Perspectives Issue 2 / December 2016

Keeping staff informed Issue 2 / December 2016 Perspectives

Inside this issue

Top new facilities make for an exciting 2017 Cranfield adds its name to the Armed Forces Covenant

European partners meeting strengthens ties Apprenticeships – a win, win for Cranfield

Welcome to Perspectives

European Partners meeting strengthens existing ties In a post-Brexit world, it will be more important than ever to renew teaching partnerships and

explore new collaboration opportunities in research with our European neighbours. We currently have more than 70 partnership agreements with European universities and engineering schools – known collectively as the European Partnership Programme (EPP) – with more than 300 students currently studying with us as part of the Erasmus+ scheme. More than 20 of our partner universities from six European countries visited the Cranfield campus in late November for an event led by Professor Tom Stephenson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor – Research and Innovation.

Message from... Each issue we hear from a member of our Senior Management Team. Putting pen to paper on this occasion is Professor Simon Pollard, Pro-Vice-Chancellor – Water, Energy and Environment, and Executive Lead, International Partnerships and Student Recruitment. International students enrich our communities immensely and make lasting contributions to our University. The ‘International Student Recruitment Summit’ in October examined how we can grow our international student body further and what practical steps will make a difference in the short and medium term, notwithstanding the ongoing political discussions within Government on this issue. Universities that have grown their international student communities significantly have done so by articulating an international student experience as a platform for success and lifelong learning beyond graduation. They have leveraged the commitment of their alumni communities as their institutional champions in key regions and global cities. Increasingly important is the need to deploy significant diplomatic effort through government networks for access to international grants and scholarships and to build in-country sector awareness. Then, underpinning all this is the business imperative to lift academic-to-academic partnerships, where appropriate, for wider institutional benefit, especially with respect to student recruitment and collaborative research partnerships. Our Summit heard from a variety of speakers, both internal and external, and a plenary session drew commitments on: • the need for a revised international strategy in light of the developing political and business landscape • the need to better communicate our internal processes for international recruitment • the need to showcase our international student offer more visibly. Focused effort is already underway. Since Cranfield’s first international strategy, published in November 2015, there have been significant developments. We have: • set the foundations for a series of student ‘pipeline’ arrangements with universities abroad, whereby overseas institutions send students to Cranfield to complete their studies • reconfirmed, or newly put in place, similar relationships with international companies and consortia that send their staff to study at the University • confirmed our contract with Muscat University in Oman to teach six MSc courses in Muscat from September 2017 (see page 4) • signed new Memoranda of Understanding with NTU Singapore, Beihang University, Beijing and RMIT, Melbourne (see page 4) • reset our International Partnerships and Student Recruitment team under Andrew Jones, as Acting Director, and our current focus • strengthened our relationships with various international scholarship councils that support their best applicants to study in the UK.

Teamwork means CDS again leads the way in investing in people There was some great news for Cranfield Defence and Security as the School’s Investors in People (IIP) accreditation was reconfirmed in November. IIP is a UK quality standard which shows commitment to the learning and development of an organisation’s employees and best practice in people management. CDS and Campus Services are the only parts of the University to currently hold this accreditation. Last year, the School was reassessed and achieved 28 out of the required 39 indicators of the IIP Standard. A period of twelve months’ grace was allowed to focus effort on those elements that had not quite met the standard. All the hard work paid off because when the assessor returned at the beginning of last month, she was impressed by the progress made, stating in her report: “I would like to offer my congratulations to all employees and the management in achieving this [IIP]. There have been new appointments to the Executive (PVCS) and the whole team has shown considerable hard work in ensuring that the previous record of good practice is once again reinstated and is being fully demonstrated. Congratulations for taking the challenge and achieving a fine result.” A management charter, which uses the newly-launched IIP Standard as a basis, has been adopted by the School. This identifies what is expected of managers in leading, supporting and improving performance and should mean CDS is well placed for its next review in two years’ time. Professor Simon Jones, Pro-Vice-Chancellor – Defence and Security, said: “This is an important success for us as we are in a people business and the IIP Standard measures how well we manage, develop and support our people in achieving what the University needs from them. It shows what CDS is capable of when we put our minds to it and work cooperatively. It was an excellent collaborative effort which brought together the CDS executive and the Human Resources and Organisational Development teams all working with, and for the benefit of, staff.” In welcoming Cranfield’s partners our Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Peter Gregson described the close links with business as being in the University’s DNA. It is reflected in our new facilities – the Aerospace Integration Research Centre (AIRC), Intelligent Mobility Engineering Centre (IMEC) and the Centre for Atmospheric Informatics and Emissions Technology (CAIET). Richard Fuller, the MP for Bedford and a member of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee, was invited to speak about his personal reasons for backing Brexit and agreed that clarity was important for students and academics alike moving forward. This was followed by group discussions led by Professor Lynette Ryals, Pro-Vice-Chancellor - Education, on opportunities for new collaboration. Our partner universities in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Austria and Poland then heard about the broad range of research at the University in a number of theme showcases. Sandwiched in between, and following a networking lunch, was an opportunity to tour some of our newest facilities, including the AIRC which is due to open early in the New Year, some of Environment and Agrifood’s research facilities and the Operations Excellence Institute. A number of areas were discussed in a round-up of the day, Next Steps, which focused on potential greater MSc and PhD student collaboration and academic staff exchange. There was then an opportunity for our European visitors to meet some of their own double degree students – who are completing their final year of studies at Cranfield – over informal drinks in the Vincent Building. Finally, our guests mingled with Cranfield staff over evening dinner. Professor Daniel García-Almiñana is from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona which currently has 25 of its students studying aerospace-related subjects with us. He said: “It was fascinating to meet and hear from other colleagues from across Europe who also have relationships with Cranfield. The day was interesting for so many reasons, particularly to hear about the potential for extra collaboration in addition to the current MSc scheme such as for PhD students and academic staff exchange.” There's also a Brexit support and advice page that has been published on the intranet. Find it under 'Useful links' tab > 'Brexit - support and advice' more online

