SOUE News Issue 11

24 Years of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Courses in Engineering

Will Moore

The Department's CPD activity may not be very well known to you but we have been involved with the Department for Continuing Education in running Engineering CPD courses since 1989. During this time we have been run over 350 CPD courses varying from one to five days in length and have taught more than 7,000 "students". In addition, many of the courses have been run "in-house", tailored to customers' specific requirements.

Because of the pressure on research excellence, it has always been difficult to persuade my busy colleagues to teach on CPD courses and from the outset a majority of our lecturers have been recruited from outside Oxford. Our ability to bring in experts from other universities, from industry and from abroad has turned out to be a particular strength of the programme that clearly distinguishes us from CPD programmes in other UK universities.

The majority of our courses are in the Electronics and in the Telecoms fields. The flagship on the Electronics side is a world-beating group of courses on High Speed Digital Design with an emphasis on Signal Integrity and EMC issues. The combination of first-rate lecturers who have a clear grasp of the theoretical foundations and immense practical experience has proved to be a winning formula bringing students back year after year. EMC first appeared on the programme in 1993 and Howard Johnson, US Signal Integrity Consultant and EDN columnist, who joined the programme in 1994, has been attracting big classes in every year since.

From the early days, a major emphasis of the Telecoms courses has been on important and upcoming developments in Mobile Technologies such as HSPA & LTE. Naturally the programme has to evolve every year to reflect this fast-changing field and this is ensured by recruiting world-leading consultants from international research labs such as Nokia to teach at Oxford. A relatively recent development has been "ForumOxford", which facilitates online communication between those people most active in the Mobile arena. The Future Technologies Conference in October provides a vibrant face-to-face version of ForumOxford.

These state-of-the-art courses are supported also by a number of foundation courses for those new or returning to Electronics or Telecoms and other Engineering-related courses in the areas of Nanotechnology and Management & Business Skills.

We are always on the lookout for topical new courses and inspiring lecturers in order to ensure a flourishing programme, so please let me know if you have a suggestion!

Details of the current programme can be found at [And note that SOUE members qualify for a 20% discount!]

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