IfM student projects for companies

Industrial projects relating to the taught course modules on IfM education programmes are enduringly successful and popular with students and companies alike. Not only do the students gain vital industry experience and a chance to develop their problem solving skills, the companies involved have the benefit of high-calibre graduates consulting free-of-charge on challenging business issues.


How does it work? 

Host companies develop a brief in conjunction with IfM staff outlining a real world problem they wish the students to work on.  The students are typically based on site at the host organisation and, at the end of the project, present their findings and recommendations to the company and follow up with a short written report. IfM staff supervise the projects, guiding students where necessary and signposting to useful resources, and they endeavour to ensure that the project is mutually beneficial.


Read about a student project delivered at Titan Motorsport 



Previous host companies

Rolls-Royce (Derby); Jaguar Land Rover (Solihull); Johnson Controls (Burton-on-Trent); Caterpillar (Leicester); Carl Zeiss (Cambridge); Bakkavör (Spalding); Twinings (Andover); Unilever Marmite (Burton on Trent);  Heraeus Noblelight (Cambridge); Eltek Data Loggers (Cambridge); Aston Martin (Gaydon); Domino Printing Sciences (Cambridge); Akzo Nobel (Sudbury); SMD Textiles (Preston); Visual Planet (Cambridge); LeylandTrucks (Leyland); Sika (Welwyn Garden City); Natural Instinct (Camberley);Leonardo (Yeovil); Hermann Miller (Melksham); Kohler Mira (Cheltenham); Titan Motorsport (St Neots).


"MET provides employees who have a sound grasp of engineering but also understand the business context and can hit the deck running much faster than many other students I have experienced."

Gareth Davies, Rolls Royce plc



Project dates and themes:

MET industrial projects - there are three project periods:-

  • MET Manufacturing systems
    • October-November: 2 weeks, 2 students per project
  • MET Manufacturing business systems and strategy
    • January–February, February-March: 4 weeks, 4 students per project
  • MET Problem solving industrial project
    • April–June: 6 weeks, 1 student per project


ISMM project work - there are four project periods:-


  • P1 Industrial Systems & Manufacturing Processes projects
    • December: 2 students per project
  • P2 Industrial Systems & Manufacturing Processes projects
    • January: 2 students per project
  • P3 Entrepreneurship projects
    • January–March: 4 students working on the project every Thursday between these dates
  • P4 Innovation & Strategy projects
    • March: 2 students per project



IfM education programmes

The projects make valuable contributions to the learning of students undertaking an MPhil in Industrial Systems, Manufacture and Management (ISMM) or those in their final (4th) year of the Manufacturing Engineering Tripos (MET) which leads to an MEng qualification.


  • MET (undergraduate) integrates management, business and interpersonal skills with engineering knowledge and industrial engagement.

  • ISMM (postgraduate) prepares graduates from numerate disciplines for fast track careers in industry through an intensive programme of taught modules and industrial projects.Find out more 


Students will typically undertake the project at a company location, which for practical purposes needs to be based in the UK. The costs associated with student accommodation and travel to locations away from the Cambridge area are met by the course (with the exception of the MET 6 week project where companies would be expected to cover student costs).



All project opportunities listed here are undertaken as part of taught academic courses delivered by the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), which is part of the University of Cambridge Department of Engineering.

For further information please contact:

IfM Enquiries

T: +44 (0)1223 766141


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