Department of Engineering and Design

Celebrating 50 years of Engineering at Sussex

A Brief History

The first students entered Engineering at Sussex in 1965, from the School of Applied Science (AS) making 2015 Engineering’s 50th year.

April 24th 2015 was a day of celebration with past and current staff and students in attendance.

The day consisted of department tours, talks from current staff and culminated in Professor Robert Prance's inaugural lecture, this was followed by dinner attended by 120.

The full schedule of events, along with selected videos and photographs can be found below. Towards the bottom of this page is a short video which captures the day.

Schedule of Events
Guests Arrive at the Meeting House

Guests arrive for the day, with an opportunity to catch up with old associates

Research Groups and Talks - videos and photographs

Fulton Lectures

Gathering between lectures, viewing the displays based on information from The Keep and catching up on the evolution of the Department.

Presentations from the four Research Groups

Dr Julian Dunne introduced the various people within the Dynamics, Control, and Vehicle (DCV) Research Group, explaining what the DCV Group does, and the reasons why. He then went on to discuss a selection of nine current research projects. His presentation summarised the main focus of the Group, and highlighted current industrial collaborations.



Professor Chris Chatwin introduced the Industrial Informatics and Signal Processing (iisp) Research Group explaining what iisp Group does which includes medical image processing, fluorescence microscopy electrical impedance mammography, biometrics, and security systems for smart cities.

The presentation concentrated on major achievements by the Group including micro-stereolithography and the spinout company TexRAD which utilises medical image processing, and fluorescence microscopy.



Dr Daniel Roggen introduced the Sensor Technology Research Centre (STRC) including the five research areas: fundamentals of sensors, wearable technologies, flexible electronics, communications technologies, and extreme environment detectors. The presentation included examples of how combinations of the research within the Centre enables the invention and development of new sensors, and how they can lead to licensed technologies which result in new products which are beneficial to a wide user base. 

Sensor Technology Research Centre, Dr Daniel Roggen


The Thermo-Fluids Research Centre (TFMRC) Team summarised the history of TMFRC which was founded with an EPSRC grant in 1977. The continuous and significant industrial collaborations, including the current collaboration with GE Aviation, were discussed. The experimental and theoretical research into the aerodynamics and heat transfer inside jet engines was described. Examples included the specialist high speed engine representative rigs used in the development of the temperature field measurements on both stationary and rotating parts and sophisticated Large Eddy Simulations (LES) to study fuel droplets and combustion.



Pictures from the tours of student accomodation, the campus, mechanical engineering and electrical and electronic engineering.

Student Accommodation Tour

The Department's student ambassadors act as guides.

Mechanical Engineering Tour

Faculty take guests around the various departmental laboratories and workshops. In the Shawcross building they saw the Tribology Laboratory; in Richmond building the Engine Laboratories.

On arrival at John Clifford West's (JCW) building guests toured the Electrical Machines, Electronics, and Rapid Prototyping laboratories; and visited the Formula Student development area before walking over to the Thermo-fluid Mechanics Research Centre (TMFRC).

Professor Robert J Prance's Inaugural Lecture

Professor Robert Prance was made a Professor of Sensor Technology in 2009 and leads the Sensor Technology Research Centre in the Department of Engineering and Design. Professor Prance gave his lecture in the Jubilee Lecture Theatre, this was entitled

                                                    It's an Analogue World: Sensors in the Digital Age

                                                                   Video of lecture coming soon


The inaugural lecture was attended by alumni, faculty and current students. Introduced by the Head of School, Professor Diane Mynors, Professor Prance 'entertained' all in attendance with his interactive and engaging lecture. Professor Kenneth Grattan FREng of City University London, delivered the vote of thanks, at which point everybody gathered to celebrate and congratulate Professor Prance.

Post Lecture Gathering

After Professor Prance's inaugural lecture everyone continued to ask questions and discuss the lecture over drinks. Judging by the level of conversation the lecture clearly sparked much interest and debate.

Dinner Celebrating the 50th Anniversary

The 50th anniversary dinner took place on campus in Bramber House. The 120 guests were treated to a three course meal, and enjoyed vibrant conversation until late in the evening when the carriages arrived. Those that were unable to attend missed out on a sumptuous selection of food and wine. 



Grilled mackerel, pickled summer vegetables, corn chowder


Ratatouille and summer squash soup

Main Course

Pot roasted free range chicken breast, roasted vine cherry tomatoes and sauteed new potatoes


Pea and shallot tortellini, sauteed spinach an sage butter noi


Summer fruit pudding with vanilla ice cream

Coffee, tea and chocolates

Pictures of the Past

All former students are entitled to join the Alumni Network, if you wish to join the 140,000 Sussex Alumni worldwide, please visit the Alumni site to find out more. Provided below are some glances back in time.

Sussex in the sixties: a look back on our early years.

 Below watch the video of the day, this encapsulates all of the activities