Cranfield University

Disciplines                        Research
Aircraft Design Group Advanced computational methods and simulations
Engineering Design Group Airborne vehicles and systems
Space Research Centre Aviation and the environment



About the University

Cranfield University has been at the forefront of aerospace development for over 60 years and our roots are in the aeronautical industry. We successfully turn new scientific discoveries into useful, technological products and services through teaching, research and consultancy.

We collaborate closely with many leading organisations in the aerospace sector to create new thinking and innovation in the sector. We play a leading role in major research programmes such as FLAVIR, Omega and ASTRAEA and we have established several strategic partnerships including the Integrated Vehicle Health Management Centre (IVHM) for advanced research.

Cranfield treats the aerospace sector holistically, bringing together the disciplines of aeronautical engineering, materials, manufacturing and management to create new solutions for the industry.

Teaching facilities

Our teaching expertise and facilities are unique. We are the only UK university capable of giving students the experience of designing a whole aircraft. We are also the only UK university to have our own airport and to operate our own flight test aircraft. Our National Flying Laboratory Centre consists of a Jetstream turbo-prop aircraft fitted out as a flying laboratory and a Bulldog aircraft. Students use this facility to conduct practical airbourne exercises and we have four commercial pilots on our teaching staff.

Our £1 million flight simulator allows rapid prototyping of flight control systems, avionics and modelling of crew performance. While our icing tunnel facilities are the largest and newest of their type in the UK and allow aircraft icing to be studied at the near microscopic scale.

Our accident investigation laboratory supports research and teaching for accident investigators and our Safety and Accident (Air Transport) MSc is the only one of its kind worldwide and attracts students from across the globe.

Courses on offer

We offer Master’s and research degrees as well as short courses in the following areas:

  • aerospace dynamics
  • aerospace vehicle design
  • aerospace propulsion
  • air transport management
  • aircraft engineering
  • airport planning and management
  • astronautics and space engineering
  • accident investigation and human factors.

Research capabilities

In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), Cranfield was ranked third in the UK for the impact of its research in mechanical, aeronautical and manufacturing engineering. Our research income, measured as a percentage of our turnover, puts us as one of the top five research intensive universities in the UK.

Our client list recognises the relevance of our teaching and research and we enjoy long-standing relationships with Boeing, BAE Systems, Airbus, Roll-Royce and EADS Astrium. We also work regularly for companies such as Lockheed Martin, Thales, MBDA and with all major airlines and regulatory bodies such as the FAA, EASA and the CAA.

Our Department of Systems Engineering and Human Factors has a worldwide reputation for its research and consultancy work in the defence, aviation, rail, road industries. Our Aircraft Cabin Safety Research Facility includes two simulators enabling us to build and test any current aircraft cabin configuration and future concepts.