This is a rapidly developing aspect of any change to university's business however and we have set ourselves stretching targets for international growth. We will best position ourselves if we develop strong relationships with international universities that have similar approaches to postgraduate learning and the same commitment to excellence, if we can build on the superb relationships with academic colleagues abroad for greater benefit, and if we can use our alumni and client base to champion the benefits of a Cranfield education, and action on all these is underway.

Thanks go to this edition’s contributors: Denise Bigwood, Pete Gibbs, Amy Greenaway, Chris Leaman, Duncan Murray, Hannah Park, Toby Shergold, Liam Singleton, Kate Wescombe (Communications and External Affairs) ; Jackie Akhavan, Debra Carr, John Hoggard, Simon Jones, Rob Pearce (Cranfield Defence and Security) ; Lorraine Bell, Greg Boulton (Education Support) ; Emma Butterwick, Lynette Ryals (Executive Office) ; Karen Seas, Becky Shepherd (Facilities) ; Scott Neave (Finance) ; Linda Bryant, Jo Catterill, Barbara Clack, Karen Hinder, Jaq Moore (Human Resources & Organisational Development) ; Jen Fensome, Kala Kennedy, Andrew Kirchner, Sandra Messenger (Research and Innovation) ; Iain Gray, Phil John, Louise Lam, Mudassir Lone, Tim Mackley Tetsuo Tomiyama, Antonios Tsourdos (School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing) ; Steve Hallett, Tim Hess, Jerry Knox, Alison Parker, Simon Pollard, Jane Rickson, Leon Terry (School of Water, Energy and Environment) ; Anne Laure Humbert, Michelle Mabbett, Liz Varga (School of Management).

New partnership launched with Omani and UK universities Six dual programmes are being established with a newly-formed university in Oman to build capacity in technology and management as the country’s economy diversifies. The masters’ programmes will be delivered by Cranfield colleagues working alongside local academics at the new Muscat University from September 2017. The 10-year project will gradually build expertise within Muscat University as well as equipping professional learners in the region with the postgraduate skills suited to Oman’s ambitions in infrastructure development, logistics and wider commerce. Research collaborations with Muscat colleagues are also anticipated. The new university approached us because of our expertise in air transport, supply chain logistics, energy systems, finance and entrepreneurship. Aston University are our partners on this project and will be delivering undergraduate education at the university. To minimise the number of trips that people have to make, and to ensure the most effective use of people’s time when in Oman, the two universities will look to share responsibilities for academic support and quality assurance (e.g. supporting exam boards). Professor Simon Pollard, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, was our representative as the international partnership was launched earlier this year in Oman. This is part of our postgraduate partnership with Aston launched in 2015 which aims to create distinctive higher education opportunities in the business, management and engineering sectors. The collaboration includes offering Aston’s students and graduates an Alumni bursary of up to 20% on a wide range of specialist Masters’ degrees, matching the arrangements for Aston students who continue onto postgraduate study at Aston. There is also a flourishing collaboration on research opportunities, and plans for shared access to specialist research assets. In addition, Aston has offered access to its Masters in Education for Cranfield staff holding a Cranfield PG Cert or PG CAP, and the first successful applicant from Cranfield starts the Aston MEd this month. Like ourselves, Aston also has strong links with business with particular expertise in entrepreneurship and enterprise, working with small and medium- sized enterprises, and aiding small business growth. It has a strong focus on employability and social mobility and has been a leading university for graduate employment success for more than 25 years.

Are we a metal 3D part record breaker? Our MSc students have designed and manufactured what could be the biggest metal 3D part ever made in one piece. The huge double-sided spar was made from aerospace-grade aluminium, using the University’s own WAAM (Wire + Arc Additive Manufacture) process, and is six metres long and a whopping 300kgs. It was produced to test the capabilities of our new twin-robot 10m 3D printer which is already being upgraded for the production of titanium parts, making it suitable for the aerospace sector among others. Additive manufacture, perhaps better known as 3D printing, produces metal parts quicker, cheaper and more efficiently. In comparison to traditional manufacturing techniques which rely on removing material through cutting or drilling, the new metal will have the flexibility to be produced with any shape. This means there will be more opportunity for unique metal designs, less waste and increased value for money. Professor Stewart Williams, who heads our additive manufacturing rolling programme of activities known as WAAMMat, said: “Hundreds of millions of pounds are spent on medium to large-scale components by the aerospace industry each year. There is great potential for significant cost savings in terms of reduction in waste and increases in production efficiency if we can transform the way these parts are manufactured.”

