Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge

Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology
Established 1945 (1945)
Affiliation University of Cambridge
Head of Department Professor John Dennis
Academic staff
Undergraduates 200
Postgraduates 170
Location Cambridge, United Kingdom
52°12′33″N 0°05′09″E / 52.209208°N 0.085819°E / 52.209208; 0.085819Coordinates: 52°12′33″N 0°05′09″E / 52.209208°N 0.085819°E / 52.209208; 0.085819

The Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology (CEB) is one of the Departments at the University of Cambridge.

The department trains undergraduate students and conducts original research at the interfaces between engineering, chemistry, biology and physics. It conducts research in collaboration with industrial partners. Its research programmes encompass sustainable reaction engineering, chemical product and process design, healthcare, measurement, and materials science. It conducts biotechnology research with chemical engineering at the science-engineering interface.


In 1945, the University received an endowment from Shell for a chemical engineering department and chair. The first Shell Professor was T.R.C. Fox, appointed in 1946. The undergraduate Tripos course began in 1948. Professor P. V. Danckwerts was head of department from 1959 to 1975 and then Professor J F Davidson became Shell Professor and Head of department in 1975. He held the post until 1993 when he retired.

in 2008, the Department of Chemical Engineering merged with the Institute of Biotechnology to become the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology.[1]

Until 2017, the department's main centre of activity was the Shell building on Pembroke Street on the New Museums Site, to the south of Cambridge city centre. In 2017, the department moved over to a new building on Philippa Fawcett Drive on the West Cambridge site.

The building was officially opened by the Chancellor of the University, Lord Sainsbury of Turville, on 24 April 2018.[2]

Degrees offered

  • PhDs in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. Well qualified candidates may apply to do a three year research degree in subjects from Adsorption to Zeolites. The research groups are listed below. Some studentships are fully funded and these are advertised on
  • M.Phil. by research. This is a one year research course and many students who complete this MPhil then go on to study for a PhD.
  • M.Phil. in Advanced Chemical Engineering. This is a one year course that combines research and teaching and equips candidates for careers in industry, government and academia.
  • Master of Bioscience Enterprise. A biotechnology and business degree course that takes place from October to June.
  • M.Phil. in Biotechnology. This is a brand new course, starting in October 2018. It is an 11-month full-time programme, combining taught and research components.
  • BA/MEng.


To find out if you are eligible for a scholarship at the University of Cambridge, use the scholarship search tool:

Research groups

Research in the department is conducted by a number of research groups:


  1. "We've merged! — Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology". Retrieved 2018-05-21.
  2. "Official opening — Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology". University of Cambridge. 11 May 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
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