Alec Nigel Broers

Still, it is hard to keep a good man down, as they say, and so it was not long before in 1992 Alec Broers found himself back at the helm, as Head of Department following Jacques Heyman's ten year stint. He therefore found himself bearing the brunt of the work that the change to a four year course entailed. Apart from anything else, about forty new members of staff were appointed during his time as Head. The University had assigned thirteen new posts to implement the new Tripos and the filling of these posts had coincided with an intense period of turn-over. There were large fields of outstanding candidates for all of these posts and interviewing became a major occupation.

One mark of Alec Broer's and Jacques Heyman's vision at this time was that the University decided to set up a School of Technology for the purposes of administration and distribution of the University's resources. Until this point, the Department of Engineering had been grouped in the School of Physical Sciences for administrative purposes, as somewhat of a poor relation. The establishment of a School of Technology that was to include Chemical Engineering, the Computer Laboratory and the Judge Institute of Management Studies, was a mark of how things had changed. It marked, in effect, the coming of age of the subject and recognition of the importance of the Department within the University.

This fantastically successful appointment was not to last for long however as Professor Broers was called to higher things in 1996 when he was appointed Vice Chancellor to the University, the first time that such a post has been held by an engineer. Those early opponents of the study of engineering at Cambridge in the late nineteenth century must be turning in their graves.