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Cranfield University


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As the UK's only exclusively postgraduate university, Cranfield's world-class expertise, large-scale facilities, and unique industry partnerships create leaders in technology and management globally. We are creating leaders in technology and management, unlocking people, and organizations' potential by partnering with businesses and governments to deliver transformational research, postgraduate education, and professional development.

Cranfield's distinctive expertise is in our deep understanding of technology and management and how these work together to benefit the world. Our education portfolio is renowned for its relevance to business and industry. We are the largest UK provider of master' s-level graduates in engineering and offer a flagship MBA, extensive world-class customized executive education and professional development programs. Our work informs government policy and leads the way in producing cutting edge new technologies and products in partnership with industry.

The research and consultancy we carry out for industry, government, and business provides our students with a real-world learning environment, allowing them to develop as professionals and then transfer their knowledge to the global economy. This has always been the 'Cranfield way' but it has never been more critical than today's world.

The corporate plan provides a focus for the active engagement of the entire Cranfield community towards the realization of our mission: to create leaders in technology and management. We have identified four strategic priorities, informed by our staff, students, alumni, and business partners, which will continue to focus over the next three years:

  • To provide a premier learning experience that enhances the capabilities of individuals and their organizations.
  • To be recognized for outstanding transformational research that meets the needs of the business, government, and broader society.
  • To grow an efficient, effective, and sustainable enterprise.
  • To be renowned for our impact and influence - regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Our specialist areas of focus, or Cranfield themes, are where we bring a range of academic disciplines together to tackle the grand challenges facing the world within a range of industrial and commercial sectors. These are Water, Agrifood, Energy and Power, Aerospace, Manufacturing, Transport Systems, Defence and Security, and Management. Our Cranfield themes are built upon our expertise in a range of academic disciplines, listed here.

Our academic disciplines work closely together within our postgraduate environment, blending as they do in the commercial world and industry to deliver real-world solutions. Cranfield is a postgraduate university, specializing in technology and management. The theme running through Cranfield's history is a commitment to and passion for applied research, which makes a difference to the world in the fields of science, technology, and management.

The forerunner of Cranfield University was the College of Aeronautics, created in 1946 and based at the RAF station in Cranfield, Bedfordshire. Through the 1950s and 1960s, the development of many aspects of aircraft research and design-led to considerable growth and diversification into other areas such as manufacturing and management. In 1967, the School of Management was founded, so 2017 marks our 50th anniversary. In 1969, the College of Aeronautics became The Cranfield Institute of Technology incorporated by Royal Charter with full degree-awarding powers.

More recently, there has been further substantial progress, including an academic partnership with the Defence Academy, UK, at Shrivenham in Wiltshire. Cranfield's motto, 'post nubes lux', means 'after clouds light'. It is depicted on the University coat of arms, which was introduced when the university was awarded our Royal Charter. Cranfield University grew out of the College of Aeronautics, established initially in 1946. More information about the College of Aeronautics is available in our overview of the history of the CoA.

Lord Kings Norton of Wotton Underwood (formerly Sir Harold Roxbee Cox) played a significant role in establishing the Cranfield College of Aeronautics. He also served as Cranfield University's first Chancellor. To honor his association, Lady Kings Norton donated a collection of her husband's letters, photographs, papers, and other memorabilia to Cranfield University. We have selected these materials as an online archive to serve as a permanent memorial to the man who helped guide the development of this institution during the first 50 years of its history.

We are passionate about maintaining and enhancing Cranfield's brand and reputation so that our alumni, students, staff, and partners can be proud of our university. This animation explains why we refreshed our brand in 2016, whom we listened to during the research phase and our ambition for the future: Our updated website and publications are designed to reinforce our world-class expertise in our specialist areas: aerospace, defense and security, energy and power, environment and agrifood, manufacturing, transport systems, water and our School of Management. We're building on our heritage, including keeping our crest, while embracing the future, with more modern organization logos. Our expertise in technology and management help set students and learners on a trajectory to success watch our video on supporting the learners of today to become the leaders of tomorrow.

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