Contact Dr Craig Lawson

Areas of expertise

Background

Following the completion of a BEng (Hons.) in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, Dr Lawson came to Cranfield in 1999 to research a PhD in Gas Turbine Instrumentation. Craig has been involved in teaching at Cranfield since 2004, and was awarded “Cranfield Students' Association Best Lecturer (School of Engineering) 2013-14”.

Craig served as Chief Systems Engineer and Flight Trials Commander for the Demon UAV (FLAVIIR project 2007-2011 £5m). The Demon turbojet UAV was funded by BAE Systems and the UK EPSRC, and achieved a world-first by demonstrating controlled flight without the use of moving control surfaces. This was accomplished by using fluidic control devices utilizing the Coanda effect. Dr Lawson was given the BAE Systems Chairman’s Bronze Award 2010 for supporting Total Performance Culture by transferring best practice to apprentices in the assembly of the Demon UAV. Craig was given the BAE Systems Chairman's Silver Award 2011 in Innovation for the Demon UAV Project.

Craig was Programme Manager (acting as co-PI) for Cranfield University’s participation in the Clean Sky: Systems for Green Operation, Integrated Technology Demonstrator (2008-2015 work-share £1.2m). The research was centred on the development of the GATAC (Green Aircraft Trajectories with ATM Constraints) software. Deployment of this tool has included investigating the aircraft energy and trajectory implications of ‘more electric’ airframe systems, compared to conventional systems. Some results of this activity are included in a paper which is has been awarded the 2014 SAE Arch T. Colwell Merit Award.

Dr Lawson was a Co-Investigator on the Airbus and UK ATI funded Future of Aircraft Factory Project (2015-2017). This research advanced aircraft wing systems design for manufacturability, which is a key enabler to increase A320 production rates.

Current activities

Dr Lawson is a core and leading member of the Aerospace Vehicle Design MSc teaching team. Dr Lawson's current teaching responsibilities include lecturing Airframe Systems Design, and Aircraft Performance. Craig also leads the Airframe Systems Design activities in the AVD MSc Group Design Project. He also supervises design and research projects in the field of Aircraft Systems. 

Current research topics: 

·         Aircraft integration of advanced systems technologies, including more electric systems and novel flight controls

·         Airframe systems modelling for aircraft level operational optimisation

·         Airframe systems modelling to improve preliminary aircraft design processes

·         Airframe systems technologies for uninhabited air vehicles

·         Aircraft level thermal management and aircraft performance impact

·         Water management in aircraft fuel systems

·         Aircraft cabin systems

·         Design of wing systems for assembly

Dr Lawson is the Principle Investigator (£450k) on the UK ATI funded project UHBR Thermals, led by Meggitt (2017-2020). This research is improving integrated aircraft and engine thermal management for large aircraft powered by geared turbofan engines.

Craig is the Principle Investigator (€300k) on the EU Horizon2020 project on Future Aircraft Cabins for the Asian Market, led by Airbus (FUCAM 2016-2019).

Craig has published more than 50 research papers, including 20+ peer-reviewed journal papers. Craig has also published 2 book chapters and filed an EU/USA patent with Airbus.

Dr Lawson is a Chartered Engineer, Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society and serves as Honorary Secretary of the Cranfield Branch. He is also a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy.

Clients

  • BAE Systems
  • Airbus
  • Boeing
  • Meggitt
  • Thales

Publications

Articles In Journals

Conference Papers

Books

  • Lawson CP (2011) Aircraft Environmental Control Systems. In: Encyclopaedia of Aerospace Engineering, Wiley.
  • Lawson CP & Seresinhe R Impact of Airframe Systems on Green Airliner Operation. In: Encyclopaedia of Aerospace Engineering, Wiley, p. 1-12.