Cranfield University has announced the appointment of Iain Gray CBE as director of aerospace.
Mr Gray will join Cranfield in March 2015 from his current position as chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency.
He will lead the extensive aerospace capabilities across the university and their strategic relationships with the world’s major aerospace industrial organisations.
As chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board since Nov 2007, Gray has created an organisation which plays a vital role in UK economic development by funding, supporting and connecting innovative businesses through a unique mix of people and programmes to accelerate economic growth.
Through his leadership, the organisation has developed in strength and maturity with a growing budget, strong partner relationships across the UK, Europe and internationally and a pivotal role in the country’s future competiveness and growth. Prior to the Technology Strategy Board, Gray was engineering director and then managing director at Airbus UK during the development of the Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger airliner.
Professor Sir Peter Gregson, Cranfield’s chief executive and vice-chancellor, announced the appointment saying: “We are delighted to welcome Iain to the University. His extensive aerospace background coupled with his experience at the Technology Strategy Board is a further example of our commitment to deliver transformational research and education programmes of industrial relevance. Our University has a fundamental role to play in maintaining the UK as a leader in aerospace. Iain’s thought leadership will enhance Cranfield’s impact in this important sector.”
Iain Gray said: “I am both excited and honoured to be joining Cranfield University to lead its aerospace capabilities. The University’s pre-eminent business and government relationships places it in an ideal position to provide academic leadership in collaborative research to develop new products, processes and services for the aerospace sector. I’m proud to bring my experience of, and passion for, one of the UK’s most important industrial sectors and to progressing Cranfield’s long heritage in this area.”
The Higher Education Funding Council for England’s recent announcement of Cranfield’s winning bid for the £35 million Aerospace Integration Research Centre (AIRC), co-sponsored by Rolls-Royce and Airbus, aligns directly with this significant appointment and reinforces Cranfield’s pre-eminent position in aerospace.
Together with the Aerospace Technologies Institute (ATI), which is also located at Cranfield, these developments create an aerospace hub for research and innovation technology and enhance Cranfield University’s role in supporting businesses to develop the talent and skills they need in the workforce, sustaining the UK’s leading competitive position in the global marketplace.