Our Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Peter said: “As two internationally-acclaimed universities with a shared focus on the needs of business and government, it’s an excellent opportunity for us to play to our strengths on a range of complementary activities.”

more online

Could we let a robot take the strain instead? A lot of behind-the-scenes maintenance work on our railways requires a high level of attention to detail, in often dangerous conditions.

Professor Simon Pollard (right) signs the international partnership agreement in Oman.

Forging new relationships in 2016 We are a global university which has developed strong relationships with industrial and academic organisations from around the world. Expanding our links in academia and business allows us to collaborate with leading institutions that have similar research interests to make ground-breaking developments in the future of technology and management. • Beihang University in Beijing to broaden our previous collaborations to include research into the future of air transport systems. This was as part of the University’s delegation to China and Singapore in September. • Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Nanyang Polytechnic , both in Singapore, as part of our delegation to Asia. We have shared interests with NTU in clean energy and environment, engineering, and nanotechnology, and both host Rolls-Royce University Technology Centres (UTCs). We will collaborate in manufacturing and development and staff/student exchanges with Nanyang Polytechnic. • Universidad Aeronáutica en Querétaro (UNAQ) in Mexico, which was signed at the Farnborough Airshow in July. UNAQ is a specialist aerospace university, supported by the Government of the State of Queretaro and the Federal Government of Mexico. It is focused on training professionals and researchers for the aeronautical sector and, in particular, supporting the growing aerospace industrial capability in the state. We have continued to forge new relationships in 2016 with the signing of further memoranda of understanding (MOUs).

The University overcame some other high-calibre proposals earlier this year to be one of the ‘blue-sky ideas’ chosen to reduce rolling stock maintenance times and costs while increasing reliability. We were one of four winning projects selected to share £250,000 by industry safety and standards organisation RSSB into the feasibility of using robots and autonomous systems to undertake ‘dangerous, difficult, dirty and dull’ rolling stock maintenance tasks. This was under the Application of Robotics & Autonomous Systems to Rolling Stock Maintenance competition, facilitated by the Rail Research UK Association. Professor Tetsuo Tomiyama from our Manufacturing Informatics Centre is Cranfield’s lead on the ‘cab front cleaning robot’ project together with Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. The project also involves industry partners Bombardier Transportation, Chiltern Railways and Shadow Robot Company. A robot prototype is being developed to demonstrate the ability of adapting to the cab front surface; it needs to apply the right force to clean, covering the whole cab front and avoiding obstacles such as wipers and handles.

Perspectives online: Intranet > 'Communications' > 'Perspectives'


What’s the basis of a great team? Does the proportion of women and men in a team affect the quality and quantity of research outputs? What about other team characteristics such as age and level of experience?

Our pledge of support The University has joined a growing group of organisations that have pledged support for the military community and their families by signing up to the UK Armed Forces Covenant.

Our Vice-Chancellor Sir Peter Gregson said: “We are delighted to add our name to the UK Armed Forces Covenant. Support for our Armed Forces, which contribute so much to our University, community and country, has been in the DNA of Cranfield since our founding on the site of RAF Cranfield 70 years ago.” Mark Lancaster, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence Personnel and Veterans, witnessed the university signing by Sir Peter Gregson alongside members of staff who currently serve or have served in the armed forces.

This is a topic being investigated by Dr Anne Laure Humbert and Dr Elisabeth Guenther from the Global Centre for Gender and Leadership in the School of Management, as part of a project examining what makes great research teams. One of the main aims is to develop a Gender Diversity Index which will measure the representation of women and men in teams, not only in terms of numbers but also in relation to different levels of experience and various demographic characteristics. This will provide a self- assessment tool that can be used by any research team to assess how diverse it is from a gender perspective. A second aim is to examine the relationship between gender diversity in research teams and research performance. This will be done through the use of an exciting and innovative approach involving socio-metric badges which measure daily interactions between members of a team.

Mark and Sir Peter Gregson met with Syed Allan from our Finance team who is a serving reservist with 158 Regiment of the Royal Logistics Corps and Jonathan Pratt, a junior technican in SATM and a member of the Army Cadet Force in Cranfield village.

RC: I would say that it’s a toss-up between the regular domestic upheaval, particularly with my children’s schooling, and the insatiable efficiency monster always wanting more with less! How did you come to work at Cranfield? PM: I was working as an air accident investigator, having trained for the role at Cranfield University. I liked the way the university embraced both academic and applied practice, and because of this I believed I could add value to the training of future students coming through the department. CT: I did a Ministry of Defence sponsored master’s degree with Cranfield, finishing about three years before I was due to leave the Service; and off of the back of that, Cranfield got in touch with me when I was coming up to leave, told me about a vacancy and invited me to apply – and here I am! Also, my last job was at the Defence Academy, so I think that helped. RC: I was military staff on some of the courses at the Defence Academy, working closely with some Cranfield staff. One day someone mentioned a job being advertised and thought I would be a great fit. After an interview and presentation to prospective colleagues, I was offered the job. The process was quite lengthy, but eventually a firm offer was made and accepted! How do the skills you’ve developed in the armed forces benefit you working at Cranfield? PM: The ability to remain flexible, problem solve and work under your own initiative are key transferable skills from the military to my current role in the University. CT: Given the situation and contact with the military, I think an understanding of the culture has definitely helped. The teamwork ethos and discipline that comes from military life has made the transition easier. And, it’s all about who you know, not what you know, so having a reasonable network of contacts has also been useful. RC: Many of the skills suit both roles. Teamwork, planning, getting the job done, confidence in front of students/delegates. I was proud to say I was in the Army and I am proud to say I work for Cranfield – it is good to work for respected institutions. What’s the biggest difference between military and civilian work, life, community etc? CT: It comes down to culture. Academic life and research can be much more solitary and individualistic than the military. Sometimes I miss the people and teamwork aspect of military life, but I get to do the research that I want to do, I’m doing a doctorate, I get plenty of foreign travel if I want it. All of that combined with a stable family life, whilst maintaining some significant links with the military here at the Defence Academy, means it’s all good! PM: I find my new civilian colleagues to be similar in many ways to my previous military colleagues. We rely on each other because the department is so busy, and because of this reliance we’ve formed a close bond. RC: The biggest difference is more certainty in my work schedule. Living in one place means neighbours are not constantly changing and I meet plenty of people I know when I’m walking down the High Street. But, that all being said, there is now the challenge of having to decide what to wear every day!

