Cranfield is world-leading in its contribution to global innovation. With our emphasis on the aerospace, automotive, defence and security, health, environment, management and manufacturing sectors, we have changed the way society thinks, works and learns.
We generate and transform knowledge, translating it to the benefit of society. Our partners, from micro SMEs to the largest blue-chip multinationals, from governments across the world to NGOs and charities, tell us this is what they value about Cranfield.
Innovation is part of Cranfield’s ‘corporate DNA’, evolved over 60 years of commitment to this agenda.
Our work informs policy for governments and produces new technologies and products for the world of commerce. We draw on this pool of research and consultancy to provide our students with a distinctive ‘real-world’ learning environment, allowing them to develop as professionals and transfer their new knowledge to the global economy. This has always been the ‘Cranfield way’ but it has never been more important than in today’s world.
The theme running through Cranfield’s 60-year history is a commitment to and passion for applied research which makes a difference to the world in the fields of science, technology and management.
The forerunner of Cranfield University was the College of Aeronautics, created in 1946 and based at the RAF station in Cranfield, Bedfordshire. Through the 1950s and 1960s, the development of many aspects of aircraft research and design led to considerable growth and diversification into other technologies and into manufacturing and management.
In 1969, the College of Aeronautics became The Cranfield Institute of Technology incorporated by Royal Charter with full degree-awarding powers, and new departments were set up to cover the work in the new subject areas, such as the Cranfield School of Management.
The last thirty years have seen further substantial progress, including an academic partnership with the Defence Academy, UK, at Shrivenham in Wiltshire. The result is that Cranfield has grown to become the largest centre in Europe for applied research, development and design.