Engineering Mathematics celebrates 50 years

EMAT 50th Anniversary Event, University of Bristol

Engineering Mathematics Celebrates 50 Years

Once a small group teaching mathematics to engineers, now a fully-fledged discipline, we reflect on 50 years of Engineering Mathematics at the University of Bristol.

Engineering Mathematics combines mathematical theory with practical applications to help nurture students into true problem-solvers with excellent career prospects. The subject has played a significant role in advancing the field given its rich history that dates back to the university’s founding in 1909.

Offering an invaluable yet unique blend of data science, mathematical modelling, and general engineering, it is a subject specifically designed to solve industrial problems and address global challenges.

A vibrant and curious community

Having witnessed remarkable growth and transformation since its first official launch in the 1970s, Engineering Mathematics boasts a vibrant community and is now home to around 50 academic staff, attracting approximately 100 undergraduate students and a further 250 postgraduate students each year who delve into fascinating areas of aligned study like Robotics, Data Science, Engineering Mathematics, Financial Technology and Bio-Robotics.

Four decorative cakes to mark the occasion
Not one, but four celebration cakes to mark the occasion!

Beyond the classroom Engineering Mathematics has achieved numerous interdisciplinary research breakthroughs, particularly in areas like artificial intelligence, nonlinear science, and robotics.

A testament to its remarkable growth and in recognition of its thriving and proudly diverse community, Engineering Mathematics found its new home in 2020—a dedicated teaching and research facility known as the Ada Lovelace building. This exceptional space provides a haven for our passionate staff and students to collaborate closely on industrially relevant projects that demand the creation, solution, and effective communication of mathematical models.

A shared toast to 50 years

Guests enjoy game of Would I Lie To You
Guests were left in hysterics during a game of ‘Would I Lie To You’

Engineering Mathematics recently celebrated its significant milestone with a networking and showcase day, followed by a celebratory dinner against the stunning backdrop of the Will’s Memorial Building.

Uniting current and former students, including two alumni from the class of ‘81, staff and cherished friends joined together to share their personal journey into Engineering Mathematics, with some showcasing their revolutionary projects, from modelling cancer therapies to marine renewable energy, made possible by mathematics.

Staff, current students and alumni unite for a grand evening of celebrations at Wills Memorial Building
Staff, current students and alumni unite for a grand evening of celebrations at Wills Memorial Building

The daytime celebrations included presentations from alumni who have gone on to achieve wonderful things, a toast from the Dean of Engineering, a plenary speech on wind energy, and a visit from the University Vice-Chancellor. As a surprise treat, guests also enjoyed the hilarious game of ‘Would I Lie To You?’—a light-hearted reminder that learning can also be filled with laughter and camaraderie.

Looking to the future, Engineering Mathematics will continue to advance its position at the forefront of robotics, AI, and related fields, and we eagerly anticipate the remarkable opportunities and achievements that lie ahead for both our staff and students.

Here’s to 50 years!


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