Bookings for this event have now closed. If you would like to attend please email

We are delighted to invite alumni back to campus for this year’s Manufacturing and Materials alumni reunion.

Come back to campus and revisit your student days, get to know other members of your alumni community, and see how Cranfield has changed.

The event is also a chance to celebrate this year’s winner of the Excellence in Achievement Award for Recent Manufacturing and Materials Graduates, Wayne Thornton (MSc Operations Excellence 2014), Transformation Director - interim at Chivas Brothers Ltd, who will be giving a lecture as part of the day’s activities.

Attendees will also get a guided tour around campus facilities, including our Centre for Digital Engineering and Manufacturing and CRIMSON Metal Casting Lab. 

At Cranfield we are committed to improving the sustainability of our on-campus food outlets. Areas we are addressing include:

  • reducing food waste,
  • sourcing local, fairly produced and low-carbon food,
  • reducing sales of red meat, and
  • reducing packaging waste. 

For events we are trying to reduce food waste as a result of no-shows. We are therefore charging a nominal ticket fee which will go towards catering costs and reducing food wastage. 

Book Here

If you have any issues booking your place please email and the team will be happy to help.

Programme & speakers




Arrival, registration and tea and coffee


Housekeeping and ARD update – Emma Walden, Alumni Engagement Manager 


Welcome and Cranfield Manufacturing and Materials update  - Professor Mark Jolly, Professor and Director of Manufacturing and Materials                                


Presentation of the Excellence in Achievement Award for Recent Manufacturing and Materials Graduates and lecture - Wayne Thornton (MSc Operations Excellence 2014), Transformation Director - interim at Chivas Brothers Ltd






Closing remarks - Professor Mark Jolly, Professor and Director of Manufacturing and Materials 

16:40 - 17:00

Event ends

The programme includes guided tours around campus facilities, including: 

  • Centre for Digital Engineering and Manufacturing - Virtual & Augmented Reality applications in training and manufacture. Applications of digital twins and AI.
  • CRIMSON Metal Casting Lab - Activity for net zero casting, novel cast metallics Bulk Metallic Glasses and High Entropy Alloys.
  • Composites and Advanced Materials Centre - 3D composite manufacture, graphene and carbon nanotubes from waste gases
  • Surface Engineering and Precision Centre 
  • Precision Engineering - Novel sensors and high precision machining
  • Centre for Life-Cycle Engineering & Management - Asset management and condition monitoring. Application of AI for sustainable operations
  • Sustainable Manufacturing - Net zero and sustainable manufacture
  • Welding and Additive Manufacturing Centre - Additive manufacture for large scale components

Award winner lecture:

Winning with people

Whenever people or businesses come together in pursuit of something there is an opportunity for synergy. From team sports to running a business, teams have an inherent ability to deliver more, together. People synergy is one of the most powerful competitive advantages available to leaders, yet too often remains untapped because it’s the leader who needs to think and act differently. In my lecture I’d like to share with you some of my experience and insight into why all leaders should be able to “win with people”.

Wayne Thornton (MSc Operations Excellence 2014), Transformation Director - interim at Chivas Brothers Ltd

Wayne is an operations, engineering and change leader with extensive hands-on senior experience in food and drink end-to-end supply chains. He is currently supporting whiskey producers Chivas Brothers Ltd through a period of major change and modernisation as the acting Transformation Director.

His interest in how positive human relationships influence success led him down a career path that spans shop floor and senior leadership roles, starting within engineering and progressing into operations, continuous improvement and then into transformation for manufacturers such as Colman's, Britvic, Weetabix and Hovis. His credibility to support senior teams on change journeys derives from extensive personal experience leading operational FMCG change programs and full P&L recoveries.




Location & travel details

Vincent Building, College Road, Cranfield, Bedfordshire, MK43 0AL. 

Download a visitor guide including map, directions and health and safety information.

Who should attend

This event is open to all alumni and their guests.

Cost & concessions

Ticket fee: £10

The ticket fee covers catering costs and helps reduce food wastage.