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University projects

Helping young people be bold and inventive

Our donations to universities help to bridge the gap between academia and industry.

The Dyson Building at the Royal College of Art, UK.

By empowering students to take risks, experiment and solve problems, we can support tomorrow's budding engineers and entrepreneurs.

Sir James Dyson with a group of engineering students at the University of Cambridge.

University of Cambridge

A powerhouse of invention

An £8 million donation from the James Dyson Foundation has funded some of the world’s most advanced engineering facilities at the University of Cambridge. Students and academics now have the space and means they need to prototype, invent and collaborate on cutting-edge research.

THE DYSON CENTRE FOR ENGINEERING DESIGN The Dyson Centre for Engineering Design is the focal point for teaching Cambridge students about the design process, providing specialised printing machinery, scanners, lasers and routers. Among the diverse student-led projects in the centre are solar powered electric racing cars, vehicles engineered for arctic ice, quad-rotor drones and helium balloon spaceflight systems.   THE JAMES DYSON BUILDING The James Dyson Building is a four-story centre for postgraduate research. It supports world-leading research in areas including advanced materials, smart infrastructure and efficient internal combustion systems. 

"The research taking place in this building exists at the very cutting edge of engineering excellence. This will produce not only world-changing discoveries and inventions, but the future generations of engineers the world requires to address the major challenges of the 21st century."

Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz

Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge (2010 - 2017)

Students at Imperial College London showing Sir James Dyson their engineering project.



The Dyson School of Design Engineering at Imperial College London was funded by a £12 million donation from the James Dyson Foundation.

The school teaches a four-year Master of Engineering degree in Design Engineering. The curriculum, designed in partnership with Dyson engineers to ensure industry relevance, blends technical discipline with creativity. It challenges students to develop tangible and compelling products, as well as giving them the commercial know-how to make the products a commercial success.



From 2017, the Dyson School will be housed in a building bought by Imperial from the Science Museum. Flanked by the Science Museum and Imperial College London’s main campus, it's in the heart of London's South Kensington. Within just 100 metres are the Victoria and Albert and Natural History Museums, putting the Dyson School of Design Engineering in one of the world’s most visited cultural destinations.



On average, only 12.9% of applicants to engineering courses are female. By championing creativity as well as theory, the Dyson School of Design Engineering attracts a much higher percentage of females. In the first year of operation, 48% of all students at the Dyson School were female.

The Dyson Building at the Royal College of Art, UK.



Housing 40 business incubators for young designers and engineers, the Dyson Building at the Royal College of Art cultivates British inventors. With space for fledgling creative ventures, there's access to industry mentors and angel investors to help commercially realise these projects. The James Dyson Foundation donated £5m to the RCA to fund the building in Battersea, which is home to the printmaking and photography departments, studio space and a lecture theatre, as well as the incubator units.

"The RCA’s incubator units provide the right environment, resources and moral support for new start-up ideas at the time when they are most fragile. Now more than ever, the UK needs to create and export inventions the world wants to buy."

James Dyson

Chief Engineer

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