If you Google “Professor of Aircraft Design” the name of Professor John Fielding of Cranfield University will either come first on the list, or close to the top of the list. Or top of the list may be his his book on the subject. Thus was the scale of the challenge and the standard required to make the short list of candidates to replace John upon his retirement.

One again this was an international search and short listed candidates were sourced from the major English speaking aerospace manufacturing and research countries  which included USA, Denmark and Australia as well as the UK. Holland, Germany, France and and Ireland were also sources of potential candidates. Airbus, Boeing, Rolls Royce  and Bombardier have collaborated with UK and Irish Universities in research and were interesting search targets, as well as the university advanced manufacturing centres that have been funded by the major aircraft manufacturers.

Cranfield made an appointment from a good list: this search did not produce high volumes of applicants with the necessary world class publications record but the standard of applicant was recognised as being very high.