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Cranfield University Announces Professorship in Autonomous Systems and Artificial Intelligence


Cranfield University Announces Professorship in Autonomous Systems and Artificial Intelligence


Cranfield University recently announced plans for an upcoming BAE Systems sponsored Professorship in Autonomous Systems and Artificial Intelligence at the University.  The research oriented Professorship will see the convergence of research in UAV’s, Space and artificial intelligence (AI) adding to Cranfield’s leading reputation in the fields of autonomous systems and AI.

Intelligent, autonomous, or semi-autonomous systems have a bright future in store given the advancements in machine learning, high-performance computing, data science, multimodal sensing, and control. Also artificial intelligence systems have begun to achieve cognitive abilities such as language, attention, and creativity, focused on improving the safety and efficiency of systems for space technology and increasingly autonomous systems in aerospace and aviation.

The Cranfield University is currently working on major research programmes such as: the national UAVs Traffic Management (UTM) system, Incremental Nonlinear flight Control supplemented with Envelope ProtecTION techniques (INCEPTION) and the EPSRC-funded programme, Complex Autonomous aircraft Systems Configuration, Analysis and Design Exploratory (CASCADE).

Cranfield University is one of the five select UK universities to have a strategic partnership with BAE Systems and has attracted substantial government and industrial investment, in the areas of autonomy and artificial intelligence, in the last three years. The University is home to facilities such as the Aerospace Integration Research Centre (AIRC), the Intelligent Mobility Engineering Centre(IMEC) and the Multi-User Environment for Autonomous Vehicle Innovation (MUEAVI) have been constructed, with the new £65 million Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre (DARTeC) under development.

Professor Iain Gray, Director of Aerospace at Cranfield University, said: “Underpinned by our global research airport, Cranfield has a suite of world-leading facilities that support our work in autonomous systems and artificial intelligence. This partnership with BAE Systems is the latest exciting development, and we are delighted to be working with them in an area that will be critically important to the defence and aerospace sectors over the coming years.”

Julia Sutcliffe, Chief Technology Officer, and BAE Systems Air said: “Autonomous systems and artificial intelligence have the potential to provide a substantial positive impact upon product, service, and industrial capabilities. This prestigious appointment, in a growing and highly disruptive field, will enable BAE Systems to exploit the latest technologies in these areas to continuously improve our engineering and manufacturing processes, and give our customers a differentiating capability in the field.”

Organisations as diverse as Jaguar Land Rover, BAE Systems, Royal Dutch Shell, L’Oréal, UNICEF and the African Development Bank have benefited from Cranfield university’s work, ranging from management research projects, through staff talent management development on its MBA courses, to customised executive programmes. Cranfield is also one of an elite group of Schools worldwide to hold the triple accreditation of: AACSB International (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System) and AMBA (the Association of MBAs). Over 10,000 people come to Cranfield each year to benefit from our executive and professional development programmes.

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Cite this article as: Vidi Nene, "Cranfield University Announces Professorship in Autonomous Systems and Artificial Intelligence," in, October 8, 2018,

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