We are recognised internationally for our work in off-road vehicle dynamics. This recognition is based on the expertise of our academic staff underpinned by state-of-the-art facilities located at both our campuses. In addition, we have access to other facilities in order to undertake research, consultancy and testing for private and public sector clients.

Our cutting edge off-road vehicle research facility won the Ford European Technical Innovation Award. Military vehicle development is a particular specialism at Shrivenham.

Graduates from our triple accredited master's programme work for high performance engineering companies, many in areas related to off-road vehicles.

We have worked with a number of research partners from around the world including EPSRC, European Space Agency (ESA), and Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Business clients include Airbus, CLAAS, Dunlop, Jaguar Land-Rover, M-Sport and Prodrive.

About our research

Our greatest strength is the ability to combine the academic rigour and long-term perspective of a university with the commercial and business focus of industry.

Our excellence in strategic and applied research has enabled us to make significant contributions to the world around us for over 60 years. We address real life challenges and focus on research that is of strategic and practical importance.

We provide a supportive research community for students and our academic work is regularly published in journal article, book or thesis form.

Our facilities

We operate key facilities at its Shrivenham and Cranfield campuses together with associated industry-leading equipment. This includes:

• a large whole vehicle soil lane with a range of surface materials
• off-road environment simulation unit
• single wheel tyre test apparatus
• high speed tyre testing rig
• four post vehicle articulation rig specially designed for off-road applications
• four-poster shaker rig for vibration testing
• wind tunnels for aerodynamic testing
• suspension testing
• smart winch
• rolling road dynamometer
• a range of vehicles suited to off-road applications
• electronics and data acquisition equipment.

Capability is underpinned by an extensive suite of design modelling software including packages for CAD, CAE and CFD applications. Custom written software and FEA are also offered. In-laboratory and on-vehicle digital data capture and analysis is available. Dynamic ride simulation of wheeled and tracked vehicles, with animated presentation of data is facilitated for clients.

The whole-vehicle controlled moisture soil lane is 5m wide with a depth running 0.75m to 1.5m and permits the evaluation of whole vehicles and key components such as tyres. At 45 metres long, the moisture level in this vast facility can be controlled to simulate dry to submerged conditions. The mixture of soil conditions or materials profiles can be achieved consistently. Uniform bulk density using fluidised soil movement processing techniques is a distinct feature here at Cranfield University.

Other facilities and equipment permit individual component to whole vehicle testing and research. Suspension and damper testing and innovative suspension designs can be measured and simulated.

Working with us

We offer research, consultancy and testing. There is the opportunity for clients to support research projects where taught Masters and PhD students are concerned. Engagement can be from a consultancy based on an hourly rate to a PhD thesis project lasting some three years.

A suspension test and tuning service at Shrivenham is available for example which is often used by race and rally teams.

Our position as a pre-eminent engineering research intensive university offers opportunities to lever addition funding.