50 years of Cranfield
School of Management
50 years of talent
50 years of impact
Join us to celebrate
50 years of excellence
It's Our 50th Anniversary
Celebrate with us today
Cranfield School of Management has more than 80 full-time academic staff who are actively engaged in consultancy and business relevant research, always close to business and government. We are dedicated to creating responsible management thinking, improving business performance and inspiring leaders to make a real impact on their organisations. We are one of Europe’s largest academic centres for applied research and a hotbed of business activity, placing our world-class faculty and doctoral researchers alongside forward-thinking industry leaders, through our vibrant networks of alumni, research collaborations and clubs. We could not be prouder of where we are today and the incredible people that have been part of our journey. Now we are delighted to celebrate our 50th anniversary and welcome the Cranfield community to celebrate with us.
Introducing our celebrations hub...
From the arrival of our new executive talent this September, Cranfield School of Management is hosting a wide range of exciting events and activities throughout 2017 to celebrate our golden anniversary.
You can find out everything you need to know about our celebrations on this site. You will find a timeline of our proudest moments in history, memories and stories shared by our valued community, a collection of our vast global achievements, as well as a host of events, activities and incentives that you can get involved in.
We looking forward to celebrating with you.
Enjoy our short film about our celebrations.
Explore. Discover. Celebrate.
Five decades of making a difference, five decades of growing people to become inspiring leaders.
Discover our history and a timeline of our greatest milestones.
Find out about our global impact and international reach.
50 Ways to
Saturday 1st July 2017, Cranfield
Join us for an evening
to remember. Tickets now online!
Former Cranfield MBA student, and now highly established Professor at the University, Professor Ruth Bender joined the School in 1994, and has taught finance to every MBA course since then, and many corporate programmes.
Ruth jokingly refers to her doctorate as “a PhD in rich men” but in fact her research into executive pay has generated much interest from industry bodies and the media. Indeed, Ruth’s knowledge and expertise in corporate finance and corporate governance have made her an attractive media icon for popular national outlets including BBC, Daily Mail, The Guardian and more. In one 24-hour period she was interviewed 11 times on TV and radio, including - a treasured moment - by John Humphreys on Radio 4’s Today programme. Formerly a partner in an accounting firm, Ruth says that Cranfield changed her life: “When you teach here, you’re always teaching good people, at the top of their game, from every part of the world. That is terrific fun.” Ruth is a much loved friendly face at the School and a gifted baker, often treating her colleagues to homemade cakes to raise money as part of the annual Charity Auction.
David has been Professor of Finance and Accounting at Cranfield for more than 40 years (Emeritus since retiring in 2005). In fact, he started teaching at Cranfield more than 50 years ago as a newly-minted MBA graduate of the Harvard Business School.
David was Acting Director of the School of Management in 1985/6 and is a Fellow of Cranfield University. He is currently chairman of the University’s Research Ethics Committee. From 2001 to 2015 he was Chairman of the Institute of Economic Affairs, a free market think tank. His many textbooks on accounting, financial management, economics, privatisation and other subjects relevant to the corporate world have been invaluable to Cranfield School of Management and its students over the years.
Very much loved by students and colleagues, our alumni are known to speak very highly of David who made their time at Cranfield memorable. As one of the longest serving members of the Cranfield community, he currently plays a central part of the thinking behind the 50th anniversary activities.
Senior Lecturer in Project and Programme Management at the School, Stephen started his career as an engineer in the oil business before completing an MBA at Cranfield. After this, he worked for Richard Branson as Project Manager, building the world’s largest sailing ship, before going onto become Head of Project and Programme Management Strategy for Haliburton Europe and Africa. His experience of project/change management spans across a wide range of sectors, including banks, oil, construction and law.
Stephen is renowned for presenting complex ideas in a high energy and fun way and bridging cultural and organisational divides. He has lectured and consulted in almost every country in the world and says of Cranfield, “I work at this strange airfield in the middle of nowhere because of its unique mix of people, ideas, aeroplanes and opportunities.”
Stephen is an Honorary Fellow of the Association of Project Management and Institute of Risk Management.
Having joined Cranfield in 1978, Professor Sue Vinnicombe has been central to the University's expertise and involvement in advancing women into leadership positions in business.
Sue founded Cranfield's International Research Centre for Women Leaders in 1999, and alongside her colleagues, she established and continues to produce the annual Female FTSE Women on Boards Report which monitors progress on gender diversity across the FTSE 350 companies. It is the premier resource of its kind in the UK.
Sue has consulted for organisations across the globe on the most effective ways to attract, develop and retain female executive talent.
Regularly heard on conference platforms and in the media, Sue was awarded an OBE for her contribution to diversity in The Queen's New Year Honours List in 2005 and subsequently a CBE for gender equality in The Queen's Birthday Honours List in 2014.
Professor Joe Nellis is a well-known friendly face and an invaluable credit to the School. The longest-serving member of the School’s Executive team, Joe is currently Deputy Director and Professor of Global Economy. Having joined Cranfield in 1984, he has held a number of other roles including Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University; Academic Dean of the School; Director of the Full-time MBA and Director of Graduate Programmes. As a Thought Leader, Joe regularly appears on national TV and radio, as well as at academic and business conferences worldwide. He frequently writes on the impact of emerging global societal, economic, political and technological trends and the implications for government, society and business. Having established the Economics team in 1994, the Group led by Joe continues to be well renowned, consistently ranked as one of the world’s Top 10 for economics teaching on MBA programmes by the Financial Times. Some of Joe’s personal awards include ‘Outstanding Professor’ in Hungary for his contribution to curriculum development; ‘Distinguished Graduate’ from the University of Ulster; and ‘Best Professor Award’ from several institutions including Purdue University and Tilburg University.
