Cranfield support will be delivered through two objectives:

  • Definition of two national assets
  • Development of a National Propulsion Network

Definition of two national assets

An initial investment in two national assets is envisaged: the first is the development of a UK Hybrid Electric Integrated Propulsion Laboratory located at Cranfield. The second is the definition of a national analytical propulsion toolkit.

The UK Hybrid Electric Integrated Propulsion Laboratory will be located in the Gas Turbine Laboratories of Cranfield University. This facility already benefits form the presence of a very experienced dedicated team as well as large scale infrastructure and dedicated workshops. It enjoys OHSAS (Occupational Health and Safety) 18001 accreditation and will benefit from colocation with ATI and the Cranfield Aerospace Integration Research Centre (sponsored by Airbus, Cranfield, HEFCE and Rolls-Royce).

The second national asset will be access to advanced gas turbine and aircraft performance codes. Over many years Cranfield has developed TURBOMATCH, a gas turbine performance software suite. This has been widely used in aircraft engine research projects and within the Cranfield postgraduate community. It is the only UK based gas turbine performance code external to gas turbine manufacturers that is currently used by a large public. In the last couple of decades an aircraft performance tool has been developed at Cranfield called Hermes, and Hector for rotorcraft. These two codes have been successfully deployed in many research programmes, most notably the Technology Evaluator of Clean Sky and the Rolls-Royce UTC at Cranfield. There will be large benefits if this Hermes/Hector/TURBOMATCH toolkit is available to the UK research community on a net based application.

The above will require TRL level 1-3 research that meets the objectives of the Institutional Sponsorship Research Priorities and the Propulsion of the Future ATI theme goals. Synergies with the other three institutions that have received similar requests to support the ATI are being coordinated.

Development of a National Propulsion Network

The other objective is to bring the UK Propulsion research community closer together. The techniques and methods that have been successfully deployed for the networking activities in Clean Sky, UTC, AIRC and other national and international projects will be adapted and improved for deployment to mature the development of a National Propulsion Network.

Much will be achieved, economically, through the use of electronics and telecommunications. Beyond this, a number of meetings/seminars will be organised. This will be done in communication and synergy with the EPSRC, ATI and the other three universities awarded ATI Pillar Support funds via EPSRC Institutional Sponsorship at Bristol University, Newcastle University and UCL. The first networking workshop was held in 2016, where knowledge of current research projects and researcher expertise was shared, and discussions held on the challenges and opportunities faced by the propulsion community.

The objective of these networks will be to deploy technical support and bids to assist PERSEUS/EPSRC/EU projects. If the UK is to continue as the home of the second largest aerospace sector in the world, after the US, the British aerospace research base must be maintained at all costs.

Cranfield deployment

In addition to the project leader, Professor Pericles Pilidis, two other senior members of academic staff, Dr Panos Laskaridis and Dr. Suresh Sampath will be involved in this project. Three research fellows will also be employed full-time for this project; currently these positions are held by Dr A. Malkogianni, and Dr David Bosak.

EPSRC logoEPSRC is the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences, investing more than £800 million a year in a broad range of subjects - from mathematics to materials science, information technology to structural engineering.

Aerospace Technology Institute logoThe Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) is at the heart of UK aerospace research and technology. Working collaboratively with government, industry, research centres and academia, the ATI sets the national aerospace technology strategy to reflect the sector’s vision and ambition. The ATI is backed by a joint government-industry commitment to invest £3.9 billion in research and technology to 2026.

Campus accommodation

On campus accommodation can be booked at Cranfield Management and Development Centre. With 186 well-appointed double en-suite bedrooms it offers the best in comfort and contemporary design. Each room has been designed to suit the needs of the business executive, including complimentary broadband with high speed wi-fi, and a spacious desk area. A restaurant, licensed bar and leisure facilities, including a swimming pool, mean that you can work, rest and relax in style at CMDC.

Health and safety

Cranfield University is certified to OHSAS18001, the internationally recognised health and safety management system. We are the only university in England to have achieved this standard.

We are regularly audited by our external auditors - ERM Certification and Verification Services (ERM CVS) who provide an independent evaluation of our adherence to the standard. We are re-certified every three years and in the intervening years there are annual surveillance visits by ERM to ensure we continue to meet the requirements of the safety management system.


"Cranfield University has grown from an aeronautical college in 1946 into a highly successful global research and learning institution that is a world leader in technology and management. However, we remain true to our beginnings, with aerospace forming a core part of our research and teaching portfolio, supported by very strong industrial links and at scale unique facilities, including our very own airport and runway. Our focus on defining and delivering the aircraft, airport and airspace management of the future coupled with our well regarded level and depth of aerospace expertise, knowledge and capability means that Cranfield enjoys a global reputation and profile that is second to none. I am therefore delighted that this has been recognised by the EPSRC and in particular, Cranfield’s coordinating role within the aerospace community aligned to PERSEUS Technology Strategy for Propulsion, through the provision of funding which will allow us to further propulsion research, innovation and collaboration within the UK."

Tom Stephenson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor - Research and Innovation