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School of Engineering

SOE - Outside School of Engineering Building 83

The School of Engineering is one of the largest providers of engineering education, research and technology support to key industrial sectors of the global economy.

With a proud heritage in the founding schools of Cranfield University at its establishment in 1946, we continuously evolve our capabilities to meet industry’s needs in multiple sectors including aerospace, automotive, defence, energy, health and other crucial engineering sectors of national and international importance. We are UK based, but our focus is truly international with students and clients from all over the world.

  • Our impact and facilities

    We offer a wide range of near-industrial scale experimental research facilities for our masters and doctoral students, as well as commercial clients. Some of our facilities are unique in the UK University sector including:

    • Aero-structure Assembly and Systems Installation Laboratory
    • Icing Tunnel
    • Structural Integrity Laboratory
    • Accident Investigation Laboratory
    • Aircraft Cabin Simulators
    • Multiphase Flow Laboratory
    • National Flying Laboratory Centre (which owns and operates three aircraft)
    • Ocean Systems Laboratory
    • Wind Turbine Test Facility.

    Our facilities play a key role in the research conducted at Cranfield which can have real-world impact. For example, our cabin simulators were used in ground-breaking research into the influence of aircraft cabin design and cabin crew procedures on the effectiveness of passenger evacuations. Our findings continue to make a major contribution to air safety today.

    Carbon fibre cars, micro space satellites, low emission gas turbines, flapping wing air vehicles and a diesel engine motorbike are just some of the other innovations to come from the School of Engineering.

  • Our people

    Professor Philip John is the Head of School leading approximately 300 members of staff.  Our success is dependent on the knowledge, skills and abilities of our staff, and every individual’s contribution is crucial, in terms of technical know-how, practical application, research, teaching, facilities management and student experience.

    We attract top quality staff with an academic and research community from a variety of backgrounds. Many of our academics have several years industrial experience, allowing us to empathise with challenges our clients and partners face and to prepare our students for successful careers in industry. We have staff from all over the globe including China, India, The Middle East, Europe and the US. Our diversity creates a rich teaching and learning environment, which is enjoyable and rewarding for students and staff alike and which improves our competitive edge.

    We ensure we are engaged in the latest developments in our sectors and collaborate with major industrial organisations across the world.  In addition we have an extensive network of alumni and industrial partners who contribute to our students as Guest Lecturers, members of our Industrial Advisory Boards and engaging with our students to recruit high quality people into their organisations.

  • Working with us

    The School of Engineering has a world-renowned reputation for its practical and applied approach to research and postgraduate teaching. We address the needs of industry and exploit emerging research ideas of relevance to real life. We are recognised as an institution that combines the very best people with state-of-the-art facilities.

    There are a number of ways in which your business can benefit from exploiting our unique knowledge and expertise, and our flexible consultative approach. You will be working with people who are passionate about knowledge transfer and improving the performance of your business.

    Consultancy projects can range from use of laboratory facilities to long-term change projects. Solutions might be based around improving the competitiveness of your company, such as improving product designs, quality or manufacturing processes, reducing costs, increasing efficiency or developing bespoke prototypes or analysis software programmes.

    Sponsored student projects are undertaken by our postgraduate community and tailored to deliver output relevant to business needs.

    Teaching and education is a critical part of our service across a wide-range of engineering sectors. We have 35 masters degree programmes, many of which are offered part-time to enable working professionals to undertake a postgraduate qualification. Our portfolio of over 100 short courses which is continuously growing offer practical training to solve immediate knowledge gaps. We are regularly invited to deliver in-company courses which are tailored to specific needs, drawing expertise from all across the University as required.

  • Postgraduate degrees

    Cranfield graduates more engineering and technology postgraduates than any other UK University. More than 400 students graduated from the School of Engineering at our most recent ceremony in 2013.

    Some of our taught courses are well-established with thousands of graduates from all over the world. Some of our courses have been running for over 60 years including Aerospace Dynamics, Aircraft Vehicle Design, Air Transport Management and Thermal Power since our beginnings as the College of Aeronautics. We are continuously evolving our portfolio to meet industry demand – some of our newer courses include Biofuels Process Engineering and Carbon Capture and Transport.

    Features of our taught course portfolio include:

    Industrial Advisory Boards – our course directors meet annually with representatives from industry to ensure content remains relevant and up-do-date.

    Practical Application – we strive to prepare our students for careers in industry by providing practical, applied education which is directly relevant to the challenges they will face in an engineering career in industry. By exposing students to industrial-scale facilities and software, they are equipped to hit the ground running in industry.

    Group Projects – in engineering, research and development is rarely carried out by an individual. Team working to deal with multidisciplinary problems and meet project deadlines is normal practice for business and we replicate these real-life scenarios as an important aspect of our courses.

