Cranfield University

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Group.png Cranfield University  
(UniversityFacebook Powerbase Twitter WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Cranfield University Arms 2007.jpg
MottoPost Nubes Lux
(Out of darkness, light)
HeadquartersOxfordshire, England
Member ofDefence Manufacturers Association
UK university "at the forefront of the defence and security field."

Cranfield University is a British postgraduate public research university specialising in science, engineering, design, technology and management. Cranfield was founded as the College of Aeronautics (CoA) in 1946. Through the 1950s and 1960s, the development of aircraft research led to growth and diversification into other areas such as manufacturing and management, and in 1967, to the founding of the Cranfield School of Management. In 1969, the College of Aeronautics was renamed the Cranfield Institute of Technology, was incorporated by royal charter, gained degree awarding powers, and became a university. In 1993, it adopted its current name.[1]


Cranfield has five specialist schools:

  • Applied Sciences
  • Defence and Security
  • Engineering
  • Health
  • Management


Cranfield Defence and Security

Cranfield's website describes the university as being at the forefront of the defence and security field. It is the academic provider and partner to the Defence Academy, UK; a place "where experts from Academia - Cranfield University - and Officers of the British Armed Forces meet to teach Defence Science, Technology and Management".

Our partnership with the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) offers a unique gateway for teaching, research and consultancy, which allows us to deliver practical solutions to make a real difference to the lives of military and civilian personnel across the world.
From technology research and development on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and infrared camouflage materials, through to humanitarian demining activities, Cranfield is providing specialist knowledge to military personnel, emergency services, governments and NGOs in the UK and around the world. [2]


Understanding Islamist Radicalisation and Violence in the 21st Century. A Decade after 9/11: Lessons Learned and New Challenges for the Coming Decade

In October 2010 Cranfield held this joint symposium event with the Defence Academy and the George C Marshall Center at the campus in Shrivenham. Building upon "the very successful series of annual symposia on Understanding Islam", its purpose was to examine any lessons learned in the decade after the atrocities of 11 September 2001, and to identify new challenges. Topics for discussion included:

  • Threats and vulnerabilities which radical Islamism has raised in the last decade
  • Which processes (legal, political, military) have worked and which have not
  • Successes, failures and lessons learned
  • New emergent threats in the decade ahead (what, where, who the opposition leaders are, and when such threats may be expected) and how they correspond with any vulnerabilities that can be identified; the legal situation domestically and internationally
  • How our partners and allies have changed over the last decade
  • Any clearly identifiable risks.[3]

The event was chaired over the three days by Professor Nick Pratt of the George C Marshall Center, Professor Patrick Sookhdeo, Visiting Professor, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom and Dr Sebastian Gorka of the College of International Security Affairs, National Defense University. According to the brochure, it was open to: 'all those who have a professional or personal desire to understand the nature of Radicalisation and the violence it can bring' and would be 'of particular interest to law enforcement agencies'.[4]

Speakers included: Brian Jenkins of the RAND Corporation (Keynote Speaker), Dr Sebastian Gorka, Patrick Sookhdeo, Nick Pratt, Dr John Le Beau, Prof Nick Pratt and Prof James Wither, George C Marshall Center, Dr Tawfik Hamid, Senior Fellow, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, Washington, Dr Muhammad Al-Hussaini, Fellow in Islamic Studies at Leo Baeck Rabbinical College, and Lecturer in Abrahamic Religions at Al-Azhar College, Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, Judge Marilyn Mornington, Ministry of Justice, Family Justice Council, Stephen Ulph, Senior Fellow, The Jamestown Foundation, and Dr Taj Hargey, Chairman, Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford, Douglas Murray of the Centre for Social Cohesion, Mitchell Silber, New York City Police Department, Dr John Schindler, U.S. Naval War College, Shima Keene ISG, Lord Carlile of Berriew QC, Lee Rowland, Strategic Communication Laboratories.[3]

Information Operations + Influence Activity

See main article Information Operations and Influence Activity (IOIA) Symposium

Held 3 March 2010. 'A unique unclassified gathering held in the secure environment of The Defence Academy... This valuable networking context provides the main calendar event for the professional and educational exchanges between military and civilian proponents of Info Ops and Influence Activity in the UK and Europe.' In the previous year (2009) over 150 international practitioner and academic delegates attended. The 2010 symposium focused on insurgency.[5]

Speakers: Air Commodore Robert Judson, Hd TIO UK MOD | Brigadier Iain Harrison OBE, Chief Joint Fires and Influence, HQ ARRC | Roger Miles, Kings College London | Jeremy Greaves, EADS UK Ltd | Matt Warshaw, D3 Systems | Commander Steve Tatham RN, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom[5]

Understanding Islam

This annual event within a series of Symposia at Shrivenham was held in September 2005, 26 October 2006,[6] 11 December 2007, 8-10 December 2008 and 24-25 November 2009.

In 2009 the theme was 'Contemporary Conflicts : Causes and Possible Solutions'. Day 1 addressed the international arena, with an overview of contemporary terrorist activity followed by five case studies on the hubs - South Asia, South-East Asia, Horn of Africa, The Maghreb and Iran and its affiliates - ending with an examination of radicalisation. Day 2 focused on the British environs and patterns of Islamic development, then examined the increasing role of psychological warfare and the electronic media and how they may be countered.

2009 speakers included Sir David Veness, Nigel Inkster, International Institute for Strategic Studies | Professor Patrick Sookhdeo, Visiting Professor, Cranfield University, DA-CMT | Dr Sajjan M Gohel, Director of International Security, Asia-Pacific Foundation | Ivar Hellberg OBE, Defence Academy and former Defence Attaché to Indonesia | Professor Max Taylor, Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence | Dr Audra Grant, RAND Washington DC | Dr Ehud Levi, Department of Middle Eastern Studies, Bar-Ilan University | Dr Tawfik Hamid, Senior fellow Potomac Institute for Policy Studies | Judge Marilyn Mornington, Ministry of Justice, Family Justice Council | Dr Taj Hargey, Chairman Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford, Dr Ron Schleifer, Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Dr John LeBeau, George C Marshall European Center for Security Studies | Dr Rogelio Alonso, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos | Dr Sebastian Gorka, College of International Security Affairs, National Defense University [7]


Alumni on Wikispooks

Crispin Blunt15 July 1960UKSoldier
Sandhurst, Le Cercle, MP, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee
John Browne17 October 1938UKSoldier
Spooky UK businessman, Morgan Stanley, Le Cercle, Chatham house ...
Patrick Mercer26 June 1956UKPolitician
"Terror expert"
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  2. Cranfield University, Welcome to Cranfield Defence and Security, accessed 7 February 2011.
  3. a b University of Cranfield Events, Understanding Islamist Radicalisation and Violence in the 21st Century, 19-21 October 2010, accessed 7 February 2011.
  4. Understanding Islamist Radicalisation and Violence in the 21st Century Brochure, Scribdaccessed 8 February 2011.
  5. a b Cranfield University, Information Operations + Influence Activity, accessed 7 February 2010.
  6. Cranfield University, Understanding Islam in 21st Century, Web archive December 2006, accessed 8 February 2011,
  7. Cranfield University, Understanding Islam Symposium, 24-25 November 2009, accessed 7 February 2011, see also: Brochure,Scribd, accessed 8 February 2011.
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