New research centre at Cranfield University

A £35 million Aerospace Integration Research Centre (AIRC) has opened at Cranfield University. It has been funded by Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Cranfield University, following an award from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

The flagship facility will boost aerospace research capabilities in the UK. Thus cementing the University’s reputation as the leading aerospace research institution in Europe.

Integrating advanced technologies

Researchers from both the University and business partners will work under one roof. The Centre will research ways of integrating advanced technologies to reduce the time from academic innovation to industrial application.
The AIRC is equipped with the latest cutting-edge aerospace research technology.
Such as:
  • Air traffic management (ATM) and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) laboratories
  • flight simulators; a virtual wind tunnel
  • A FANUC robot in the intelligent automation centre
  • A 1500 sq m open space work area, currently housing a full-size wing from an Airbus plane

Aerospace integration between research and business

Cranfield University vice-chancellor and chief executive, Professor Sir Peter Gregson, said:

“Facilities such as the AIRC mean Cranfield is at the forefront of changing the way the world thinks about flight.

“Greater integration between research and world-renowned businesses provides us with the opportunity to tackle some of aerospace’s grand challenges by providing the technologies, facilities and skills that are needed to succeed.”

Airbus head of landing gear and UK senior site representative,Trevor Higgs, said:

“We at Airbus see the AIRC as a key part of the growing research ecosystem the aerospace industry has in the UK, and will help us foster closer relationships with research partners and to accelerate and deliver on our research strategy for the Wing of Tomorrow, to make sure our products remain the best in world.”

Cranfield is the only university in Europe that brings together major aerospace research facilities, an operational airport and runway on one connected site.

Rolls-Royce director of technology strategy, Henner Wapenhans, added:

“This new Centre will help develop the next generation of highly skilled engineers and will play an important role in developing the innovative technologies needed to enhance performance, improve efficiency and reduce emissions of future aircraft.”

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