At Cranfield since 2002, Pam is better known as ‘Mum’ to many of the School’s MBA students. As Programme Manager for the full-time and Executive MBA courses, she is one of the first points of contact for students even before they arrive at the University. Pam guides students through their Cranfield journey by supporting them with everything from preparing timetables and liaising with Programme Directors and teaching faculty, to talking to students on a day-to-day basis to help ensure that their learning is productive and enjoyable. Over the years, she has built and continues to maintain strong relationships with students from all over the world.
Pam commented: “Working at Cranfield is like working with friends every day. Having held a number of roles before joining the University, I felt that I had finally found ‘home’ when I joined Cranfield. It is such an honour to see our students develop from being nervous on their first day of lectures, to graduating, and then going on to secure impressive positions in renowned companies. A special thank you to my line manager, Sally Hutchings, who is always supportive of both me and our wider team.”
Cranfield MBA alumnus from the class of 1993, Colin has maintained a strong connection with and passion for the School, and is proud of the impact Cranfield has on leaders across the globe today. Following a long career in the UK energy industry, Colin joined the School of Management in 2010 as Director of Career Development, leading the Careers Team to achieve their highest level of MBA student engagement since forming, and seeing Cranfield ranked 1st in the UK and 10th in the world for careers. Before this, Colin held a variety of roles in the downstream gas and electricity retail business of British Gas, leading teams on multiple sites across the UK and in Northern Europe. More recently he has taken on a new role supporting programme directors through administration, marketing and recruitment for the DBA, MBA and EMBA programmes.
Colin fondly remembers the quality of teaching and intellectual challenge of the faculty at Cranfield and particularly recalls the lunchtime debates between Frank Fishwick and David Myddelton; "It didn’t seem to matter which side of any debate they were on, they could persuade an audience of eager MBA’s to give up their lunch hour!"
At Cranfield since 1999, Dr John Glen has been invaluable to the School in a number of roles including Director of the Executive MBA from 2002 – 2004 and later of the full-time MBA from 2004 – 2007. Having worked across the globe (China, US, Chile, South and East Africa and Malaysia) in the area of executive education, John is a regular voice on BBC radio programmes commenting on the UK and global economics and the finance of sport. Currently Director of Cranfield’s Centre for Customised Executive Development (CCED), one of the world’s top 10 for executive development, John and his team work with businesses from a range of industries to design, deliver and evaluate programmes to help companies develop, grow and succeed. Last year, the School of Management, won a gold award in recognition of its executive development programme with oil and gas business, BG Group, from international management development network, EFMD. Competing with business schools around the world, CCED was praised for its business expertise, relevance to the corporate world, and strong long-term business relationships in EFMD’s Excellence in Practice category.
At Cranfield for over 10 years, Alex is ‘The Oracle’ of the School’s Careers Team. As well as guiding MSc, and particularly, MBA students through finding a suitable career, Alex also mentors members of her team.
Having always been nervous about presenting, Alex has become a strong and confident public speaker since working at Cranfield and often delivers in-house careers workshops for students. She has travelled to various European cities including Madrid, Berlin and Paris to attend MBA conferences as a representative of Cranfield, sharing best practice with other Careers professionals from other global business schools. She also does very well with keeping in touch with former students, testament to the impact she has on their time at Cranfield. During her recent Christmas trip to Rome she met a group of 2012 alumni for a meal.
Alex’s golden advice for students looking at careers is to develop and maintain a strong and varied network: “Who you know is so important. Your contacts are more likely to help you secure and develop a career than firing off job applications in all directions.”
Approachable, humble and guaranteed to greet you with a smile, Professor Maury Peiperl has helped drive the School forward in many ways such as the reinstatement of famous free coffee in the SoM Forum, further global development for the University and more recently, an internal reorganisation which saw the creation of Thought Leadership Groups. Maury is the School’s 8th and current Director and sits on Cranfield University’s Executive Board. He also sits on the advisory board of the Association of Executive Search Consultants, is a trustee of anti-trafficking charity, HERA (Her Equality, Rights and Autonomy), and is a member of the Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Alumni Council. Maury, who joined Cranfield in 2015, commented: “I count myself lucky to have the opportunity to work alongside such dedicated, intelligent and genuinely friendly colleagues every day at Cranfield. Thank you to teams across the University, alumni, partners and former colleagues for helping us make the School what it is today. We have our 50th anniversary to celebrate and I am excited to lead the School forward as we look to collaborate both pan-university and with clients and institutions across the globe.”
Having joined Cranfield in 1966, Peter became the first Director of the School of Management in 1967.
When Cranfield underwent the transition from being the College of Aeronautics to becoming a university with full degree-awarding powers in 1969, Peter appointed four teaching professors in the School. Three were graduates of Harvard Business School: David Hall, John Constable and David Myddelton. The fourth to arrive was Gordon Wills from Bradford. John and David went on to become Directors of the School in the 1980s.
The current School of Management main building was erected under Peter’s leadership in 1978 and brought all of the School’s activities under one roof. The School has now expanded and has several buildings across the campus. Prior to joining Cranfield, Peter was a metallurgist and worked for PA Consultants.
Sadly, Peter passed away in 2008 aged 90. His wife Marjorie, who was a great support while he was Director, predeceased him.
