Cranfield University

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Cranfield University
Cranfield University Crest
Former names
Cranfield Institute of Technology, College of Aeronautics, Silsoe College, Royal Military College of Science
Motto Latin: Post Nubes Lux;
"Out of darkness, light"[1]
Established 1993 - gained University Statutes by Royal Charter
1969 - Cranfield Institute of Technology incorporated by Royal Charter
1946 - College of Aeronautics
Type Public
Chancellor Baroness Young of Old Scone
Vice-Chancellor Sir Peter Gregson [2]
Visitor HRH The Duke of Kent
Administrative staff
Students 4,150 (2014/15)[3]
Undergraduates Nil - postgraduate only
Postgraduates 4,150 (2014/15)[3]
Location Cranfield, Bedfordshire
Shrivenham, Oxfordshire
Campus Rural (both)
Affiliations ACU, PEGASUS

Cranfield University is a British postgraduate and research-based university specialising in science, engineering, technology and management.[4] It contains two campuses; the main campus is at Cranfield, Bedfordshire, and the second is the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom at Shrivenham, southwest Oxfordshire. The main campus is unique in the United Kingdom for having an operational airport (Cranfield Airport) next to it. The airport facilities are used by Cranfield University's own aircraft in the course of aerospace teaching and research.


File:2008 05 28 Cranfield Health from Library.jpg
The new School, 'Cranfield Health' prior to official opening, May 2008, viewed from the Library

College of Aeronautics

The university was formed in 1946 as the College of Aeronautics, on the former Royal Air Force base of RAF Cranfield,[5] which opened in 1937. Together with other individuals, Stafford Cripps was instrumental in the foundation of the original college in 1946, from which the university developed. The Vice-Chancellor's building is known as "Stafford-Cripps".

Between 1955 and 1969 a period of diversification took place. In 1967 the college presented the Privy Council with a petition for the grant of a Royal Charter along with a draft charter for a new institution to be called Cranfield Institute of Technology.

Institute of Technology

The Cranfield Institute of Technology was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1969, giving the institution its own degree-awarding powers.

Since then the former National College of Agricultural Engineering established at Silsoe near Luton, Bedfordshire, in the 1960s, was incorporated. This was relocated to the Cranfield campus and closed for teaching undergraduates in 2007 whilst retaining some postgraduate courses.[6]

An academic partnership with the Royal Military College of Science (RMCS) at Shrivenham was formed in 1984. RMCS, whose roots can be traced back to 1772, is now a part of the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom and now forms the Defence College of Management and Technology, known as 'DCMT' and from 2009 as "Cranfield Defence and Security". RMCS became wholly postgraduate in c.2007 with undergraduate courses moved elsewhere.

University status

In 1993 the institution's Royal Charter was amended to change its name to Cranfield University.

In 2003, the then RMCS site admitted its last undergraduates.[7]

In 2006, it was decided that activities on the Silsoe site would be relocated to the main campus at Cranfield. As a result, a substantial building programme was undertaken on Cranfield campus, including the provision of departmental buildings and additional accommodation (Stringfellow and Chilver Halls), and Silsoe-based staff were transferred to Cranfield.

Location and campus

Cranfield University Library

Cranfield campus is approximately 50 miles (80 km) north of central London and adjacent to the village of Cranfield,[8] Bedfordshire. The nearest large towns are Milton Keynes and Bedford, the centres of which are both about 8 miles (13 km) away. Cambridge is about 30 miles (48 km) east.

Shrivenham is about 73 miles (117 km) west of London, adjacent to Shrivenham village, 7 miles (11 km) from the centre of the nearest town, Swindon, and around 23 miles (37 km) from Oxford.

Bedford, Milton Keynes, Oxford and Swindon all have fast rail services to central London termini, good access to the main motorway network and London Heathrow airport.

Technology Park

There are a number of companies located on the Cranfield University Technology Park ranging from large international companies to small start-ups. Major companies on the park include:

  • The Nissan Technical Centre[9] Europe, which designs and develops cars for the European market. The NTC Europe facility occupies 19,700 square metres (0.0076 square miles) of the Technology Park, representing an investment of £46m by Nissan.
  • Invar Systems Limited,[10] a major supplier of Warehouse Control Systems and Warehouse Management Systems to clients in the UK, Europe and USA. The company occupies modern air-conditioned offices with excellent facilities for clients and staff.
  • Trafficmaster plc[11] occupies a 10-acre (40,000 m2) site for its European Headquarters. A leading company in telematics, Trafficmaster's advanced technology enables cars and roads to be used more efficiently.
  • Innovation Centre: the Technology Park is also the location for a large number of smaller companies.

