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Graduate students, Department of Engineering


Postgraduate students are represented on some of the key committees in the department, as well as at local levels. We encourage students to get involved in conversations with the postgraduate reps, and to consider standing for rep positions themselves.

Postgraduate Representative nominations

New postgraduate reps are elected on an annual basis, near the beginning of the academic year. Information on how to stand and how to vote is circulated to all students by email. The role is most suited to students in their second or third years. Representatives are elected during Michaelmas Term, and each rep is elected for a one year term, from January to December.

Each division has one Postgraduate Division Rep, and all Division Reps are members of the department's Graduate Education Committee and are expected to attend its three meetings a year. In addition, reps are asked to volunteer to attend at least two or three meetings per year of any of the committees below, during the year that they serve. Requests for volunteers to attend meetings will be circulated along with meeting dates throughout the year, as the GSO is informed of these.

  • Student-Staff Joint Committee
  • Diversity Committee
  • Library Committee
  • Safety Committee
  • Centre for Languages and Inter-Communication Committee

In addition to the above, there is also a postgraduate research student member of the Engineering Faculty Board. Nominations and elections for this take place during Michaelmas, and are organised by the Cambridge Students' Union.

The graduate reps form a network, and are expected to meet regularly to coordinate joint initiatives and share information about any relevant business from the departmental committeess. One of the graduate reps will volunteer to act as a "rep of reps", to facilitate this (usually the Faculty Board rep). They may also liaise with the graduate taught course reps, and/or the undergraduate reps. The graduate reps network is asked to write a termly report for the Graduate Education Committee, to update key staff on their activities.


Graduate students in Engineering are represented by the student representatives on most of the main committees which consider matters that may impact on graduate students. With the exception of the Degree Committee, all of the committees described below have graduate student representation.

Engineering Degree Committee

Chair: Joan Lasenby  Secretary: Rachel MacDonald

The Engineering Degree Committee represents both the Department of Engineering and the Department of Chemical Engineering, and comprises members from both departments. The full terms of reference of degree committees can be found in the University's Statutes and Ordinances. Much of the business of the meetings involves reviewing examiners reports and making recommendations or decisions on awarding of degrees. Other high level graduate student business is also considered, such as new course proposals and changes to student regulations.

Degree Committee meeting dates 2023-24

23 October 2023

27 November 2023

15 January 2024

26 February 2024

22 April 2024

20 May 2024

24 June 2024

23 September 2024

Graduate Education Committee

Chair: Joan Lasenby  Secretary: Ronald Collinson

The Graduate Teaching Committee considers departmental-level business pertaining to graduate students. Membership consists of academic staff from the six divisions in the department, as well as a couple of taught course directors, a member of library staff, the researcher development coordinator and student representatives from both taught and research programmes. Business considered at meetings includes matters relating to taught modules and courses, researcher development and admissions, along with ad hoc business that arises from time to time. The meeting has both reserved and unreserved sections, with some confidential matters being considered without student reps being present.

Taught Courses Committee

Chair: Joan Lasenby  Secretary: Ronald Collinson

Further information coming soon.

Faculty Board

The Faculty Board is statutorily responsible to the General Board, via its Education Committee, for ensuring that teaching within the Department is appropriate and of a high standard. It meets twice a term to receive information, advice and recommendations from University-level bodies and from various subcommittees within the Department.

Student Staff Joint Committee

The remit of the SSJC is to contribute to the continuous improvement of the quality of all aspects of the undergraduate Engineering course, including teaching, examinations, administration and facilities. As graduate students are often involved in the teaching of undergraduates (through acting as demonstrators and supervisors), there is a graduate student representative on the committee.

Diversity Committee

The Diversity Commmittee is committed to coordinating initiative that work towards improving equality and diversity in the department, as well as constructing applications for the Athena SWAN award. The Engineering Department currently holds a Silver Award.

Library Committee

Chair: Colm Durkan

Library Committee plays an advisory and advocacy role regarding the Library in its support of teaching, learning, and research at the Department of Engineering. The meetings discuss strategic priorities and departmental requirements for library and information service, the development of new and ongoing services, resources and facilities, and provide feedback on new resource recommendations that feed into University wide Committees for resource acquisition (Currently Journal Coordination Scheme Steering Committee and Accessions Committee). Committee members are expected to gather and represent the views of their communities and act as advocates for the library.

Safety Committee

The purpose of the Departmental Safety Committee is to assist and advise the Head of Department on planning, prioritisation and implementation of measures to manage the safety risks of departmental activities. The committee meets four times (usually out of term time) in each academic year, so approximately at three month intervals.

Membership consist of academic staff from the six divisions in the department, our three specialist Safety Officers (Laser/Radiation/Biological), Safety Office, Teaching Office, Building and Estates Services, technician and administrative representatives, graduate student representatives and Trade Union (TU) appointed safety representatives. The Chair is appointed by the Head of Department and from time to time the committee may invite additional persons to attend meetings who have special expertise in a subject to be discussed.