At Cranfield School of Management for 23 years, Jackie has been an outstanding Personal Assistant to Maury Peiperl, as well as the School’s four previous Directors: Joe Nellis, Frank Horwitz, Michael Osbaldeston and Leo Murray. Prior to moving to the Director’s Office, Jackie worked with Deputy Director, Colin New and the Operations & Project Management and Information Systems groups. Before Cranfield, she worked for 10 years with the board of the hospitality/brewing company, Whitbread. Having made some close friends as well as good colleagues at the University, Jackie says that Cranfield has had a hugely positive impact on her both personally and professionally and feels it will always be an important part of her life. In Maury’s words: “Jackie is a core asset to the School and has been the go-to person for me and many other people across the SoM and the University. They say nobody has all the answers, but Jackie, who is an essential point of contact for both staff and students, has at least 95% of them. Thank you Jackie, for being my right-hand person, keeping me organised, and putting up with me when I haven’t been in the right place at the right time. I would be lost, literally, without you! You’re a star.”
Dr John Towriss started his 25-year long Cranfield career in the Centre for Transport Studies before joining the School of Management where, for a long time, he was the Course Director for the MSc Logistics and Supply Chain programme. He also taught extensively on the School’s PhD programme.
Since retiring from Cranfield in 2015, John has been following his passion for cycling and classic cars.
John commented: “The School of Management has a culture which encourages staff, students and clients to take on new challenges, and genuinely does teach putting knowledge into action. I look back on my time in the School with great fondness.
I particularly enjoyed working with staff and students from across the world, many of whom have become friends. I really enjoyed my job. It was never boring and I often think of the so many funny incidents that occurred. Getting up for work on Monday morning was never a chore.”
Catherine was member of the 2011-12 Full Time MBA cohort. She embraced and embodied everything Cranfield stands for and was awarded the ‘Spirit of Cranfield’.
Catherine continues to be an active part of the Cranfield community through her role as Alumni representative. This involves speaking to potential and current students about the MBA as well as arranging alumni events, such as informal monthly catch ups and the imminent 5-year cohort reunion.
Four years after the MBA, Catherine started her own Project Management and Consultancy company, EQ + IQ. The philosophy behind the company is absolutely inspired by her time at Cranfield, thanks to the emphasis the MBA placed on understanding people and using Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in business.
“Cranfield was a life-changing year for me in so many ways. I have a very different perspective now, which continues to benefit my career, as well as my personal life, enormously.”
Kim Turnbull James
A Chartered Psychologist, Kim is Professor of Leadership and Executive Learning. As Director of Faculty Development, she is a member of the SoM Executive Team. She is on the international editorial board of the journal Management Learning and a Director of Cranfield’s Women as Leaders Open Programme.
Kim’s roles at Cranfield have included Dean of Faculty and Director of the DBA. She has worked with a wide range of organisations on executive development including leadership programmes, executive coaching and team consulting.
Kim enjoys working at Cranfield because the huge range of clients enables her to gain insight into many different cultures and working practices.
Kim believes that understanding different contexts is crucial for working with the complex challenges clients present. She feels that a healthy curiosity about people and their experiences has helped her succeed at Cranfield.
One of Cranfield’s greatest assets, Professor John Constable was associated with the University for over 35 years as the SoM's Director, a full-time Professor and later a visiting Professor.
John also taught at Ashridge and Bath University and was a Non-Executive Director of three quoted companies. Sadly, John passed away in 2011. Here are just two of the many tributes that we received:
"Energetic, amiable, a master of his subject, accessible and an enduring catalyst, John blended the academic disciplines, epitomized all the best characteristics of our business school, and gave me much of what I brought to my career in the USA." Peter McHenry, MBA (1974).
"One of the best lecturers I have ever had. A real loss to business and the community." Simon Lawson, Executive MBA (1987).
Having joined Cranfield in 2002, David is retiring from the School and University this year. He is Executive Director and Admissions Director for the Full Time MBA and Director of International Development. David manages the School’s accreditation process and runs the International Business Assignment on the MBA programme. This involves guiding students through their international assignments which have ranged from Brazil to China, Russia to Vietnam, and Sri Lanka to Zambia. David started his career as a teacher and later founded an International School in France before going on to work in publishing for Oxford University Press. As a teacher trainer, David has led over 100 seminars on language development skills. Outside Cranfield, he is a practising adult and youth magistrate, sitting on the Cambridge bench. “Cranfield has been the most fulfilling part of my professional life. I feel privileged to have worked for the best part of 15 years with colleagues who inspire through their ability to bring together academic rigour with practical relevance to make a real difference in the world. Cranfield is a university like no other: putting people first - long may it thrive and continue to transform lives.”
Dr David Butcher celebrated 25 years at Cranfield last year. He has taught extensively on the MBA, although almost from the beginning of his long career at the School he became involved in Cranfield’s executive development work, for which he discovered a deep passion. For many years, David helped to build the School’s General Management Programme portfolio. He remains Director of the Centre for General Management, and Director of the School’s flagship executive programme, the Cranfield Directors Programme. David is also Director of Cranfield Executive Programmes, one of the School’s core missions. He has guided the creation of one of the largest executive programme portfolios in the business school world, and more recently started to develop a cross-school portfolio of executive programmes for the University. As a member of both the School’s executive committee and the University’s senior management team, he is involved in many dimensions of the life of both organisations. David works in most business sectors worldwide and publishes in the fields of business transformation and leadership. He is also a frequent speaker at international conferences and company seminars.
After 30 years as a social entrepreneur and campaigner for responsible business, disability rights & small business, Professor David Grayson, CBE, joined Cranfield as Director of the Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility in 2007. He sees his role as helping organisations to be more resilient & future-proofed. David has written several books including “Corporate Responsibility Coalitions: The Past, Present & Future of Alliances for Sustainable Capitalism”which won the international Academy of Management’s best book on social issues in management award in 2015. His latest book “Take Care: How to be a great employer for working carers” is published in May. In addition to his current role as Chairman of the charity Carers UIK, David has previously chaired or served on various charity and public sector boards including the National Co-operative Development Agency, the National Disability Council, The Prince of Wales' Innovation Trust and the Strategic Rail Authority. He was co-founder of Project North East, which supports business development and has worked in nearly 60 countries worldwide. The Guardian has named David as one of ten top global tweeters on sustainability leadership.
