Arc Universities

Tributes have been paid to Professor Sir Peter Gregson FREng, former Chair of the AUG and Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University, who  died suddenly at home aged 66.

Sir Peter played a pivotal role in the formation of the Arc Universities Group. He joined Cranfield in 2013, leading the University for eight years with a focus on growth and deepening partnerships with industry and government. His tenure included significant developments on campus, including the opening of the Aerospace Integration Research Centre, the Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre, the construction of new accommodation and the relocation of the Cranfield Forensic Institute to a new purpose-built facility.

During his time, Cranfield University was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize, the highest national honour in education, on three consecutive occasions.

Barbara Young, Baroness Young of Old Scone, was Chancellor of Cranfield University from 2010-2020, and said:

“It was a great joy to work with Peter as Vice-Chancellor at Cranfield. His vision and energy were transformative, and we could feel the whole Cranfield family working together, creating highly effective external partnerships, feeling justly proud of their University. The Cranfield site was transformed too, and our reputation worldwide grew. Thank you, Peter.”

Professor Karen Holford CBE FREng, Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University said:

“All of us are very shocked and saddened by this tragic news. Sir Peter was a true friend to Cranfield and a passionate advocate for engineering skills and higher education. Even when he retired, he continued to be actively engaged in the sector, chairing the Royce Institute, and making an ongoing contribution to the field of materials research. Our deepest heartfelt sympathies go out to Sir Peter’s wife, Rachael, and their daughters Ellie, Maria and Chrissie.”

A Service of Thanksgiving for Professor Sir Peter Gregson will be held on Friday 3 May, 2pm at Romsey Abbey, near Southampton.

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