Gordon Williams, Head of Mechanical Engineering 1990-2000, FREng, FRS


The Rolls-Royce Vibration UTC (University Technology Centre) was founded in 1990, focusing on vibration issues in aerospace and power generation. The Medical Robotics group created the first robot to move human tissue in an operating theatre in 1991. New approaches for non-linear and elastic-plastic fracture-mechanics were identified and applied to a range of materials from adhesives, polymers and composites for automotive applications to titanium and steels for aerospace applications.

Early email systems such as Telenet, NUPop and Eudora were in use by the early 1990s. 

Meanwhile, In London...

London’s skyline was changed forever by distinctive buildings and developments such as Canary Wharf, the Millennium Dome, and the London Eye. England hosted the European Football championships in the summer of 1996, with the final at Wembley. In 1994 the Channel Tunnel was completed, described by the American Society of Engineers as one of seven Modern Wonders of the World.


Academics from the department in front of the Queen's Tower, 1990s

Brian Davies

Professor Brian Davies with an automated manufacturing cell for real-time control of the bonding of Jaguar sports cars, Centre for Robotics and Automated System (CROBAS), 1990

CAGB concourse fan

Fan donated by Rolls-Royce in 2007 to the department to celebrate the Rolls-Royce VUTC and the Imperial centenary

London Eye

When the London Eye (also known as the Millennium Wheel) opened to the public, it was the world's tallest Ferris wheel.

Students in front of the Queen's Tower, 1990s

Students in front of the Queen's Tower, 1990s

Photo credits:

CROBAS photo courtesy of Professor Brian Davies

Photo of the CAGB Level 2 concourse fan by Nadia Barbu

Photo of the London Eye by Dave Guttridge

1990s photos of academics and students from the departmental archives