Maxine is the ‘go-to’ person and a much-loved familiar face for many colleagues across the School and wider University.
She joined Cranfield in 1994 as part of the Facilities team and was responsible for running the School’s core services such as the reception and stationery supplies. Maxine now manages a team of 30 people who look after Site Services for the facilities unit across the University.
Maxine said: “Before joining Cranfield, I served in the Royal Air Force for 22 years. The camaraderie and spirit of the Forces resonates within the School of Management and I feel lucky to have worked with some lovely people.
I have many long lasting memories working at Cranfield including Royal visits, graduations and Christmas fancy dress parties to name a few that will be in my memory box forever.”
Known by almost everyone who passes the School of Management reception desk in building 111, Dawn joined Cranfield in 1999 as part of the Facilities Team.
She split her time between working in the School’s stationery store, supplying both staff and students with a wide variety of stationery goods to covering reception in both Cranfield Management Development Centre (CMDC) and the School of Management.
Dawn has been permanently based at the School of Management Reception for the last 13 years and knows the answer to almost every question.
Dawn reflects: “Cranfield is a happy place to work with a genuine community feel. The University has always been proud of its family atmosphere and has wanted to foster it. The great feedback from students on feeling welcomed, valued and comfortable in the School and wider University goes to show how successful this has been.”
The go-to for everything related to IT, Alex joined Cranfield in 1988. His first role in the School of Management entailed supporting MBA students when they used the Computer Studio which, back then, was a prestigious PC suite sponsored by Hewlett Packard. At the time, the studio was not used to check emails, rather the Internet was for ‘techies’ and Windows 2 was the latest software.
Alex said: “I have held various roles within the School of Management and the wider University. Most recently, I have re-joined the School of Management family to manage the School’s bespoke business systems. Cranfield’s journey through IT has been fast-paced and it is a pleasure to have seen and guided the transition from laptops being a luxury to almost all materials being available online all day and everyday for staff and students.”
Alex also happens to be celebrating his own 50th birthday this year, and the School is delighted to share its special milestone with him. Happy big 50 Alex from all of us at Cranfield School of Management!
Dr Bob Boland joined Cranfield College of Aeronautics as a member of an International Teachers Programme at Harvard Business School in 1961. In '62, he founded the 1-year Engineering Management programme, which became the Cranfield MBA. Starting with four students, it expanded rapidly to a cohort of 30 by 1965, with Professors from Harvard Business School, Stanford, Columbia and IMD. As the School's first MBA Director, Bob developed and inspired business case studies to be used for teaching. He also taught Accounting, Finance, and Business Policy at Cranfield and across the globe and developed various executive education courses. After Cranfield, Bob became a professor at the University of Cape Town where he founded a new Graduate School of Business. In 1975, he left Africa to study Medicine and International Health in Mexico, USA, Panama and Thailand and finally joined the UN's International Labour Office in Geneva where he welcomes many Cranfield MBA alumni. "Cranfield inspired my long-term career and interest in business schools. As a major international management school, it remains my dreams and I cherish many fond memories of the School and wider University."
Professor Andrew Kakabadse joined the School of Management in 1978 as a Research Assistant and saw various programmes welcome their first cohort of students. Just two years later, in 1980, Andrew became a Senior Lecturer and gained his Professorship in 1982.
A backbone of Cranfield, Andrew was part of the team that initiated the School’s tailored programmes, now known as customised programmes. Andrew recalls that the programme’s first clients included Cable & Wireless Communications and NatWest. He also was the director that led the team that ran the first Executive MBA programme in 1982. After a fruitful career at the University, which included sitting on the board of the Civil Service College at Sunningdale, Andrew retired from the School of Management in 2012. He has since undertaken some impressive projects such as examining the leadership and redesign of the UK Civil Service. Andrew commented: “Cranfield is one continuous fond memory. It was my life. A group of us came together in the late 70s to bring about change at Cranfield and set a strong foundation. It makes me so proud to see Cranfield today as a world-renowned institution.”
During 17 years as School Director from 1986 to 2003, Professor Leo Murray led an unprecedented growth in turnover, talent, products, facilities, faculty, MBA numbers and Executive Education. This was recognised in the initial achievement of triple accreditation and the School's excellent rankings. There was also considerable expansion and development of facilities including the Conference Centre and the Management Development Centre. The school grew its international outlook, composition and reputation and the traditional strong links with industry and commerce were considerably enhanced. Since retirement, Leo has held several non-Executive Chair and Director positions, including Chairmanship of the National Centre for Languages and has worked extensively as a consultant in the UK and internationally. "I was very honoured to be appointed to Cranfield with its strong set of values and its unique balance of the academic and the practical. I feel very fortunate to have been able to meet and work with so many wonderful colleagues and brilliant students from all over the world who have come to Cranfield. To all of these, I am profoundly grateful and I miss the School to this day."
Cranfield alumnus and Senior Lecturer in Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Melvyn is a core part of Cranfield’s past, present and future. Having started his career in the third-party logistics industry, Melvyn joined Cranfield in 1989 on a short-term research contract. 28 years later, he is now the Director of Education where he works with colleagues to manage and develop the taught programmes portfolio. Melvyn actively teaches across various supply chain management modules and corporate programmes. Whilst not quite the “grandfather of the house” Melvyn is seen by many as the font of all knowledge, although he would probably say it is simply the benefit of experience and a good memory. He has travelled extensively during his time at Cranfield and is currently a visiting fellow at the University of Barcelona and the Universitat Polytecnica de Catalunya. Outside of Cranfield he is VP of Bletchley Rugby Club, a fact everyone in the School knows when it comes to match ball sponsorship time. “Working at Cranfield is as much a privilege today as it was 28 years ago. Where else could I work with such a diverse range of talented people spanning management and technology? You just have to up your game.”
