Rod Smith, FREng, Vice President of the IMechE, Head of Mechanical Engineering 2000-2005

Nick Cumpsty, FREng, Head of Mechanical Engineering 2005-2007

Tony Kinloch, FREng, FRS, Head of Mechanical Engineering 2007-2012

Peter Cawley, FREng, FRS, Head of Mechanical Engineering 2012-2019

Mike Lowe, FREng, Head of Mechanical Engineering 2019 onwards



The teaching workshop includes facilities for CNC machining, additive manufacturing and laser cutting. The four year MEng degree is established as one of the top ranked Mechanical Engineering qualifications in the UK.


The Department now comprises three divisions; Applied Mechanics, Mechanics of Materials and Thermofluids.

Strength of Materials was renamed Mechanics of Materials; research in the area of fracture-mechanics led to multiple international standards and codes being published, whilst the new field of metal forming was developed. Two major collaborations with China, AVIC and BIAM, were launched. The Non-Destructive Evaluation group evolved out of Dynamics, focusing on inspection and monitoring across a range of industrial applications, leading to the creation of several successful spin-out companies. Tribology now hosts two UTCs, funded by Shell and SKF. New areas of research include fire science, biomechatronics, mechatronics in medicine and thermal hydraulics.

Meanwhile, in London...

London hosted the Olympics in 2012, becoming the first city to do so three times. The Triathlon took place in Hyde Park and the Swiss team used the Ethos sports centre as a training base. The current Main Entrance on Exhibition Road was opened in 2004. The 1960s Southside Halls were upgraded and reopened in 2007. The College withdrew from the University of London in 2006. From this point on PhD theses were published in purple rather than blue binding.

Main entrance

Illustration of Imperial's new main entrance designed by Foster & Partners

Olympic Symbol on the Tower Bridge

Olympic symbol on the Tower Bridge

New Royal charter

The new Royal Charter of Imperial College London as an independent institution, granted by The Queen under the Great Seal, which came into effect on 8 July 2007

Tribology alumni in Japan

A reunion of Tribology alumni in Japan with Professor Hugh Spikes, 2015

Photo credits:

Illustration of Imperial's main entrance by Kelly Stewart

Photo of Tower Bridge by Flickr user David Iliff, used under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 

Image of Royal Charter from Reporter- Issue 180

Photo of Tribology alumni in Japan from departmental archives