Among our Cranfield community, we have a number of serving and former military personnel. Here we catch up with three of our lecturers who have previously served in the armed forces to find out more about their experiences of the military and their lives after leaving the services.

These badges are worn around the neck for about a week and measure interactions within teams, including face-to-face interactions and the positon in which team members sit in relation to one another other. The badges include microphones which, rather than taking note of the content of conversation, measure which people speak and when. The first case studies are currently taking place and involve our own Cranfield research teams as well as other research teams in Spain and Germany. Anne said: “These badges are an example of how new technologies transform research, so our work really is pioneering. It’s such a fantastic opportunity to experiment with new techniques and I can definitely see the potential this has. The data we collected is going to be so interesting.” Funded by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 programme, the three-year project involves partners from Sweden, Germany, Spain and the UK. Is your team a willing case study? Anne is looking for more research teams across the University to take part in her work. Interested? Email her at:

Accident investigation lecturer Pete McCarthy served for 32 years in the Army before joining Cranfield two years ago. He flew helicopters for 25 of those years as a pilot with the Army Air Corps. Chris Taylor , lecturer at Cranfield Defence and Security (CDS), was a regular in the Royal Navy for 16 and a half years, working as an education and training specialist and focusing on the submarine service – a schoolie submariner! Having left in July 2014, he started at Cranfield in August 2014. Roger Crook , who is also a lecturer at CDS, spent 37 years in the Army, working within the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers as a mechanical engineer.

Big BEN project in London strikes a blow for the low- carbon economy We are playing our own small part in helping to combat global warming by enabling electricity to be generated in a way that actually removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Our Combustion, Carbon Capture and Storage Centre is working in collaboration with carbon-negative technology business Origen Power, on a fuel cell calciner. This new technology will capture CO 2 from the atmosphere – providing negative CO 2 overall emissions – and so help keep its concentration in the atmosphere as low as possible, while electricity is generated. This is as part of the wider BEN (Balanced Energy Networks) project on the London South Bank University campus in Southwark. The £2.9 million two-year project, funded by Innovate UK and led by cleantech company ICAX, is delivering both a physical and digital network to integrate systems that will enable the balancing of heating, cooling, electricity and carbon to minimise costs. Our share is nearly £512,000 and we are aiming to utilise the waste heat and chemical energy from a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) in an innovative calciner. This will enable the production of a pure stream of CO 2 ready for sequestration (the process involved in carbon capture). The spent sorbent (a material used to absorb or adsorb liquids or gases) will be used to capture CO 2 from the atmosphere and so provide negative CO 2 overall emissions.

Optimising energy management in industry to help reduce carbon emissions The UK Government, the European Union and the international community in general all have ambitious targets for reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and global warming. Even though the UK is likely to meet its 2020 emission reduction targets, longer-term targets to 2050 and 2100 are unlikely to be met without substantial changes to policy and technological approaches in the generation, distribution and utilisation of energy. A three-year UK project which starts this month is aiming to address these challenges by working closely with some key industrial collaborators. Professor Liz Varga from our Complex Systems Research Centre is leading on the project for Cranfield, working with Emeritus Professor Peter Allen and also Dr Nazmiye Ozkan from our Institute of Resilient Futures. Liz said: “OPTEMIN is taking a whole system approach to the optimisation of energy management in industry, with a view to meeting long-term targets for reducing GHG emissions and global warming. Its objective is to demonstrate the potential to achieve energy demand and carbon emission reductions of more than 15%.” The £1.6 million project, of which our income is £450,000, is being funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). It is being led by Brunel University and also involves Queen’s University Belfast.

What first attracted you to being part of the armed forces and what is the most enjoyable part? PM: Both my brothers had previously joined the army, and their positive accounts were the driving force for me to join. It was a proud moment when I joined one of them for the presentation of his MBE and their examples were an inspiration to me. CT: I sort of fell into the Royal Navy on graduation from university, as I had no idea what I wanted to really do! But I loved pretty much every minute of it! It sounds a bit twee and nostalgic, but it’s the people that make it; the Mob is just full of characters! Even if it’s not a great job you’re in, the people really make it a complete life – it’s full-on, work hard, play hard and I had a great time! RC: As a teenager I was attracted by the prospect of good sixth form education at Welbeck College. The Army appealed to my enjoyment of sport and answered the question: “What am I going to do for employment?!” What was the biggest challenge you experienced as part of the armed forces? PM: Without a doubt, the biggest challenge was operational service in conflict areas, where you are separated from your family for extended periods of time. CT: I had a pretty safe life as a schoolie, with only around three years being spent in sea-going jobs, but the hardest bit by far is the instability and separation from family – even if you’re not at sea, you can be constantly on the move around the country.