David is an Alumnus of one of the School's earliest cohorts; the class of '69. The class contained only 3 nationalities, no females, no PCs, no mobile phones, but an outstanding wine cellar at Lanchester Hall! David remembers fondly a great year that made a huge impact on his life and career. This included Unilever, BOC and the Public Sector's Department of Employment, but otherwise David worked in the executive recruitment industry. Periods at Odgers and Korn Ferry were followed by managing his own practice where he assisted numerous Alumni as both individuals and clients. During his time with Cranfield, David has helped set up the Programme for Non Executive Directors; secured funds for The Bettany Centre; was an initial committee member of the Colin Jeavons Trust; represented the School on the University Court and Convocation; worked with Alumni groups in Australia and New Zealand; jointly founded the Feeshare Scholarship; set up and coordinated the New Zealand Scholarship Scheme; joined the CMA Committee - and is still an active Year Rep! David was given the Outstanding Alumni Award in 2015. In his own words, “a stick of rock, with Cranfield right through the centre!"
Following 5 years as Director of the School from 2009 to 2013, Professor Frank Horwitz remains an invaluable member of the Cranfield community, as Professor of Global Human Resource Management and Director of Defence Management and Security Leadership. He is a member of the Cranfield Defence School Executive and the University’s Senior Leadership Team. Frank has co-edited a new paperback edition of the Handbook of Human Resource Management in Emerging Markets (2016), the most recent thought-leading book publication on this theme. He has worked across 4 continents, led 2 FT top 100 business schools in 2 countries, has published articles in more than 100 peer reviewed journals and presented at conferences across the globe. His career has spanned South Africa, as Director of the Graduate School of Business, Cape Town. along with Netherlands, Singapore, Canada, Austria and France with visiting professorships. “Cranfield’s unique value proposition is the relevance and closeness of its teaching and research to business and governmental organisations, influencing capacity and institution building in the UK and in many developing countries around the world.”
Globally renowned for his work in logistics and supply chain management, Professor Martin Christopher chairs Cranfield’s Advisory Board for the Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management. Having co-founded the International Journal of Logistics Management and been its joint editor for 18 years, Martin is also an advisor to various organisations and holds a Non-Executive Director role at supply chain and business operations consultancy, LCP Consulting. He has received numerous awards from both sides of the Atlantic for his contributions to this industry. His work is widely cited by other scholars and his book Logistics and supply Chain Management - now in its fifth edition - is one of the leading texts in its field. Martin reflected: “Since joining Cranfield in 1972, I have been privileged to work with bright students, experienced managers and stimulating colleagues in an environment that has always encouraged innovation with a strong focus on the real world. I believe that Cranfield's postgraduate and executive programmes have gained a well-deserved international reputation as a result of a strong research underpinning which is grounded on relevance and rigour - all supported by a world-class classroom experience.”
Professor Michael Osbaldeston was Director of Cranfield School of Management for six years from 2003 to 2009. Some of his key achievements include developing and launching the CMRI (Cranfield Management Research Institute) which was opened by Princess Anne, working closely with colleague and good friend, Bill Shedden, to further grow CCED (Centre for Customised Executive Development) and raising invaluable funds to enable to the launch of the renowned Bettany and Doughty Centres.
Michael was awarded an OBE, for services to national and international higher education, in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2008. Having retired from the Deanship of Cranfield in 2009, Michael was appointed an Emeritus Professor of the University.
Prior to joining Cranfield, Michael was Head of Global Learning in the HR Corporate Centre of Shell International from 2000 – 02 and was Chief Executive of Ashridge Business School in Hertfordshire from 1990 to 1999.
MBA Alumnus John McFarlane is a leading figure in global banking. He is chairman of Barclays as well as TheCityUK, and former CEO of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group. Read his full profile on the Speaker's List for our anniversary Celebrations Day.
John chose to study at Cranfield in 1975 because he felt that the faculty struck a good balance between theoretical approaches and practical case study learning. He also liked the sense of community at Cranfield and felt that the School’s countryside location meant that he could focus on his studies without too many distractions. Working at Ford in manufacturing at the time, John chose Cranfield in order to broaden his skills and accelerate his career. He subsequently had a long and distinguished career in banking and has been awarded an OBE and the Australian Centenary Medal. "Cranfield was pivotal in enabling me to move from manufacturing to banking. Its pragmatic orientation, world-class executive education and development programmes and links to organisations across a wide range of industries, differentiate Cranfield globally and enable its experience and learnings to be applied more readily to real life business situations."
Serial entrepreneur Sarah Willingham established the largest chain of Indian restaurants in the UK after graduating from Cranfield in 2002; the start of a range of successful ventures. Known as a money saving expert, Sarah regularly appears on TV programmes including Daybreak, This Morning, The Wright Stuff and Sky News as a personal finance expert. She helps consumers save money via her website www.letssavesomemoney.com. Sarah has also appeared on BBC's The Restaurant with chef Raymond Blanc and on The Apprentice as one of Lord Sugar's advisors, plus as a 'dragon' on the Dragon's Den. She now sits on Cranfield School of Management’s advisory board. "Cranfield was an amazing year and one I’ll never forget. I made lifelong friends with both students and lecturers. I wrote my best ever business plan and actually made it happen! I learnt that all those bits of business that had previously been alien to me weren’t that scary or complicated after all and above all I learnt A LOT about myself; not just about me as an individual but about me in the context of a team and as a leader - I wouldn’t have had the success I’ve had without this being part of my journey. I can’t recommend an MBA from Cranfield enough."
