From Cambridge to Capital: the Trinity Hall London Lecture Series

Date & timeThursday, 9 May 6:00pm - 8:00pm
LocationRoyal Academy of Engineering, 3 Carlton House Terrace, St. James's, London, SW1Y 5DG
Cost£10 per head
Booking closing date Wednesday, 1 May 12:00pm
Dress code No dress code
Event type Lecture and drinks reception

Booking for this event has now closed

Please contact to make a booking enquiry

‘Engineering an Olympic Sport’ by Professor Tony Purnell (TH Fellow)

The first of the London Lecture Series ‘From Cambridge to Capital’ will feature Professor Tony Purnell, Head of Technical Development at British Cycling and Fellow-Commoner in Engineering at Trinity Hall. The title of his lecture is ‘Engineering an Olympic Sport’.

You are invited to join us from 6pm for a drinks reception which will be followed by the lecture at 6.30pm. The lecture will last approximately 45 minutes with an opportunity for Q&A at the end. Further drinks and nibbles will be served until approximately 8pm.

Lecture summary

Improved technology has probably benefited cycling more than any other sport in terms of increasing speed and setting new records. This talk will give a whirlwind tour of how an engineering approach has led to this improvement in speed. Tony will also tell some stories of how his background in Formula One has helped with his approach to the Olympic cycling events.


Professor Tony Purnell FRSA is the Head of Technical Development at British Cycling, where he works across all aspects of technology – from improving data analysis to assisting the coaches with the development of organisational software and tools to optimise rider performance. He is also a Fellow-Commoner in Engineering at Trinity Hall Cambridge.

Tony studied Mechanical Engineering at Manchester University before going to MIT as a Kennedy Scholar to do his Masters. He then returned to the UK to work as a researcher at the University of Cambridge working on wind tunnel analysis software.

He founded Pi Research (and its later spin-off Pi Technology) which was sold in the late 90s. From 2002 to 2006 he was Team Principal of the Jaguar, and then Red Bull, F1 teams. He then worked as a Technical and Strategic Adviser for the FIA (the governing body for motor racing) between 2006 – 2010, before taking up his current post.

Booking and cost

The cost is £10 per head and guests are welcome to attend. Online booking has now closed. Please contact to make a late booking enquiry.

Guest list

The guest list is now available to view online, please click here. Please note that login to will be required and only Trinity Hall members will appear on the list.


The lecture will take place at the Royal Academy of Engineering located at 3 Carlton House Terrace, St. James’s, London, SW1Y 5DG

Dress code

There is no dress code for this event.


We like to take photos at our alumni events to use in our digital and print communications. If you do not wish to have your photo taken, please let us know in advance or on the day.


We are able to offer refunds for bookings cancelled five working days or more before an event. Requests for late refunds will be considered on an individual basis and refunds will be issued at the discretion of the Alumni & Development Office. We cannot accept responsibility if weather or disruption to travel prevents you from attending. Please email or contact +44 (0)1223 332550 at the earliest opportunity if you need to cancel a booking.


If you have any queries, please contact Emma Grieveson on or call +44 (0)1223 332550.