Perspectives Keeping staff informed December 2016

Perspectives online: Intranet > 'Communications' > 'Perspectives'



Helping to ensure the UK’s future food security through ‘precision soil mapping’ Precision farming involves dividing farmed land into management zones which have specific characteristics – soil being the most important. Using such precision data has been proven to lead to better yield results across all crops when compared to traditional and conventional farming ‘whole field’ approaches. However, to date, the perceived high cost of entry has proved a barrier for many small-scale farmers seeking to adopt precision farming techniques. Our Soil and Agrifood Institute is part of a collaborative two-year project aiming to help arable farmers and landowners from all over the UK make a more affordable entry into precision farming through the production of a high resolution digital soil map. This project has already attracted considerable media interest, including a magazine article in Farmers Weekly and a broadcast piece on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today programme among numerous others (see page 26).

Our Nano Membrane Toilet is no flash in the pan The Nano Membrane Toilet project has secured additional major funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support its next phase of development.

Dr Alison Parker from the Cranfield Water Science Institute said: “The new funding will support our research teams in Water, Energy and Power, and Design to tackle the considerable challenge of turning the laboratory prototype into a product for the marketplace. We believe the Nano Membrane Toilet will be a sustainable sanitation solution for the huge number of people around the world who currently find it hard to access a clean and affordable toilet in their home.” An estimated 2.4 billion people live without improved sanitation, and diarrhoea caused by poor sanitation and unsafe water kills 315,000 children every year. For the past four years, Alison and her team has been working on this pioneering, multi-disciplinary project to develop a practical toilet for densely populated urban communities. The challenge originally set was that the toilet must function without water or plumbing, be small enough to fit in people's homes, be appealing enough that people want to use it, and be constructed and delivered in a way that makes it possible for families and communities to be able to have access to clean, private toilet facilities.

Lead project partner AgSpace Agriculture employs high resolution satellite data processed using a soil brightness algorithm to show where soil quality variation exists within fields. This dataset will be analysed by our experts and modelled alongside our national ‘Land Information System (LandIS)’, providing Britain’s most comprehensive soil datasets, to produce a new ‘precision soil map’. This should present an economically viable alternative to the current labour intensive method of field soil surveys, with growers able to increase yields with lower input costs and reduced environmental impact. The project is being led at Cranfield by Dr Stephen Hallett who said: “This project aims to make precision farming more affordable for arable farmers and landowners throughout England, Scotland and Wales, drawing together a unique set of data to produce meaningful soil management zones. If these approaches prove successful, AgSpace and Cranfield have ambitions to develop these techniques in other parts of the world, most notably Africa.

Some of the recent innovations and improvements to the toilet are highlighted in a new video. Most recently showcased in Mumbai, India, at the Toilet Investment Summit, it continues to attract exposure worldwide with World Toilet Day in November further helping to raise awareness and inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. How it works The Toilet uses a waterless flush; a unique rotating mechanism that drops the waste into a holding tank while simultaneously blocking odour and the user's view of the waste. The solids then settle to the bottom of the tank, while the liquids float on the top. The solids are transported out of the tank by a mechanical screw into a combustor where they are burnt and transformed into ash. The heat generated can be converted into electricity which is used to power toilet operations, and any residual energy is used for charging mobile phones or other low voltage items. The liquids pass over a weir in the holding chamber and into the membranes bundle. The unique nanostructured membrane allows clean water to be extracted from the waste which can subsequently be used in the household for washing or watering plants. It is designed for single-household use (up to 10 people) and accepts urine and faeces as a mixture. It is small and easy to transport to locations where there is no access to a water supply and sewer. more online

World's food security “Ensuring the world’s food security is becoming an increasing challenge, and rapid population growth means it’s high on the agenda for a lot of countries. According to the 2008 United Nations sustainable development forum, more food will have to be grown in the next 50 years than has been produced during the past 10,000 years combined. “One way to achieve this is by managing farm resources using advanced technologies in precision agriculture. Precision farming technologies and ‘big data’ techniques play an important role in helping ensure sustainable food production.” The technical approaches involved will draw on our long-standing experience handling and managing national scale datasets; we hold and manage the national land information system for England and Wales, LandIS, on behalf of Defra (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs). We are receiving more than 25% of the near £750,000 funding via Innovate UK, together with income from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). As well as project leads AgSpace Agriculture, who devised the soil brightness technology being used, other partners are Agri-EPI Ltd (we are hosting one of the new UK centres of agricultural innovation, the Agri-EPI Centre, on the Cranfield campus), the James Hutton Institute based in Aberdeen which holds the equivalent soil datasets in Scotland, and Courtyard Agriculture (trading as IPF).

