Cranfield Environment and Agrifood


Environment and Agrifood covers many aspects of natural capital, be it land, soil, water, air, and also the vegetational plants that grow within the soil. How do we deal with increasing population predicted to be 10 billion by 2050? How do we cope with climate change? Cranfield is very well placed to meet those challenges because we have an integrated approach to our science. We’ve been involved in environmental science and environmental studies for over forty years now and we’ve developed the national soil inventory. And here we have over 200 years’ equivalent of field work that has identified over 700 different soil types in England and Wales alone. And we now use innovative methods to interpret that data and apply the results of that to environmental challenges we face today. Our close working relationships with industry really help our students, because they see real life applications of our research and development. Cranfield University is unique in the UK because it focuses exclusively on graduate students. We need to work with some of the brightest and best scientists around the world, and Cranfield University are one of the partners that we selected to work with on a long-term strategic basis. Industry links between Cranfield and companies there’s a good connection between them which you don’t always get at other universities. Being here at McDonald’s head quarters is a great opportunity for us to meet leaders of the industry and build our network. We’re in the soils lab, I’ve got these filter socks and, by placing these at the bottom of slopes in agricultural land, we’re hoping that we can adapt them to capture not just soil but also nutrients that are coming off of these lands before they go into the water courses. And it will be one way to combat this issue of decreasing water quality. I chose to study in Cranfield because I had this agricultural background, but I was also interested in food industry and this was a great way to learn everything you need to know between farm to fork. You have this great opportunity to collaborate with big businesses, like McDonald’s. I really just appreciated not having walls between us and the industry We share what we learn from everywhere in industry with Cranfield to create the syllabus that fits the students needs for the future. Cranfield University staff are great people to work with as partners for industrial R&D projects they’re business aware, they’re flexible in their approach, and most important of all, they deliver We are delighted to have been awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in recognition of our contribution to soil science and the legacy of soils data and environmental data and its interpretation and interrogation. This has not only been within this country, but it has global impact in terms of the outcomes for society. We’re training a cohort of students and they are going out from Cranfield and able to apply some of the knowledge that they’ve gained while they’re on courses here. I’ve been at Cranfield for over thirty years. I love what I do, I love my research. It is a researcher’s dream to work at somewhere like Cranfield.

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