Institute for Manufacturing

Institute for Manufacturing IfM
Established 1998
Head Professor Andy Neely
Location Alan Reece Building, 17 Charles Babbage Road, Cambridge, CB3 0FS, UK
52°12′34″N 0°05′12″E / 52.2095°N 0.0867°E / 52.2095; 0.0867Coordinates: 52°12′34″N 0°05′12″E / 52.2095°N 0.0867°E / 52.2095; 0.0867
Affiliations Cambridge University Engineering Department
Website Official Website

Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) is part of the Cambridge University Engineering Department. The IfM integrates research and education with practical application in industry. It disseminates its research findings via a University-owned knowledge transfer company, IfM ECS.

All areas of the IfM work closely with industry. Research is undertaken in collaboration with companies, ensuring its relevance to industrial needs and the rapid dissemination of new ideas and approaches. The IfM’s education programmes combine a thorough grounding in management and manufacturing technology with the chance to put theory into practice via industry-based projects.

Its interests encompass a broad range of manufacturing activities, from understanding markets and technologies, through process and product design to production and supply chain operations and through-life services; all within an economics and policy context. As well, it has several groups working on technological aspects of manufacturing.


The IfM Alan Reece building on the University's West Cambridge Site. Previously, the Institute occupied the former Cambridge University Press building in Mill Lane. The IfM moved to a large, custom building in West Cambridge, in June 2009.[1]


The IfM's research is carried out within 15 main research prorgammes, each concentrating on a particular theme, and covering the full spectrum of technology, management and policy issues. Research is typically multi-disciplinary, and research projects frequently involve more than one centre. Typically co-ordinated in collaboration with industry, the research develops practical techniques for companies to improve their strategies, operations and technologies. the findings are disseminated through courses, conferences, workbooks and direct services to industry.


Education programmes are widely valued for the comprehensive grounding they provide in engineering, management and economic principles. Students benefit from contact with world-class researchers as well as with experienced industrial professionals. Company-based projects are a significant feature of the programmes, enabling students to apply what they have learned to real industrial problems.


Its undergraduate programme is known as 'MET' (Manufacturing Engineering Tripos). The course forms the final two years of the University of Cambridge Engineering degree. MET integrates management, business and interpersonal skills with engineering and manufacturing knowledge and industrial engagement. The programme's core is combined with opportunities to put theory into practice via student projects.


Postgraduate courses are the twelve month MPhil courses on 'Industrial Systems Manufacture and Management' (ISMM). Students spend more than half the course in companies in the UK or mainland Europe. Participants can select modules in either manufacturing processes or technology and innovation management.


The IfM also has a large number of PhD students following research degrees covering management, technology and policy issues.

MRes and PhD in Ultra Precision

The IfM hosts the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Ultra Precision and offers programmes in many advanced ultra precision technologies.

Executive and Professional Development

Developing a range of tailored and open courses based on research carried out at the Institute for Manufacturing.

IfM Education and Consultancy Services

IfM Education and Consultancy Services Ltd (IfM ECS) is a university-owned company, embedded within the IfM and responsible for the IfM’s knowledge transfer and dissemination activities. IfM ECS involves a team of experienced industrial professionals who are an integral part of the Institute but who have professional rather than academic expertise. They work closely with IfM research centres to ensure a seamless exchange of ideas between industry and the University. They engage with companies via a programme of education and consultancy services, short courses and events. Projects range from small-scale operational improvements for local companies[2] to major business realignment of multi-national corporations, and the public sector[3]

This provides a rapid dissemination route for new ideas and approaches and helps to inform and fund future research. The integration of education, research and service activities within a combined industrial and academic community allows the IfM to bridge the traditional gap between research and industry while providing a rich learning environment for its students.


  1. "IfM provide SMEs in the East of England with a £2.25m boost". The Manufacturer. Retrieved 2012-10-12.
  2. "High value manufacturing strategy now published". Technology Strategy Board. Retrieved 2012-05-12.
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