New airport system to save time, money and carbon emissions

Mars mission is a successful one for Team CranSpace! A team of our graduates and researchers won $10,000 for their proposal for a two-person flyby mission to the Red Planet.

With increasing global demand for air travel and overloaded airport facilities, the inefficient movement of planes (or ‘airport taxiing operations’) is identified as a major contributor to unnecessary fuel burn and a substantial source of pollution.

They topped nine other teams of engineering students from universities around the world, including MIT and Purdue University in the USA, in the Gemini Mars competition organised by The Mars Society. The team, known as CranSpace and featuring some of our Astronautics and Space Engineering MSc 2016 graduates as well as PhD students, presented their plans to aerospace experts, including NASA representatives, to win first prize in Washington DC. Participants were asked to design a mission which could be launched as cheaply, safely and simply as possible by no later than 2024. The CranSpace project, planned in their ‘free’ time, included a design of the modules astronauts would live in and living factors such as oxygen provision during the journey, as well as the general health of the astronauts. Speaking on behalf of our Space Group, an effervescent Professor Dave Cullen said: “We’re all on cloud nine – it’s a fantastic validation of our activities here that a team of our MSc and PhD students can win such a prestigious global competition. We’re immensely proud of every one of them.”

We are involved in developing a pioneering new aircraft routing and scheduling system that could see operations increase by 50% at some of the world’s busiest airports. This is in the TRANSIT (Towards a Robust Airport Decision Support System for Intelligent Taxiing) three-year collaborative project. TRANSIT is developing a new on-the-ground system that will reduce plane taxi times, operating costs and environmental impact at airports around the world. It is producing a new algorithm to quickly compute the most suitable route for guiding aircraft from one location to another, using data from airports around the world. Dr Mudassir Lone from our Centre for Aeronautics is an expert in aerospace modelling and simulation. He is facilitating the complex mathematical algorithms created during the project. These will then be fed into the University's aircraft simulator so aircraft conditions can be replicated. This will then be tested by pilots from our National Flying Laboratory Centre (NFLC) using the cutting- edge simulator. Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), we are collaborating with project leads University of Lincoln, as well as the universities of Sheffield and Stirling, together with major industry partners Rolls-Royce, Air France KLM, BAE Systems, Manchester Airport and Zurich Airport. Mudassir said: “This research has the potential to increase airport capacity, while reducing the environmental impact of the growing aviation sector. The aim is to change the way in which we manage an aircraft’s propulsion system during ground operations so it is more efficient and environmentally friendly. Our focus here is on demonstrating the developed technologies and conducting piloted evaluations using the engineering flight simulators and NFLC pilots.” It is hoped that the TRANSIT system will eventually be adaptable for different-sized airports all over the world, and could even pave the way for automated taxiing.

One of the team, Tiago Matos de Carvalho who is studying for his PhD with us, said: “I think this prize will make a difference to our careers. We had to work together in our own time and work out how to reach out beyond the space engineering community to the wider public with our research and to get support for our work. All of this will be valuable in our careers, either in academia or in industry.” Other CranSpace members were Dale Wyllie, Robert Sandford, Mario Cano, Daniel Grinham, Roland Albers, Guillaume Renoux and Will Blackler. Earlier this year, Will won Airbus’ annual National Student Space Competition award for his proposal to use algae to create oxygen onboard a spacecraft for long space missions. The Mars Society is the world’s largest and most influential space advocacy organisation dedicated to the human exploration and settlement of the Red Planet.

Perspectives Keeping staff informed December 2016


Knowledge Transfer Partnerships There are many ways companies engage with us, one being through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership which is designed to encourage diverse business/knowledge base collaborations and help companies access the skills and expertise available in higher education. Next generation sports clothing Working with TotalSim Ltd, Dr Nicholas Lawson and Professor Kevin Garry are helping the company to develop a new business selling the next generation of aerodynamic, high performance, bespoke sports clothing solutions for professional athletes and high-end sports enthusiasts. They are expected to be ready for showcasing at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. bigHead Bonding Fasteners Dr Lawrence Cook and Andrew Mills are working together with bigHead Bonding Fasteners Ltd. to provide manufacturers with high volume product and process solutions for the integration of bigHead fasteners, used to fasten composite materials, into composite manufacturing processes. Improving product lifecycle management systems Professor Raj Roy, Dr Christos Emmanouilidis and Dr Yuchun Xu, together with two KTP Associates, are working on a project with Design Rule Ltd to develop new in-house capabilities to offer manufacturing small and medium-sized enterprises novel, quick and easy to deploy processes/ methodologies/software to improve their product lifecycle management systems. Surveillance innovation Professor Rafal Zbikowsi is working with Overview Ltd to develop and build new advanced motor control capabilities to support innovation in the design of advanced stabilised camera platforms for surveillance and broadcast applications. How you can get involved with a KTP? If you know of a company which might benefit from a KTP, are interested in opportunities to work with companies through KTPs, or would just like additional information, please get in touch with Sandra Messenger in the Research and Innovation Office. The office provides a support service, from initial enquiry through to grant application, recruitment of KTP Associates and post-award KTP management. The activity and income can all be submitted for the Research Excellence Framework (REF). Currently we have seven underway, four of which are showcased below.

Wat-er result for Ewan in prestigious research funding award

The water industry invests heavily in removing contaminants from wastewater. However, useful and valuable nutrients, salts and metals that have real value for manufacturing and agriculture are often not recovered.

