This Address is concerned with the work carried out by an engineering academic at The Queen's University of Belfast over the last 26 years. It describes the motivation which impelled the author towards a career in mechanical engineering and into a specialist field from which he has never strayed. It describes research and development into the design of the two-stroke cycle engine, which today is identified as a potential candidate for automobile powerplant production within the decade. At the same time the Address illustrates that much of this research and development, including the design, manufacture, build, test, and development of prototype automotive engines, has been heavily contributed to by both undergraduate and postgraduate students as part of their education and training at the university. It is contended that this approach is a vital component of a relevant university education and training for student and academic alike.