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Cranfield Safety and Accident Investigation Centre (CSAIC)

Cranfield Safety and Accident Investigation Centre

The Cranfield Safety and Accident Investigation Centre (CSAIC) is dedicated to high-quality teaching, research and consultancy in transportation safety management, human factors, airworthiness and incident/accident investigation.

Our work has been recognised through a 2011 Queen’s Anniversary Prize for world-leading work in aviation safety through research and training in aircraft accident investigation – the highest award that can be presented to a UK academic institution. It was recognised again in 2013 through the Richard Teller Crane Founders Award from the Flight Safety Foundation for its sustained corporate leadership in aviation safety.

Our graduates go on to design, maintain, regulate and operate civil and military aircraft, airports and air navigation systems around the world. Many organisations choose us to enhance their operational capabilities through research and training. This includes national investigation agencies such as AAIB, BEA, BFU, MAIB and RAIB; manufacturers such as Airbus and Rolls-Royce; operators such as Emirates, British Airways, easyJet, Thomson Airways and Cathay Pacific; and regulators such as EASA, CAA and HKCAD.

We are able to utilise the University’s unique facilities including our three flight deck simulators, two cabin simulators, National Flying Laboratory Centre, Boeing 737 aircraft and Accident Investigation Laboratory to enhance our teaching and research. These are based on the campus adjacent to the University’s own airport.


  • Supporting your business

    A key role for the Centre is in supporting industry through the provision of research/consultancy services. We are able to work on both short and longer-term projects and draw on a wide range of resources from within Cranfield and our research partners. We are able to provide research and consultancy skills in the areas of safety management systems, risk assessment and management, airworthiness, aerodrome and airline safety, accident investigation and human factors. We have the capacity to work on projects ranging from expert advice to tailor-made training solutions and contract research tasks.

    Our expertise has been used by a wide-range of clients. These have included airlines, manufacturers, regulatory authorities, aerodrome operators, rail operators and air traffic service providers. Recent clients have included UK CAA, EASA, EMSA, Airbus, AirTanker, Monarch and easyJet.

  • Our people

    The Safety and Accident Investigation Centre draws upon a strong mix of academics and industrialists to deliver its research and teaching. We value industrial and research experience highly and our team has first hand experience in managing airline and military aircraft operations, accident investigation, crashworthiness, design and certification. Our permanent academic staff are supported by a large group of over 100 visiting professors and lecturers.

  • Our facilities and resources

    • Accident Investigation Facilities

      Cranfield’s Accident Investigation Laboratory supports the work which is carried out in the Safety and Accident Investigation Centre.

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    • Cabin Evacuation Facility

      Cranfield has two aircraft cabin simulators, a Large Cabin Evacuation Simulator (modelled on a Airbus A380) and the narrow body Cabin Simulator (modelled on a Boeing 737) used for evacuation research.

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  • Postgraduate degrees full-time

    • Safety and Human Factors in Aviation

      The programme aims to provide students with an understanding of the human factors and safety issues in design, manufacturing, operations and maintenance throughout the aviation industry.

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  • Postgraduate degrees part-time

    • Airworthiness

      A part-time masters course which provides a wide-ranging approach to aviation safety by addressing key aspects of aircraft design, construction, operation and maintenance.

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    • Safety and Accident Investigation - Air Transport

      This course provides technical knowledge and the opportunity to extend practical experience in the context of accident investigation, primarily in the aviation sector (both civil and military).

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    • Safety and Accident Investigation - Marine Transport

      This masters course aims to provide the knowledge and skills to conduct a marine accident investigation in line with the standards of national and European investigation and regulatory organisations.

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    • Safety and Accident Investigation - Rail Transport

      This course aims to provide the knowledge and skills to conduct a rail accident investigation in line with the standards of national and European investigation and regulatory organisations.

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    • Safety and Human Factors in Aviation

      The programme aims to provide students with an understanding of the human factors and safety issues in design, manufacturing, operations and maintenance throughout the aviation industry.

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  • Professional Development (CPD)

    • Investigating Human Performance

      09 March - 13 March 2015

      A 5-day course designed to provide investigators with the appropriate skills for the investigation and analysis of human performance aspects of transport accidents in aviation, rail or marine.

