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College of Management and Technology

Cranfield Defence and Security

Cranfield University      Cranfield University Alumni

The Defence Academy of the United Kingdom

The official Shrivenham guide

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Detailed History of the Military College of Science (1864-1953) and Royal Military College of Science (1953-2005)

History of the Beckett House and the Barrington family, the Shrivenham American University and the former Royal Military College of Science (RMCS).

The Royal Air Force at Cranfield had opened on June 1, 1937, under the control of No 1 (Bomber) group, and the following month became base of 62 and 68 Squardons and their Hawker Hind bi-planes. Throughout the winter of 1939-40 work went on at Cranfield to replace its grass airstrip with three properly surfaced hard runways. These runways became the target of enemy attacks in the late summer of 1940, during the Battle of Britain. The first bombing came on the night of August 27-28, when incendiary and high explosive bombs were dropped to the north and south of the airfield. In August 1941, No 51 Operational Training Unit (OTU) opened at the airfield, offering night fighter crews courses, mainly with Blenheims, and assumed major importance that Cranfield acquired a satellite at Twinwood, north of Bedford, where Blenheim Vs were introduced early in 1942. At the end of the war No 51 OTU was disbanded, and by the end of June, 1945, their last Mosquitoes, Beaufighters and Beauforts were flown away. But flying returned to Cranfield within months, when Empire Test Pilot's School (ETPS) transferred from Boscombe Down in November. The first ETPS course began at Cranfield in January 1946, and post-war needs for test pilots in Britain and around the world were increasingly met by its graduates. A board of Governers was appointed under Air Chief Marshal Sir Edgar Ludlow-Hewitt to set up an university. They met for the first time on Wednesday June 28, 1945. This 'University of the Air' called 'The College of Aeronotics' was designed to produce tomorrow's leaders of industry and research in a sphere that is peculiarly British. The university would draw to Bedfordshire some of the fines brains in the United Kingdom. In December 1946 the Air Ministry decided that the EPTS should move from Cranfield. The entry in the first two years course at the university would be around 50. In the spring of 1946 a total of 106 applications were received. Eight students from the Royal Air Force and five from the Royal Navy were taken on the recommendation of their respective Services. The final list contained 49 names. Of these, two from India and one home applicant later failed to come, one left early owing to sickness, and one to take up an appointment. One student joined after the commencement of the session, making the number to 45.

Detailed History of the Cranfield University

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1. The Royal Military College of Science (1850-2005)
In 1850 the British Army established the department of Artillery studies at Woolwich. Over the years the department changed its names to finally become RMCS.

2. College of Aeronautics (1946-1969)
The predecessor to this institution was RAF airfield for which work was started on 100 acres of land in 1935 and the airfield was formally opened on 1 June 1937.
In November 1945, the ETPS transferred from Cranfield and finally moved to Farnborough in 1947.
The mission of the college was given very broad terms of reference:
“To find out everything and anything of interest that could be learnt from the Americans about aircraft production and design.”
The allocation of college buildings took place at an Air Ministry meeting in February 1946. Initially two hangers were converted into large laboratories.

3. Cranfield Institute of Technology (1970-1994)
The Royal Charter was grated in 1970 for a new institution to be called Cranfield Institute of Technology with the objectives being:
(a) To advance, disseminate and apply learning and knowledge in the disciplines of the sciences, engineering, technology and management
(b) To promote and encourage the application of that knowledge and learning to the practices of design, development and manufacture and to the organisation of industry and the public services.

4. Cranfield University (1994-Date)
1993 the Royal Charter changed the institution's name to Cranfield University.

5. Defence College of Management and Technology (2005-2009)
RMCS changed its name to DCMT in 2005 to develop the College to become a key source of knowledge and expertise for all those involved in acquisition and the wider business of defence, and supporting implementation of the Defence Industrial Strategy and other initiatives such as Professional Skills for government.

6. Defence Academy - College of Management and Technology (2009-Date)
The Defence Academy - College of Management and Technology comes into being on 1st April 2009 as the result of the College Integration Programme.
The new College brings together a number of pre-existing training, Education, and Development organisations.
These include: DaLearning; dblearning; the Defence Leadership and Management Centre; DCMT Technology Division, Nuclear Department at HMS Sultan;
the Resource Management Centres; the Joint Equality and Diversity Training Centre, and the Defence Technical Officer and Engineering Entry Scheme.
From 1 January 2009, the School at Cranfield’s Shrivenham campus changed its name to Cranfield Defence and Security.
The change from the Defence College of Management and Technology (DCMT) reflects the School’s business both within the University and the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom.

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