Recovery and reuse of raw material within the circular economy has been projected to reduce costs among Europe’s manufacturers by as much as 32% by 2030 and 53% by 2050. Ultimately, the approach also means safer, cleaner water and less energy use. Reclaiming the reusable chemicals from wastewater is a complex scientific challenge; using membrane technology to encourage crystallisation and crystal growth could be the answer. Now five years of funding, totalling €1.5 million, to develop a world-leading research team and facilities at the University has been secured through a major European Research Council (ERC) Frontier Research Grant. Dr Ewan McAdam from the Cranfield Water Science Institute was successful in his grant proposal to use membranes to harvest chemicals from wastewater for reuse in industry and agriculture. The grant is given to promising researchers with proven potential of becoming independent research leaders, and will continue the growth of an established membrane research group within the CWSI. The SCARCE (Sustainable Chemical Alternatives for Reuse in the Circular Economy) project is setting out the case for finding ways to control the process of separation and, critically, how the process can be scaled-up for widespread industry use outside of the laboratory. Ewan, Reader in Process Engineering, is currently recruiting and will then lead an experienced, interdisciplinary research team to study crystallisation processes on membrane surfaces and how the crystals can most effectively and efficiently be harvested. Professor Paul Jeffrey, Director of our Water theme, said: “This grant award is testimony to our leading-edge research in water, which is helping to bring significant benefits to industry and, ultimately, to people’s lives and livelihoods. Combining water quality improvements with the promotion of circular economy solutions is central to the University’s core beliefs. Winning a significant EU grant at this time demonstrates that Cranfield remains an important source of scientific knowledge generation in this area.” The ERC programme attracts some 3,000 applications each year, of which around 1,200 are in physical sciences and engineering with funding for only around 150 of these applications.

Find out more about KTPs on the intranet: ‘Research, learning and teaching’ tab > ‘Funding opportunities and support’ > ‘Knowledge Transfer Partnerships’

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Declaration to enable ‘a better life in rural areas’

Success in innovation Innovate UK Women in Innovation 2016 Award

The Cork Declaration on Rural Development was first signed in 1996 – this European Union initiative looked at the influence, importance and impact of the countryside on Europe, both historically and moving forward. It stressed the need for agricultural policy to be adaptable to new realities and challenges; a 10-point rural development programme has since driven rural policy in Europe. This has included funding measures to preserve and protect the environment, and helping member states shift towards a low carbon economy in rural areas over the past two decades. Professor Jane Rickson from our Soil and Agrifood Institute was one of 300 invited delegates to an EU conference in Cork, Ireland, tasked with writing a new declaration for rural policy development and implementation to cover the next 20 years. Jane said: “I chaired one of the four workshops on ‘Innovation and Knowledge Exchange’ which related to addressing a range of rural stakeholders’ needs including food safety, sustainability and environmental concerns. We highlighted the opportunities that are present today in rural communities and also addressed the barriers to rural development, coming

Congratulations to Siobhan Gardiner , a Cranfield Industrial-CASE PhD candidate and CEO of start-up HEROTECH8, based in our Business Incubation Centre (CUBIC), who has received the Innovate UK Women in Innovation 2016 award. This is the first women-only Innovate UK competition and is part of a new initiative set out to encourage diversity in innovation. Siobhan will receive a tailored package of support to further her innovation project and activities, including £50,000 of funding, consultation with the UK Patent Office, and mentorship. HEROTECH8 delivers drone technology to places and people that either would not have the resources, energy infrastructure or technical knowledge to reliably and safely operate existing drone systems; this is creating autonomous drone infrastructure. Read more online about Siobhan’s work. more online Supported by the University’s Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship, Cranfield alumnus Dr Matt Pearce , Director of Phycofeeds Ltd, has been awarded £35,000 in funding through the Innovate UK Energy Catalyst competition. An additional £40,000 to work on research in the same project has also been awarded to applied concentrated solar power research at Cranfield. This award will allow Phycofeeds Ltd to continue research into the sustainable production of biofuels using integrated concentrating solar power, waste and microalgae. In 2017, continued collaboration will enable field testing scale-up and commercial scale demonstration of the technology. Matt said, “I am most grateful for the opportunity to take my research outside of the laboratory into future commercial development with the unique multi-disciplinary cohorts of both research and business at Cranfield.” Back in 2015, Matt pitched at the School of Management’s Inaugural Start-up Competition and won. Through collaboration with Professor Shailendra Vyakarnam and Dr Maarten van der Kamp from the Bettany Centre, Phycofeeds Ltd was able to acquire funding through the University’s evergreen pre-seed fund, which in turn led to the recent Innovate UK funding award. Read more online about Matt’s journey and his collaboration with Cranfield. more online

Innovate UK Energy Catalyst Award

Professor Jane Rickson receives a ‘thank you’ gift from the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan.

up with suggestions going forward which centred on being more innovative, strategic and flexible.”

The outputs from the workshops informed the new 2016 Declaration, accepted in person by the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan. As significant changes have occurred over the past 20 years in how we use, live in and value the countryside, the updated Declaration (‘A better life in rural areas’) has a renewed focus. This deals with the need to ‘rural proof’ all policies, the importance of ‘digitalisation’, the challenge of climate change, and the fact that the proportion of EU citizens in rural areas has increased since EU enlargement to 28 member states.