    Part-time Study – many of our courses are offered to students who wish to balance work and other commitments whilst pursuing a qualification. We aim to reduce the number of visits to campus as much as possible without compromising teaching quality.

    Industry Contacts – in addition to our academic experts, students benefit from presentations by senior representatives from industry. Guest lecturers are invited to give an overview of current issues/challenges faced within their sector. Past speakers include managers from companies such as British Airways, Airbus, Boeing, Rolls Royce, BP and Atkins. Our industry partners are also actively involved in recruiting our students.

  • Professional Development (CPD)

    The School of Engineering is a leading provider of professional development short courses. Our programmes offer an invaluable way of keeping up-to-date with the latest technological developments and strategies. Our courses are delivered by subject specialists here at Cranfield. Bespoke training and development programmes can also be provided in-company.

    Our delegates come from all over the world to benefit from our specialist expertise. Recommendations from a colleague or manager are cited as the main reason why delegates choose our courses and are testament that we deliver the knowledge that industry needs.

    Courses are designed to combine theory with practical applications so that delegates can be confident that they can apply their learning in the ‘real-world’ when they return to work. The focus of our professional teaching is on solving problems and equipping delegates with the knowledge and skills to make a real difference within their own companies. We use our facilities and equipment where appropriate to demonstrate teaching and explore case study examples in all of our courses.

    We run over 100 short courses each year with our portfolio regularly being reviewed to ensure content remains relevant. Our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) alert is an ideal way to keep up-to-date on the new courses we have to offer.

  • Case studies and clients

    We have built close relationships with world-leading companies in sectors including aerospace, automotive, defence and energy. Our client list is extensive and includes clients such as:


    Airbus, Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), BAE Systems, Boeing, Rolls Royce


    Aston Martin, Jaguar Land Rover, Lotus, Mercedes AMG Petronas, Red Bull Racing, Williams F1


    AWE, MBDA, Selex, Thales 


    Alstom, BP, Siemens, Total.

  • Centre for Engineering Photonics

    Development of instrumentation to tackle engineering problems; a centre of excellence for postgraduate teaching, training and contract research.

  • Centre of Applied Mechanics

    The Centre is involved in theoretical, numerical and experimental investigation of the static and dynamic behaviour of materials & structures; with a track record in teaching and research.

  • Centre of Bio-Medical Engineering

    Working with the world's leading companies in the medical sector, our focus is on research in point of care tests, hand-held biosensors and lateral flow devices.

  • Centre of Cyber-Physical Systems

    The market for cyber-physical systems has grown due to the increased applications that include surveillance, mapping, crop-spraying, environmental and weather monitoring.

  • Centre of Fluid Mechanics and Scientific Computing

    Computational studies related to flight dynamics, fluid structure interaction, combustion, micro/nanofluidics, complex engineering flows, nanotechnology and nano materials, and bio medical sector

  • Cranfield Biotechnology Centre Business Unit

    Our research in the medical diagnostics area continues to be at the cutting-edge working with many of the world’s leading companies in this sector.

  • Department of Aerospace Engineering

    The Department activities range from aircraft design; composite aero structures; structural integrity and durability; applied aerodynamics; dynamics, simulation and control;advanced engineering design

  • Department of Air Transport

    World renowned centre of excellence in teaching and applied research in air transport management and safety and accident investigation in air, marine and rail sectors.

  • Department of Automotive Engineering

    Research & teaching into Automotive & Mechatronics engineering. Specialisng in all aspects of the design of road vehicles, the evaluation of new technologies & the improvement of automotive product.

  • Department of Engineering Computing

    Research & teaching into the application of mathematical and computational techniques to engineering problems. The department is led by Professor Chris Thompson.

  • Department of Integrated Systems

    The Department of Integrated System’s aim is to bring people and complex systems closer together through innovative approaches to research and technology development.

  • Department of Offshore, Process and Energy Engineering

    The Department is a world leading centre for Offshore and Process Engineering for the Oil & Gas and Renewable Energy applications.

  • Department of Power and Propulsion

    The Department of Power and Propulsion contributes to the knowledge of gas turbines for aerospace, marine and energy applications.

  • Division of Engineering Sciences

    The Engineering Sciences Division at Cranfield University comprises about 80 staff and 350 MSc and PhD students across five inter-disciplinary Research Centres.

  • National Flying Laboratory Centre

    NFLC operates a Jetstream 31 to support flight trials for postgraduate teaching & research at Cranfield and undergraduate aerospace courses offered by other universities in the UK.

  • Translational Medicine Business Unit

    The mutlidisciplinary team contribute to the movement of results from hypothesis-lead scientific research from the laboratory into the clinic to help solve specific health problems.