A core part of the School of Management since 1986, Graham maintains strong links with the School as a Visiting Academic. Prior to joining Cranfield in 1986 to teach operations management, Graham ran a number of manufacturing units in engineering companies. He has also trained as psychotherapist and often uses insights from this to inform his teaching and research in personal and organizational, customer experience, and operations strategy.
Graham is the longest serving MBA director having two spells looking after the Executive programme before taking over the Fulltime MBA.
He said: “Our MBAs are brilliant. They are challenging but committed to learning and development and I feel very privileged to have played a part in their growth. Each cohort was my favourite!”
Graham has worked on Cranfield programmes around the globe, was a Non-Executive Director of the UK’s Institute of Customer Service, and is now heavily involved with the Samaritans charity.
Alex Chapman used her MBA year at Cranfield in 1988 to jump from being a high flying technologist, installing huge banking systems worldwide, to a specialist in strategy execution; aka how to get big stuff done in organisations. Alex’s day job has been a lifetime devoted to developing tools to educate people in strategy execution, changing the conversation in projects from cost to value. Her work, with her partner the late Jed Simms, has been internationally recognised by Gartner and others. For almost 30 years Alex has also supported the Australian alumni community, creating an engagement model now adopted worldwide. Her work in establishing the Cranfield Australian Alumni Scholarship will this year see the twentieth talented Australian attend the MBA programme. “I describe the Cranfield Experience to our prospective scholarship applicants as something between boot-camp, skunk-works, sleep deprivation experiment, speed reading course and finishing school all rolled into one. Cranfield changed my life and created the foundation for everything that I have done since, in my career and for the alumni community.” Alex’s service to the School was recognised with the 2014 Inaugural Alumni Service Award.
Dr John Mapes joined Cranfield in 1971 and was a Senior Lecturer in Operations Management and Statistics at Cranfield until his retirement in 2005.
Having joined Cranfield at a relatively young age, he recalls that his appointments board could not decide whether to offer him a job or a place on the MBA programme!
John went on to teach on the MBA programme for over 30 years. During this time, he was also Director of the Fulltime MBA (1998 - 2001) and Director of Graduate Admissions (1984 - 1987 and 2001 - 2005).
John’s Cranfield career also involved a six-month break when he was seconded to the University of Natal in South Africa.
After retiring, John served as a Director at Acuigen Ltd, a market research company set up by Cranfield MBA alumnus, Derek Jones. He also co-presented a Channel 4 television series, “Time to Get Your House in Order”, which focused on effective time management.
From Cranfield alumna to Pro Vice Chancellor (Education), Professor Lynette Ryals is an invaluable member of the University. Lynette joined Cranfield in 1997 as a Teaching Fellow and Staff PhD student. Upon completion, she was offered various opportunities across the School and went on to become Director of the Executive MBA programme in 2000, launched and directed the MSc in Strategic Marketing in 2003, KAM Club Director (2003-2014) and Director of the Demand Chain Management Community (2007-2013). She became Pro Vice Chancellor in 2011, spending 50% of her time on pan-university initiatives and the rest on SoM development. In 2013, her role became wholly focused on the University. Lynette’s current work entails developing and strengthening corporate and university relationships and overseeing Cranfield’s education strategy. She remarks, “Cranfield is the most amazing place. You can open a door into a perfectly normal-looking building and find that you’re looking at a nationally-important asset; or you can come into work and find that today you’re meeting a business leader or government minister! Cranfield is the only university I have worked at - 20 years in 2017 - I can’t believe it!”
Sri joined the School of Management as an MBA student in 1984 and loved it so much that he never left! After graduating, he stayed on as Director of the Marketing Accounting Research Centre and later became a member of the Finance and Accounting faculty.
He was Director of the Executive MBA from 1990 - 1992, growing the course from one stream to two and totalling over 100 students at its peak. Sri was appointed Director of the Programme again in the late 90s and launched the Cranfield Modular MBA Programme in 1999.
Sri commented: “I am privileged to have spent the best part of my life working with students and delegates who are some of today’s brightest professionals and business leaders. What made it for me, far more than anything else, were the warm, long-term friendships that I gained over the years. Cranfield is not just a business school - it is a family. Colleagues, ranging from administrators and support staff to academics and caterers, create this caring environment.”
Now officially retired, Sri continues to teach at Cranfield in addition to pursuing his ‘impossible’ challenge - beating Professor Leo Murray at golf.
Emeritus Professor Malcolm McDonald is a global guru in the field of marketing, with extensive industrial experience, including being Marketing and Sales Director of Canada Dry. He was Professor of Marketing and Deputy Director of the School up to 2003. An English graduate from Oxford University, he holds a Cranfield PhD as well as a Doctorate from Bradford University and from the Plekhanov University of Economics in Moscow. He has written 48 books, including best seller "Marketing Plans; how to prepare them; how to use them", which has sold over half a million copies. He is also a Visiting Professor at Henley, Warwick, Aston and Bradford Business Schools. In 2006 he was listed in the UK’s Top Ten Business Consultants by the Times. Malcolm says, “Like everyone else associated with Cranfield, I love the place. At the age of 79 I still teach on our MBA, MSc and Executive programmes, as well as contributing to the Key Account Best Practice Club Research Club that I formed, over 20 years ago and which is still going strong. I am also on the MSc Practice Advisory Board. Every time I approach the School, I enjoy an enormous sense of wellbeing. It truly is a very special institution and is my second home.” See Malcolm's interview here.
