Tim Mackley has been appointed as the new Head of Cranfield University’s Aerospace Integration Research Centre (AIRC), a new facility which will enable industrial collaboration and academic research in aerospace.

Mr Mackley, a senior lecturer in systems engineering at the university, will be responsible for  co-ordination  of all activities across the University, and with external partners, leading to the opening of the research centre later this year and its subsequent operation. This includes project managing  the equipping of the research labs, defining and co-ordinating the intended research programmes across the University and with external partners, and carrying our regular reviews to ensure the Centre’s successful operation..

Tim Mackley said “The Aerospace Integration Research Centre represents a new approach to performing research in an increasingly integrated world. I am looking forward to working with our partners in industry and across academia to develop what is intended to be a key capability in aerospace research both in the UK and internationally.”

The AIRC is a £35 million project, made possible through co-investment from Airbus, Rolls-Royce, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and Cranfield University. Building on Cranfield’s existing expertise, the AIRC will foster collaboration between industry and academia and provide capabilities comparable with the leading aerospace facilities across Europe and the world.

The new centre will focus on integration in aerospace: the integration of new technologies, new aircraft solutions within their wider systems or integration of programmes and their management. The centre will make extensive use of modern simulation and visualisation technologies addressing hardware in the loop, pilot in the loop and air traffic management. This use of simulation and visualisation is key to the overall concept of creating a virtual aerospace environment for research.

The AIRC is due to open at the end of 2016, with its official opening in 2017. The building was ‘topped out’ at the end of June 2016, attended by MEP Vicky Ford.

The focus is now on the fit-out, the planning of staff and equipment to move into AIRC and the start of a number of AIRC research programmes.

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AIRC Building

Notes for editors

About the AIRC

The AIRC will be a national facility for the UK, fostering collaboration between industry and academia. Cranfield University’s extensive facilities are a key component of the AIRC. The on-site airport will allow researchers to take their projects from theory to flight demonstration in one place, validating their research to technology readiness levels 6-7, levels higher than the level normally associated in an academic environment. 

About Cranfield University

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