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The University of Salford is a public research university located in Salford, England, approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) west of Manchester city centre. Its origins come from the Royal Technical Institute, Salford which was opened in 1896. This later became a College of Advanced Technology in 1956 and gained university status, following the Robbins Report into higher education, becoming the University of Salford in 1967. It has around 20,000 students and is situated in 60 acres (240,000 m2) of parkland on the banks of the River Irwell. The university’s origins can be traced to 1896 with the opening of the Royal Technical Institute, Salford, a merger of Salford Working Men’s College founded in 1858 and Pendleton Mechanics’ Institute founded in 1850. The Royal Technical Institute, Salford, received royal letters, after the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George V and Queen Mary) officiated at its opening ceremony, an event commemorated in the university’s Redbrick Peel Building and which allowed ‘Royal’ to be appended to name of the institute. At the start of the 20th century, mechanical engineering, chemical works, textiles and construction dominated the industrial scene in Salford. This heavily influenced the choice of subjects offered in the nine departments initially opened. These were Engineering, Electrical Engineering & Applied Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Building, Dyeing, Spinning & Weaving, Domestic, and Art. Some 1,240 students registered for the first session in these departments. There were originally 19 members of staff. In 1921 the Institute was renamed the Royal Technical College, Salford. In 1958 the institution split into two organisations, one remaining as the Royal Technical College, and a break away college, the Peel Park Technical College which changed its name first in 1961 to the Salford Technical College, before becoming the Salford College of Technology in 1970, and finally the University College Salford in 1992. The Royal College of Advanced Technology, became the University of Salford on 10 February 1967 when Her Majesty The Queen handed over the institution’s Royal Charter. The first Vice-Chancellor was Clifford Whitworth, after whom the university’s main library is named. The first chancellor was HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who remained the university’s chancellor until 1991. Prince Philip took a keen interest in the university whilst in office which has continued since and he visited the university’s award winning acoustics laboratories in 2008. Aerial photograph of the campus in 2011, with proposed new buildings added digitally. In 1996, the break-away University College Salford merged with the University of Salford to form a single institution. In 2012, the University of Salford announced a partnership with the UK’s biggest arms company, (BAE Systems), and four other North-Western universities (Liverpool, Manchester, UCLAN and Lancaster) in order to work on the Gamma Programme which aims to develop “autonomous systems”. According to the University of Liverpool, “autonomous systems are technology based solutions that replace humans in tasks that are mundane, dangerous and dirty, or detailed and precise, across sectors, including aerospace, nuclear, automotive and petrochemicals”. As has been pointed out by Campaign Against the Arms Trade, military drones come under this definition of autonomous systems, which the University of Liverpool calls “a new and emerging sector”.