Following a career with one of the world’s leading tractor brands, Massey Ferguson, Professor Mark Jenkins moved from a former part of Cranfield University, Silsoe College, to the School of Management in 1991. He started as a Lecturer on a joint appointment between Marketing and Logistics and Strategic Management, but soon concluded that no-one wants 50% of anything and so moved 100% into the Strategy Group.
Since the late 90s Mark’s research and teaching has drawn heavily on the UK motorsport industry and specifically on Formula 1. He was one of a small team of researchers who undertook the first survey of the scale and scope of the UK motorsport industry in 2000. Today, all figures that are used by government to quote the size of the industry are based on this original work.
Mark is active on social media and his ‘@f1professor’ Twitter handle has generated much interest in the media which has led to appearances on BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 4 Today, Radio 2 and Radio Scotland. He has also featured in national and international press including The Times, Financial Times and USA Today.
Having driven a few laps of Monza in a Ferrari in 2016, Mark has ticked racing off his bucket list.
Richard joined as part of a team that worked to refresh Cranfield’s organisational behaviour modules which are now ranked as best in the world by the Financial Times. Having helped set up and been the Director of the UK’s first Doctorate in Organisational Psychology, Richard is a Senior Lecturer in Organisational Psychology, a qualified, chartered and registered psychologist, and Head of the Development and Learning Group.
He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a former Chair of the British Psychological Society's Division of Occupational Psychology and the BPS Ethics Committee.
Richard commented: “I am proud to work with colleagues in an organisation that helps both staff and students develop. It is always exciting and interesting, and sometimes frankly astounding to see the difference that our students, particularly as executives, make to the world. Cranfield is a practical and dynamic university where the research and work is always varied. But above that I think it’s all the people I’ve worked with that have kept me here for 20 years.”
Professor Sunil Poshakwale has been a backbone of Cranfield’s growth in finance research having joined in 2006 as a Professor of International Finance. As Director of Cranfield’s finance MSc programmes until 2016, he helped drive the School into the top league of those offering finance Masters programmes ranked by the Financial Times. He has also been Director of the Centre for Research in Finance, leading the development of high quality industry relevant research. He has published research papers in highly ranked finance journals and his expertise is widely used by well-known investment and development banks. Many of his PhD and DBA students have gone on to work in prestigious universities and financial services industry in the UK and worldwide. Sunil was named Best Professor of Financial Management by Asia’s Business School Awards and one of the most influential ‘Management Gurus’ of Indian origin by Business India. He commented: “Cranfield is full of development and growth opportunities as evident from the range projects that my colleagues and I have undertaken over the last 11 years of my career here. I am both proud and excited to be part of Cranfield’s 50th anniversary celebrations.”
An economist by training, Frank arrived at Cranfield in September 1966. In his early days within the College of Aeronautics, he ran economics courses across campus, and as the School of Management grew, his work focussed on graduate programmes and executive courses. Frank became a Reader in Managerial Economics in 1974. In the 1980s he directed further studies for the European Commission into the structure of book publishing, distribution and pricing systems. This led to Frank undertaking several international publications and consultancy assignments. As an extension of this research, Frank supervised ten PhD and DBA theses and was Chair of the School’s Graduate Research Committee for five years. In 1997, he retired from full-time work but returned as a visiting fellow to help complete some major research and also to supervise some individual doctoral students. “The quality of management education at Cranfield derives mainly from the intellectual ability of the students, their previous experience of the business world and their keenness to learn. The role of the lecturer is to stimulate an exchange of thinking among these students, rather than merely summarise textbooks.”
Amanda’s life was completely changed by her decision to embark on the Cranfield MBA programme. After Cranfield, she became involved in volunteering and is now the Chief Executive of The Cranfield Trust, the unique free management consultancy for charities. Founded at Cranfield, but an independent charity, the Trust supports over 300 charities with pro bono consultancy each year, as well as providing a range of other management services to charity managers and trustees. The Trust’s services are delivered by over 900 volunteers, many of them Cranfield alumni.
Amanda says: “The Trust helps the charities we all depend on to operate effectively and sustainably, thanks to the expertise of our volunteers. We work with inspiring people on both sides - our amazing charity clients, and our fantastic volunteers, it’s a privilege to bring them together.” She says “Cranfield alumni are incredibly generous in giving their time and skills to help charities through the Trust - many of my MBA year are now active volunteers and supporters - including my husband, Chris Barrington Brown, who I met on our MBA.” Amanda was awarded a CBE for services to the voluntary sector in 2015.
Colin's relationship with Cranfield is one of the most unusual of all the students who have graduated from the School of Management during its 50 years. He was one of the 1974-75 cohort of MBA students before achieving his PhD, inspired to want to teach Business Policy by Professor John Constable’s teaching. What is unusual about Colin is the fact that he had previously spent his entire childhood on campus: “My father was the second ever employee of the original Cranfield College of Aeronautics, having served at RAF Cranfield during WWII." Colin spent a wonderful childhood on campus before leaving to study Engineering and Social Studies at the University of Sussex. By aged 24 he sought a career change and returned to Cranfield, but this time as the then-youngest-ever Cranfield MBA student. Throughout his career, Colin taught Business Strategy and Business Ethics at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada from 1978 until his retirement in 2014. He also taught at the Open University, London Business School, the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia, the University of Melbourne and the University of Auckland. He is a leading expert in the study of air, rail, ferry and train disasters.
