Student Profiles

To help paint a picture of life at King's, here are some profiles from various members of our Engineering community.

Russ MacMillan, 2001

A King's engineering graduate who recently joined the MoD's Science and Engineering Fast Stream Development Programme was declared Best Mechanical Engineering Student at the 2005 SET Awards held in Guildhall, London.

Judged by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, his project, Analysis and Automation of a DEFRA blood test programme, was found to be a superb piece of work. The judges said: "Russell demonstrated tremendous commitment in bringing to fruition such a challenging project... He showed outstanding understanding of all requirements, including appreciation of technical, financial and human issues well beyond his years".

The SET Awards are Britain's most important awards for science and technology undergraduates, supported by British Industry, and Britain's leading scientific and technical institutions.


Sek Tan, 2002

Applying to King's from Perth, Western Australia, was a relatively simple process involving one or two forms and registering with UCAS. I had spoken to the admissions staff at King's just prior to applying to inquire about how my application would be treated – I was assured that there would be no difference when it came to the selection process!

Although the Australian education system follows a very broad curriculum through to the final year of school (in my final two years I studied Economics, Political & Legal Studies, English Literature, Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Music), I found that this did not disadvantage me at the interview. I had the opportunity to explore areas of physics unfamiliar to me, and pushed to consider new ways of looking and solving various engineering problems. The whole experience felt more like a conversation and a joint effort with my interviewers than a test.

Spending the third year of my studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) under the Cambridge-MIT Institute (CMI) Exchange program was a terrific opportunity and an unparalleled learning opportunity. The two institutions are different in many ways, but their strengths are very complementary. Healthy relationships and alliances in research, teaching, innovation and entrepreneurship have been forged and King's is very supportive of CMI and the exchange program for its students.

Mark Hancock, 2003

The first club I joined when I got here was the boat club. I bypassed the novice boats that most first years row in and rowed in the first boat instead as I had already rowed before I came to King's. The training schedule is ok, though I have to be up at 6am most mornings. You get used to this after a while and I love being in the boat when everyone else is asleep! It's all worth it in the end as well, as against tradition, we've actually won some stuff recently. There's plenty of social stuff going on as well and it's easy to get involved with the running of the club. Finally, all this training culminates in the Bumps, and with over 150 years of history, it's the most exciting form of racing I know!

Kings' Engineering Partygoer

Staff profiles

Professor John Young

John Young is originally from Birmingham where he attended school, before studying Engineering Sciences at Christchurch College, Oxford. He then returned to Birmingham to undertake a Ph.D at the University of Birmingham investigating the thermo-fluid mechanics involved in turbines. After post-doctoral work in Birmingham, John moved to the Whittle lab in Cambridge. Since 1977 he has been a fellow of King's College, where he has been involved with teaching undergraduates, alongside his continuing research. In 1998 he was appointed to the Hopkinson and ICI Chair of applied Thermodynamics in the Engineering Department. The close relationship between his research in turbomachinery and industrial use has led to many close links with major industry players such as PowerGen and Rolls-Royce. While continuing research into turbomachinery, John continues to investigate fundamental areas of thermodynamics and fluid mechanics, which are put to great use in his thermofluids supervisions for second year engineers from King's.

Dr Cesare Hall

Chez is the newest Engineering fellow at King's, and is based at the Whittle lab on the outskirts of Cambridge. Prior to his appointment as a University Lecturer and Fellow of King's he worked in the turbine engineering and compressions systems departments of Rolls-Royce. This work was based round design and development of new and existing jet engines. Chez continues to have close ties with Rolls-Royce through their involvement with work in the Whittle Lab and his research which involves investigating the environmental effects of aviation, the design of aero-engines and novel jet engine configurations. Currently Chez is heavily involved in the Silent Aircraft initiative, a multidisciplinary project encompassing over 30 researchers both here and also at MIT, along with collaborators at other universities and companies such as Boeing and NASA. Its aim is to produce a conceptual design for a quiet passenger aircraft for future use, and has attracted considerable interest in the press.