An extension to the Technology Park was completed in 2008. A new Aerospace Park on the north-eastern part of the campus is planned.

Organisation and governance

The academic schools are:

  • School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing, known as SATM, incorporating the original College of Aeronautics, has a wide range of experimental research facilities for masters and doctoral students and commercial clients;
  • School of Management, known as SoM;
  • School of Energy, Environment and Agrifood, known as SEEA;
  • Cranfield Defence and Security known as CDS, at Shrivenham (formerly the Defence College of Management and Technology/Royal Military College of Science);

Cranfield Health, opened in 2008, was later absorbed into the other schools of the university.



Reputation and rankings

As the university is postgraduate, direct comparison with undergraduate institutions is difficult. Some key facts and figures are:

  • Cranfield’s staff:student ratio is second among UK universities.[6]
  • Cranfield School of Management was ranked 3rd best European Business School within the UK and 13th within Europe in 2008.[15] Its MBA is ranked 37th in the world according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (2013).[16] The Financial Times ranked Cranfield's MBA 38th best in the world in 2013.[17]
  • 54% of all aerospace engineering postgraduates and 25% of all agricultural and environmental sciences postgraduates in the UK graduate at Cranfield.[6]
  • over 10% of the UK’s engineering and sciences PhDs are awarded by Cranfield.[6]
  • Cranfield has received the Queen's Anniversary Prize three times: in 2005 for Further and Higher Education for the Fellowship in Manufacturing Management (FMM) programme; in 2007 for its role in humanitarian demining;[18] and in 2011 for contribution to aviation safety through research and training in accident investigation.[19]
  • Students on Cranfield's Global Security programme were awarded the Imbert Prize in 2006,[20] 2008[21] and 2009[22] for the development of ideas for the advancement of risk and security management in the UK.

Student life

Cranfield Students Association (CSA) is the students' union and runs the main student bar on the Cranfield campus. The student newspaper is called "Entropy".

Notable alumni


See also


  1. "The Arms of the University". Cranfield University. Retrieved 14 July 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Cranfield University press release 18 February 2013, accessed 22 February 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 "2014/15 Students by HE provider, level, mode and domicile" (XLSX). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 19 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "RAF Cranfield, College of Aeronautics and subsequent history leading to postgraduate University status". Cranfield University. Retrieved 9 January 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "Cranfield University 2008 Prospectus". Cranfield University. Retrieved 23 September 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Analysis: Military redeploys intellectual might". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 26 December 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Cranfield Village Newsletter including a history and information on the airfield". Cranfield Parish Council.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Nissan UK". Nissan, UK. Retrieved 10 June 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Invar Systems Limited". Invar Systems Limited. Retrieved 20 July 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Trafficmaster plc". Trafficmaster plc. Retrieved 10 June 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Sir John O'Reilly". Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UK. Archived from the original on 7 June 2007. Retrieved 9 June 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Sir John O'Reilly". Cranfield University - Biography. Retrieved 18 March 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Professor Sir Peter Gregson FREng". Cranfield University - Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor. Retrieved 27 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Financial Times 2008 rankings". Financial Times. 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Economist Intelligence Unit. "Which MBA - 2007 rankings -The Economist".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Financial Times. "Global MBA rankings".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. The Queen's Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education
  19. 2011 Queens Anniversary awards
  20. Sims, Brian (3 August 2006). "Burrill, Cahalane and Finch win Imbert Prizes". Info4Security. Retrieved 26 June 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "ASC lunch". Professional Security Magazine. 30 June 2008. Retrieved 26 June 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Sims, Brian (30 June 2009). "Policing with a Brain: the 2009 ASC Annual Luncheon". Info4Security. Retrieved 30 June 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

  • Barker, Revel; Field of Vision - The First 50 Years, Cranfield University Press, 1996, ISBN 1-871315-60-3

External links

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