Cranfield University has been awarded funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to provide a new centre for teaching programmes on intelligent mobility and transport systems at the campus.

The £10 million Integrated Transport Systems Engineering Centre, jointly funded by HEFCE, South East Midland Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) and Cranfield, will provide a dedicated space with specialist facilities. The teaching centre and ‘virtual’ hub will support teaching, training and executive education development for the burgeoning intelligent mobility and transport systems sector. 

Professor Sir Peter Gregson, Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University, said: “We are delighted to have been successful in securing this funding from HEFCE and grateful for the support of SEMLEP. This centre will support Cranfield and our partners in delivering education and training which will have a transformational effect on the lives of learners.”

To be open by 2016, the centre will provide access to key partners, allowing undergraduate and further education providers to deliver industry-relevant education and training in a multi-skills-level environment, providing real-life team-working in the transport systems sector, equipping them with the knowledge for the 21st-century workplace.

Daniel Mouawad, Chief Executive of South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), said: "We welcome this funding which, combined with SEMLEP's £2 million, will equip Cranfield University with a new Centre for Integrated Transport Systems Engineering. This centre will play a significant role in education provision across the South East Midlands and form the foundation of Cranfield's Campus Masterplan."

The Transport Systems Catapult (TSC - the UKs technology and innovation centre for Intelligent Mobility, based in Milton Keynes) supported Cranfield’s bid. They are a key partner in a twin-city consortium appointed by Innovate UK to lead a £20 million project announced last week, that will integrate driverless cars into everyday life and position the UK as a global leader in driverless vehicles and autonomous systems technology.

Steve Yianni, Chief Executive of TSC said: “With a vested interest in emerging transport technologies and intelligent mobility solutions, we recognise the requirement for the evolution of a knowledge enriched, appropriately qualified and skilled workforce across the sector.  We are confident that the new centre will have a positive impact at a national level; both as an educational facility and as a novel model for HE sector adoption.”

This Training Centre together with the new Aerospace Centre building Cranfield announced in July, form part of a 25 year plan of investment to develop the Cranfield campus and its facilities.

Mock up of the centre
The Integrated Transport Systems Engineering Centre is a £10 million project

About Cranfield University

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

Transport Systems at Cranfield

Cranfield has over 50 years’ experience in transport, including the aviation, automotive, motorsport, military and marine sectors.

We are the only university in Europe to own and run an airport and to have airline status.

Our education and award-winning research covers all modes of vehicles and transport across technology, engineering and management, including sustainable transport and intelligent mobility.

In an increasingly interconnected world, we specialise in understanding the whole environment in which transport operates: the vehicles, infrastructure, businesses and logistics, as well as the human aspects of operating, managing and using transport.

Our world-class facilities include high-performance wind tunnels, an off-road vehicle dynamics facility, a crash impact test centre (one of just three FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) approved test centres in the world) and our Accident Investigation Laboratory, which is dedicated to our work in aviation, marine and rail safety and the only accident investigation laboratory of its type outside the United States. We were awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for our world-leading work in aviation safety through research and training in air accident investigation in 2011.

Completed in 2017, our latest facility, the Multi-User Environment for Autonomous Vehicle Innovation, is a £19 million ‘smart’ roadway test environment for the development of intelligent and autonomous vehicles, making it a UK first. It includes the associated systems needed to integrate emerging technologies into our day-to-day lives.

A new £65 million Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre will also be built at Cranfield to spearhead the UK’s research into digital aviation technology, and a new state-of-the-art digital control tower, which replicates what can be seen through the windows of a traditional air traffic control tower via a live feed using HD cameras and sensors, is being installed at Cranfield Airport.