Jane added: “This was agreed after just three days – no small feat! It was an honour to be involved and help shape this new Declaration. Our hope is that regardless of Britain’s status within Europe, the conclusions and recommendations reached will help realise the overarching aim of a better life for all in rural areas across Europe.”

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Perspectives Keeping staff informed December 2016


Developing the next generation of food packaging We all want our fruit and vegetables to be kept fresh for as longer as possible and its packaging plays a vital role in this. Our Soil and Agrifood Institute is developing innovative and cost-effective next generation modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) for prolonged storage and improved management of fresh produce throughout the supply chain. The control of respiratory gases within a storage or packaging environment is often used to extend the postharvest storage and shelf- life of fresh fruit and veg, so reducing wastage in the supply chain. Current MAP already extends the postharvest quality of fresh produce but its performance is often limited by an inability to respond to the changing physiology of the produce, leading to the development of suboptimal gas conditions. To achieve a year-round supply in the UK, most apples are typically stored for up to six months, depending on variety. This means the supply of UK-grown top fruit is restricted to a small marketing window, from September through to March, due to late-stored fruit not competing well in terms of quality with new season fruit from the Southern Hemisphere. Now in an effort to extend the ‘flavour-life’ of UK apples by up to six weeks, our researchers in the Soil and Agrifood Institute are employing state-of-the-art sensors allied to improved postharvest storage. Professor Leon Terry, Director of Environment and Agrifood, said: “This is building upon our recent research to develop novel sensors to better inform targeted controlled atmosphere to suppress ripening while maintaining flavour, offering the ability to extend storage and so help reduce waste and the reliance on imports. “The British apple industry is continuously being asked by UK retailers to extend availability and this can only be achieved by implementing ever more sophisticated storage technologies. “We need to improve how apples are stored so that the focus is moved towards 'flavour-life' rather than just being driven by firmness and sugar content. If we control ripening while maintaining 'flavour-life', we can make incremental increases in storage time to help reduce a reliance on imports and extend the window in which high-quality British fruit can be offered.” We are collaborating with supermarket giants Tesco, as well as Avalon Produce, Richard Hochfeld, Chelsea Technologies Group and UNIVEG Katope UK, on the three-year project which is being funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Innovate UK. Consumers want to enjoy, and retailers want to sell, fruit grown in the UK which retains its full flavour for longer. Every little helps in extending the flavour-life of apples

Fruit and vegetables are mainly grown in the driest parts of the UK, such as East Anglia or the South East, where water resources are also under most pressure due to factors like an increasing population. Countries which are major exporters of fruit and vegetables to the UK – like Spain, South Africa, Kenya and Morocco – also suffer similar pressures as water resources are even more scarce there. With fresh fruit and veg such an important part of our diet, we are looking at ways of increasing resilience to water- related risks in the UK system. Water-related risks include its physical availability which means that we might not be able to produce so much and prices go up as a result, reputational risks when environmental issues are highlighted in the media, and also regulatory risks like irrigation being restricted if there is a drought or introducing legislation for environmental reasons. Dr Tim Hess from Cranfield Water Science Institute is leading on the project. He said: “We are examining the dilemma that the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables is encouraged, versus the fact that water resources are under real pressure both in the UK and overseas in the places where fruit and vegetables are grown. “We will be exploring ways of increasing resilience to water- related risks in the system at all levels from farmers, to suppliers and retailers, through to consumers, and seeing if their needs are compatible or in conflict with each other. “We don’t want to be importing food to the UK while ‘exporting’ drought; the fact that fresh fruit may always be available in this country might actually be detrimental to farmers or the environment in other countries, for instance.” The near £1.3 million three-year project, which started in October, is a collaboration with the University of East Anglia, NIAB EMR (formerly East Malling Research) and University of Oxford. It is one of five new interdisciplinary research projects, totalling £9 million, helping to ensure the UK’s future food security. Under the banner of the UK’s Global Food Security Programme, they are being funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), with the Scottish Government also co-funding one of the projects. Increasing resilience to water-related risks in the UK fresh fruit and veg system

Sustainable potato storage

There’s more science going into the humble ‘spud’ than you might imagine – our Soil and Agrifood Institute is also researching new and cost-effective technologies for the storage of potatoes. There is a need to find alternatives to the chemical chlorpropham (CIPC), which is commonly used to manage sprouting, as further restrictions are coming into force. We are aiming to develop storage interventions for processing potatoes which will suppress sprouting and maintain low sugars, paramount for supply quality and to minimise the formation of acrylamide. This will hopefully lead to an incremental reduction in CIPC usage. The four-year project in collaboration with PepsiCo started in 2015, and is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Innovate UK.

Working with sustainable technologies leaders Johnson Matthey, we are focusing on developing the next generation of MAP by administering the ideal gaseous conditions at the optimum time.

Professor Leon Terry, Director of Environment and Agrifood, said: “The packaging would benefit considerably if it is made flexible so that it responds to the changing physiology of the produce. In doing so, we will extend the storage of fruit and vegetables on farms and reduce waste throughout the supply chain.”

Work on the three-year project, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Innovate UK, started in October.

Perspectives online: Intranet > 'Communications' > 'Perspectives'


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