Cranfield University is a
British postgraduate university based on two campuses, with a research-oriented focus.
campus is at Cranfield, Bedfordshire; the
other is at Shrivenham, Oxfordshire.
campus at Silsoe was
relocated to the Cranfield campus and closed for teaching in
campus is unique in the United Kingdom for having its own
operational airport (Cranfield Airport) next to the main campus.
The facilities at
the airport are used by Cranfield University's own aircraft in the
course of aerospace teaching and research.
The new School, 'Cranfield
Health' prior to official opening, May 2008, viewed from the
The University was formed in 1946 as the College of Aeronautics on
the former Royal Air Force
in 1937. (See also entries on Harold
, Sir Stafford Cripps
and Roy Fedden
, all individuals
associated with the foundation of the original College of
Aeronautics). 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. The
Cranfield Institute of Technology was incorporated by Royal Charter
in 1969, giving the institution
its own degree
The new School, 'Cranfield Health' interior
then the former National College of
established at Silsoe near Luton,
Bedfordshire, during the 1960s, was incorporated. 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".
In 1993 the Royal Charter
changed the institution's name
to Cranfield University.
The first 50 year history of Cranfield University is described
comprehensively, but concisely, by the book Field of
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 program was undertaken on Cranfield campus,
including the provision of departmental buildings and additional
and Silsoe-based staff were transferred to Cranfield.
Army helicopter display team,
Cranfield campus is approximately north of central London and
adjacent to the village of Cranfield, Bedfordshire.
RAF Red Arrows display team,
Shrivenham graduation, July 2003.
nearest main towns are Milton Keynes and Bedford, the centres of
which are both about away. Cambridge is about east.
Shrivenham is about west of London, adjacent to Shrivenham
village, from the centre of the nearest town, Swindon, and around
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.
Cranfield established a school specialising in defence studies in
South Australia, becoming the first British university to operate
From 2007 the five academic Schools are:
- School of Engineering, known as SoE and incorporating the
original College of Aeronautics;
- School of Applied Sciences, known as SAS and formerly the
School of Industrial and Manufacturing Science;
- Cranfield School of
Management, known as SoM;
- Defence College of Management and
Technology (DCMT), Shrivenham, since 2009 known as "Cranfield
Defence and Security" (CDS);
- Cranfield Health, opened in 2008 by Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, currently the Chief Medical
Officer for England and an honorary
graduate of the university.
Ranking and evaluation
As the university is entirely postgraduate, direct comparison with
undergraduate institutions is difficult. However, some key facts
and figures are as follows:
- Cranfield’s staff:student ratio is second among UK universities
- Cranfield School of Management is ranked 2nd best European
Business School within the UK and 13th within Europe.
- Cranfield’s MBA is ranked 11th in the world according to the
Economist Intelligence Unit - above such competitors as Harvard,
LBS and INSEAD. The Financial
Times ranked Cranfield's MBA 30th best in the world and
13th best in Europe in 2008.
- 54% of all aerospace engineering postgraduates and 25% of all
agricultural and environmental sciences postgraduates in the UK
graduate at Cranfield .
- Over 10% of the UK’s engineering and sciences PhDs are awarded
by Cranfield .
- Cranfield was awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2005
for Further and Higher Education for its Fellowship in
Manufacturing Management programme. It was awarded the prize in
2007 for its role in humanitarian demining
- Students on the Cranfield Global Security programme were
awarded the Imbert Prize in 2006, 2008
and 2009 for the development of ideas for the advancement of risk
and security management in the UK.
A number of prominent public figures have been awarded Honorary
Graduate status including the following:
Staff, honorary graduates and
dignitaries, Shrivenham graduation 2003.
- HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh - DSc(Hon), former
- HRH Prince Edward, Duke
of Kent - DSc(Hon), current University Visitor
- Mr Neil Armstrong - DSc(Hon),
- Sir Roger
Bannister - DSc(Hon), athlete
- Sir Roy Fedden - DSc(Hon), deceased,
designer, Bristol aero engines
- Prof. John Fozard - DSc(Hon), DCAe(Cranfield, 1950), deceased,
Chief Designer, Harrier Jump
- Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou -
DSc(Hon), founder, EasyJet
- Sir Freddie Laker - DSc(Hon),
deceased, founder, Laker Skytrain
- Mr David Richards -
DSc(Hon), co-founder of Prodrive, former
team principal of Benetton Formula
and BAR racing teams
- Sir John Rose - DSc(Hon), CEO,
- Sir Jackie Stewart - DSc(Hon),
Formula One World Champion
- Sir Crispin Tickell DSc(Hon)
British diplomat, environmentalist, and academic
Woodrow Whitlow Jr. - DSc(Hon),
Glenn Research Center
- Air Cdre Sir Frank Whittle - DSc(Hon), deceased, inventor,
- Lord Winston - DSc(Hon), medical
There are a number of companies located on the Cranfield University
Technology Park (see external link) ranging from large
international companies to small start-ups. Major companies on the
- The Nissan Technical Centre Europe, which designs and
develops cars for the European market. The NTC Europe facility
occupies 19,700 square metres (212,050 sq ft) of the Technology
Park, representing an investment of £46m by Nissan.
- Io Systems Limited, 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 occupies a site for its European
Headquarters. A leading company in telematics Trafficmaster's
advanced technology enables cars and roads to be used more
- Innovation Centre: the Technology Park is also the
location for a large number of smaller companies.
An extension to the Technology Park was currently completed in
2008. A new Aerospace Park on the northeastern part of the campus
is projected as at 2009.
- Barker, Revel; Field of Vision - The First 50 Years,
Cranfield University Press, 1996, ISBN 1-871315-60-3,
- Coalition courses - The Guardian, August 7, 2007
- The Queen's Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher
- Visit of His Royal Highness to the
Royal Academy of Engineering
Soiree, 22 June 2009
- RAE Soiree details
- Barker, Revel, Editor; From the Stringbag to the
Jumping-Jet, Rolls Royce lecture by John Fozard, Cranfield
University Press, 1996, ISBN 1-871315-61-1,