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CEIAT is the School of Mechanical and Aerospace's industrial outreach centre for aerospace and related manufacturing technologies.  The Centre has a director, a manager,  and is also staff by Queens University academics, researchers, Bombardier Aerospace engineering staff and technical staff.

The Centre of Excellence is funded by Invest Northern Ireland under the PEACE II initiative with support from Bombardier Aerospace, the Northern Ireland Aerospace Consortium and the Department for Employment and Learning.

The Centre of Excellence addresses the need to conduct strategic research in order to support the Aerospace Industry both locally and internationally whilst continuing the University's innovative research in the traditional disciplines of Aerodynamics, Structures and Materials, Manufacturing and Design.  A major focus of the Centre is the integration of engineering disciplines into an overall systems framework.

Such an approach seeks to introduce the best cost and performance at an early stage of design, within the context of Integrated Product and Process Development, Multidisciplinary Optimisation and Technology Transfer.  This type of research demands a high degree of specialist knowledge in several areas of Aerospace Engineering and close links between academia and industry.

In recent years the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in conjunction with Bombardier Aerospace has been conducting research into several aspects of aircraft systems, this association leading to the establishment of the Bombardier Aerospace Chair in Composites at Queens University.  This unique link between academia and industry has opened up the opportunity to conduct the high level of research required to make the centre a successful venture.

The Centre of Excellence is well resourced and has full access to the current state of the art software technologies and experimental facilities.