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    • Safety Management Systems in Aviation

      16 March - 20 March 2015

      This one-week course covers the fundamental concepts behind aviation safety management systems and their practical implementation into the air transport environment.

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    • Hazards and Evidence Awareness for Air Accident Responders

      08 April - 09 April 2015

      A course designed for anyone who may need to attend an air accident site or provide an emergency response. The course covers hazards risk mitigation strategies and critical evidence awareness.

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    • Fundamentals of Accident Investigation

      11 May - 29 May 2015

      A three-week course to develop the key skills and techniques for investigating air, rail and marine transport accidents, including training from experienced investigators, operators and researchers.

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    • Aircraft Accident Investigation

      11 May - 19 June 2015

      This six-week course is designed for professional aircraft accident investigators and covers a broad range of skills and techniques suitable for the military and civil aviation industry.

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    • Applied Safety Assessment Workshop

      29 June - 03 July 2015

      A course which gives you an opportunity to gain practical experience in carrying out a comprehensive System Safety Assessment, to prepare attendees for the 'real-world'.

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    • Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) and Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA) in Commercial Aviation

      14 September - 17 September 2015

      This course provides an advanced understanding of the technical, operational, management and legal issues surrounding a flight data monitoring programme or flight operational quality assurance.

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    • Airworthiness Fundamentals

      21 September - 25 September 2015

      This short course addresses the key aspects of airworthiness design, construction, maintenance and operation of aircraft across the wide spectrum of technologies met in aerospace.

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    • Applied Marine Accident Investigation

      28 September - 16 October 2015

      The Applied Marine Accident Investigation course concentrates on applying techniques to the specialised aspects of marine operations and types of accidents.

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    • Applied Rail Accident Investigation

      28 September - 16 October 2015

      The Applied Rail Accident Investigation course concentrates on applying techniques to the specialised aspects of marine operations and types of accidents.

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    • Practical Reliability

      19 October - 23 October 2015

      This course provides a foundation in the principles and practices of reliability. It also introduces the analysis of data from tests or service records and methods of evaluating systems.

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    • Accident Investigation for Aviation Management

      02 November - 13 November 2015

      A course that covers how to conduct air incident and accident investigations within your organisation’s safety management system and also co-operate with major accident investigations.

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    • Safety Assessment of Aircraft Systems

      16 November - 20 November 2015

      This course aims to provide you with knowledge of the methods for safety assessment in relation to the design, reliability, safety and certification of aircraft systems.

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  • Publications

    • Rashid H, Place S & Braithwaite G (2014) Eradicating root causes of aviation maintenance errors: introducing the AMMP, Cognition, Technology and Work, 16 (1) 71-90.

    • Rashid HSJ, Place CS, Mba D, Lim R, Healey A, Kleine-Beek W & Romano M (2013) Reliability Model for Helicopter Main Gearbox Lubrication System using Influence Diagrams, Reliability Engineering & System Safety.

    • Chen JC, Chi CF & Li WC (2013) The Analysis of Safety Recommendation and Human Error Prevention Strategies in Flight Operations. In: Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics: Applications and Services. Harris D (ed.), Berlin: Springer, p. 75-84.

    • Hsu YL, Li WC & Tang CH (2013) The Use of Eye Tracking in the Study of Airline Cabin Safety Communication. In: Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics: Applications and Services.. Harris D (ed.), Berlin: Springer, p. 134-143.

    • Li WC, Chiu FC, Kuo YS & Wu KJ (2013) The Investigation of Visual Attention and Workload by Experts and Novices in the Cockpit. In: Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics: Applications and Services. Harris D (ed.), Berlin: Springer, p. 167-176.

    • Rashid HSJ, Place CS & Braithwaite GR (2013) Investigating the investigations: a retrospective study in the aviation maintenance error causation
      , Cognition, Technology and Work, 15 (2) 171-188.

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  • Events

    • SAE Integrated Vehicle Health Management Workshop

      27 April 2015
      Cranfield

      Speakers address IVHM future state & process towards obtaining Maintenance Credits from OEMs, Operators & Regulators. Three workshops to support & advance industry & stakeholders collaboration.

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