Next generation products and emerging areas of research and innovation demand ultra-precision, complex components. The Institute is a training and research environment that delivers highly skilled precision engineers to this rapidly changing sector and provides solutions to real-world needs. Read more Read less
We lead the major EPSRC centre, Centre for innovative manufacturing in ultra precision and provide doctoral training into the EPSRC Doctoral Training Centre in Ultra Precision, both operated in partnership with the University of Cambridge.
Our research has had a significant impact across many fields of science and industries. We produced many of the mirrors of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (the Hubble replacement). We designed, created and operate the world's leading facility producing large ultra-precision structured drum tools for reel-to-reel production of advanced films. The science equipment that National Physical Laboratory used to re-define the temperature scale, the Boltzmann constant facility, was produced at Cranfield.
Our laboratories contain unique and tailor-made research facilities designed and built by the team of experienced academics and industrial engineers: 3000 square metres of thermally controlled precision, ultra precision, microengineering and surface structuring labs. Critically, this means we can validate the claimed performance capability of each of the machines we create.
Our core research themes include actuators and micro robotics; advanced metrology; diamond turning; dynamics and control; fluid film bearings; grinding; modal analysis; photochemical machining; plasma processing; precision machine design; reel to reel film handling and processing and surface.
The Institute has a wide range of business partners, including NASA, ESA (European Space Agency), CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research), NPL (National Physical Laboratory) and major hi-tech manufacturers in the aerospace, medical and optoelectronics sectors.