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Precision Engineering Institute

Cranfield University is world recognised for its excellence in Precision Engineering research, postgraduate training and industrial short course provision.

The Institute is led by Professor Paul Shore. Its staff members include high level academic researchers and successful industrial experienced engineers who specialise in precision and ultra precision machine tool design and development, high performance and ultra precision machining, micro-engineering and metrology.


  • Our impact and facilities

    Having a strong emphasis on 'practicing what we preach' we differentiate our activity by engagement in 'large-scale' science programmes where we act as world-class engineering providers for complex machine systems and components. Such highly demanding projects provide a mechanism and stimulus for unique research, training and learning opportunities.  

    The Cranfield Precision Institute is a NASA approved supplier for space telescope mirrors including many of those being employed within the James Webb Space Telescope (the Hubble replacement). We also fabricate systems and components for the UK’s National Physical Laboratory, the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and the European Southern Observatory.

    Our significant industrial supported research includes significant contracts with aerospace, space, medical and optoelectronics orientated companies.

    We operate ~ 1000 square metres of temperature controlled precision engineering laboratory spaces at the Cranfield campus and at OpTIC Glyndŵr in Wales. These laboratories house our research machines which are world class, many of which are unique and 'self-produced'.

    The Institute leads the EPSRC funded Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Ultra Precision, undertaking early stage production research to establish new processing technologies demanded for effective production of emerging products. This Centre represents a world-leading ultra precision partnership, having an unrivalled state-of-the-art facilities.  In conjunction with the EPSRC funded Centre for Doctoral Training in Ultra Precision at the University of Cambridge, this Centre aims to develop a training and research environment that delivers highly skilled precision engineers to industry.

    Since the establishment of the Cranfield Unit for Precision Engineering (CUPE) we have a firm commitment to world-class precision engineering expertise.

    • Precision Engineering Institute

      Cranfield University is world recognised for its excellence in Precision Engineering research, postgraduate training and industrial short course provision.

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  • Our people

    • Name: Dr Renaud Jourdain
      Job Title: Academic Fellow
      Areas of expertise:
      Energy, Manufacturing
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    • Name: Dr Paul Kirby
      Job Title: Senior Research Fellow in Concentrating Solar Thermal
      Areas of expertise:
      Manufacturing, Manufacturing of Functional Materials, Sensor Technologies
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    • Name: Dr Chris Sansom
      Job Title: Senior Lecturer
      Areas of expertise:
      Manufacturing, Precision Engineering, Additional Area, Ultraprecision Technologies and Nano engineering
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    • Name: Professor Paul Shore
      Job Title: McKeown Professor of Ultra Precision
      Areas of expertise:
      Manufacturing, Precision Engineering, Additional Area, Ultraprecision Technologies and Nano engineering
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    • Name: Dr Xavier Tonnellier
      Job Title: Research Fellow - Precision Engineering
      Areas of expertise:
      Aerospace, Aerospace Manufacturing, Energy, Renewable Energy Technologies, Manufacturing, Precision Engineering, Additional Area, Ultraprecision Technologies and Nano engineering, Structures and Materials
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  • Working with us

    Outreach, collaboration and knowledge sharing are highly focused activities of the Institute. Industrial partners can be engaged in relevant research projects managed by academic leads, or as industrial sponsors for student research projects.  

  • Current research projects

  • Current research opportunities

    We are seeking high calibre engineering and physics graduates to undertake exciting and challenging research projects within the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Ultra Precision.  

    The Centre is led by world leading researchers from Cranfield and Cambridge Universities and aims to develop the next generation of production machines, metrology systems and processes.

    If you aspire to become one of the next generation of ultra precision engineers, look no further than Cranfield University. There is a growing requirement for individuals having necessary skills to design, develop and apply ultra precision technologies. Employment opportunities are found in the space, aerospace, optoelectronics, energy, defence and manufacturing industries.  A precision engineering degree from Cranfield is recognised across the world and will provide a solid foundation for an academic or science programme based research career.

  • Postgraduate degrees

    If you aspire to become one of the next generation of ultra precision engineers, look no further than Cranfield University. There is a growing requirement for individuals having necessary skills to design, develop and apply ultra precision technologies. Employment opportunities are found in the space, aerospace, optoelectronics, energy, defence and manufacturing industries. A precision engineering degree from Cranfield is recognised across the world and will provide a solid foundation for an academic or science programme based research career.

  • Professional Development (CPD)

  • Publications

    • Adebayo Y, Mehnen J & Tonnellier X (2014) Effects of solid lubricants on wire and arc additive manufactured structures, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part B-Journal of Engineering Manufacture, 228 (4) 563-571.

    • Sansom CL, Jones P, Dorey RA, Beck C, Stanhope-Bosumpim A & Peterson J (2013) Synthesis and characterization of Mn0.5Zn0.5Fe2O4 and Fe3O4 nanoparticle ferrofluids for thermo-electric conversion, Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, 335 159-162.

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  • Case studies and clients

    Our significant industrial supported research includes contracts with:

    • Aerospace
    • Space
    • Medical
    • Optoelectronics orientated companies.