Iain Gray
Appointment of Iain Gray CBE as Director of Aerospace

Cranfield University is delighted to announce the appointment of Iain Gray CBE as Director of Aerospace.

Iain will join Cranfield in March 2015 from his current position as Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency and will lead the extensive aerospace capabilities across the University and their strategic relationships with the world’s major aerospace industrial organisations.

As Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board since Nov 2007, Iain has created an organisation which plays a vital role in UK economic development by funding, supporting and connecting innovative businesses through a unique mix of people and programmes to accelerate economic growth.

Through his leadership, the organisation has developed in strength and maturity with a growing budget, strong partner relationships across the UK, Europe and internationally and a pivotal role in the country’s future competiveness and growth. Prior to the Technology Strategy Board, Iain was Engineering Director and then Managing Director at Airbus UK during the development of the Airbus A380, the world's largest passenger airliner.

Professor Sir Peter Gregson, Cranfield’s Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor, announced the appointment saying: “We are delighted to welcome Iain to the University. His extensive aerospace background coupled with his experience at the Technology Strategy Board is a further example of our commitment to deliver transformational research and education programmes of industrial relevance. Our University has a fundamental role to play in maintaining the UK as a leader in aerospace. Iain’s thought leadership will enhance Cranfield’s impact in this important sector.”

Iain Gray said: “I am both excited and honoured to be joining Cranfield University to lead its aerospace capabilities. The University’s pre-eminent business and government relationships place it in an ideal position to provide academic leadership in collaborative research to develop new products, processes and services for the aerospace sector. I’m proud to bring my experience of, and passion for, one of the UK’s most important industrial sectors and to progressing Cranfield’s long heritage in this area.”   

The Higher Education Funding Council for England’s recent announcement of Cranfield’s winning bid for the £35 million Aerospace Integration Research Centre (AIRC), co-sponsored by Rolls-Royce and Airbus, aligns directly with this significant appointment and reinforces Cranfield’s pre-eminent position in aerospace.  

Together with the Aerospace Technologies Institute (ATI), which is also located at Cranfield, these developments create a world-leading aerospace hub for research and innovation technology and enhance Cranfield University’s role in supporting businesses to develop the talent and skills they need in the workforce, sustaining the UK’s leading competitive position in the global marketplace.

Notes for editors

About the Aerospace Integration Research Centre
The AIRC, opening in 2016, will be a collaborative, world-leading, research facility. Through the integration of airframes propulsion and other systems and technologies, the Centre will research innovative aerospace technologies to enhance performance, emission control and efficiency targets on future aircraft.

About Iain Gray CBE
Iain Gray completed his early education in Aberdeen, culminating in an Engineering Science honours degree at Aberdeen University. In addition, he gained a Masters of Philosophy at Southampton University in 1989. Since then Iain has received Honorary Doctorates from Bath, Bristol, Aberdeen, Aston and Exeter Universities in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2012 respectively. He is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering; a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and in 2007 was awarded the Royal Aeronautical Society Gold Medal. In 2011 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Iain is a Board Member of Engineering UK, a Governor of the University of the West of England, a Board Member of SEMTA and a Board Member of Energy Technologies Institute and on the Council of London City University. Iain was made a Fellow of Cardiff University and in the New Years Honours 2014 awarded a CBE for his contribution to innovation, science and technology.

About Cranfield University

Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.