A core asset to the School and University, Bill has worked in the field of executive development for over 30 years and was Director of Cranfield’s Centre for Customised Executive Development from 2002 until 2015. During that time, he led the rapid and successful expansion and internationalisation of the School’s customised development activities, thus having a significant impact on its reputation and rankings leading it to be ranked in the top ten of business schools in the world for customised executive development. He led the Centre to develop its activities across a range of industries and organisations including BAE Systems, BHP Billiton, British Nuclear Group, Government of Dubai and Etisalat. Bill served as a member of the School’s Executive Team and as a representative of the European Foundation of Management Development. He was also Chairman of UNICON’s executive board. Bill commented: “As well as enabling me to work with excellent teachers and business leaders, Cranfield gave me the freedom and support to develop and implement, with the help of a wonderful group of colleagues, ideas for a successful international executive development business which would have both internal and global recognition.“
Juri spent most of his working life at Cranfield and remains a memorable character. He joined the University as a linguist in 1974 and was responsible for organising and delivering French, Spanish and Russian lessons to the whole University. He was a member of the School of Management faculty for more than 25 years until his retirement just a few years ago. As the head of SoM’s European Languages Centre, he achieved a 98% success rate by the School’s MBA students in the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry Certificates and Diplomas. Many students will have fond memories - and nightmares - of the pressure exerted on them to succeed by Juri but they never doubted his dedication and hard work. Juri was also a prominent figure in the students’ social life. He coached the MBA soccer teams which travelled to the US to play in the MBA World Soccer Championships - and came back with the Winners’ Trophy one year! He continued to play soccer with the students until his retirement - many students will still have the injuries to prove this. Juri acknowledges the incredible impact that Cranfield has had on his life. He admits a void in his life since retirement - an emotion that many retired faculty will appreciate.
After a period in marketing management of food and beverage brands, Professor Simon Knox joined Cranfield from Unilever in 1983 when the University was the Cranfield Institute of Technology. He moved to the School of Management in 1990 and was appointed Professor of Brand Marketing in 1997. Currently, he works part time as an Emeritus Professor at the School and as an Honorary Professor at the University of New South Wales Business School in Sydney. In addition, as a Cranfield coach, Simon now works with MBA and MSc alumni and other C-Suite executives from around the world. His enduring passion is yoga and pranayama; he recently co-founded Clarity Yoga Shala www.clarity.yoga with his wife where he mentors through movement and mindfulness. Simon commented: “My overwhelming memory of joining the School of Management was the incredibly high energy levels of colleagues, their sense of purpose and the imperative need for time management skills! It was and remains a very rewarding experience to work there with extremely bright students, colleagues and corporate executives from around the world; the School offers a gateway to world-class business development and communication skills.”
After graduating with a degree in Chemistry, Doc served in the British Army for 7 years, including in Afghanistan and Nepal. He left the military in 2013 and became the first person to walk 1,000 miles in 64 days across the Great Himalaya Trail solo in Nepal. In addition to fundraising for the Gurkha Welfare Trust and raising awareness of the trail, Doc used this time to reflect on developing his career. He joined the Cranfield MBA programme in 2013 and a year later, after being selected as the UK’s Ambassador for Tourism in Nepal following the 2015 earthquake, he travelled back to Nepal to make short documentaries. These aimed to encourage people to return to the country and stimulate the economy once more. In January 2016, Doc started at the Centre for Customised Executive Development at Cranfield School of Management. Doc commented: “When I was looking at Universities for my MBA, Cranfield stood out because of the focus it puts on emotional intelligence. Academia is central to any degree, but it was important for me to continue growing on a personal level as I did in the military. As a Cranfield student and employee, I have seen that personal development is genuinely at the heart of the organisation.”
Dr Omobola Johnson served as the Minister of Communication Technology, in the cabinet of President Goodluck Jonathan, in Nigeria from 2011-2015. She has since returned to a life outside politics as a partner in a venture capital firm. As the Country MD of the Accenture Nigeria practice with three young children, deciding to undertake a doctoral programme at Cranfield was one of the riskiest decisions of Omobola's life. But from the application process to Orientation Week in 2011, she knew she had made the right decision: "Making the transition from a consulting background to the discipline and rigour of academic research was not without its challenges, but with the support of my supervisor, facilitators and cohort I did make the transition successfully. For sure, a doctorate from Cranfield School of Management raised my profile in the domestic business environment and my research on corporate leadership practices in emerging economies had tremendous practical utility, as I continued in my role as CMD of Accenture and during my four-year stint as a cabinet minister in Nigeria. Today, I am able to live one of my lifelong ambitions; to share experiences and insights based on a position of deep knowledge."
Perry joined Cranfield in 1989 as Head Chef at Lanchester Hall. He later transferred to Mitchell Hall in 1994 as RSM. On arriving, Perry was given one piece of wisdom; that common sense is not common. “This came home recently when i was approached by a student who pointed out that one of our vinegars had lumps in it. After close examination I pointed out that the vinegar was a jar of pickled onions. Funny moments aside, I have so enjoyed my career at Cranfield and the many friends that it has brought into my life. I have to say the biggest highlight and a memory I will always treasure, was looking after the astronaut and first man on the moon Neil Armstrong and his wife during their visit to Cranfield. It was the day Mr Armstrong was made an honourary graduate. I will never forget meeting him and being a part of his stay; what an honour! It demonstrates the many unexpected and truly remarkable opportunities that can be experienced when working at Cranfield. It is a very special place indeed." Perry has spent the last 18 years as Landlord of the Cranfield Social Club, making a significant personal impact on the staff and students that he encounters every day. He is a treasured member of the community.
50 Faces of Cranfield SoM
We are delighted to introduce fifty members of the Cranfield community that truly personify the spirit of our School. We are honoured to be able to include these individuals in our global community. With so many to choose from, their stories will appear here gradually throughout 2017.
Cranfield University at Shrivenham