Institute for Aerospace Technology

Space Research

Photo of a rocket overlooked by a sunset

The University of Nottingham has a broad range of research and development in the space domain, with historic strengths in global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), Earth Observation for Human Rights endeavours, and space biology, shaping national and international policy in these areas.

The Space Research Group came together for the first time at the beginning of 2019, with the aim of bringing the space research work across the University together. In this group we:

  • Bring together academics from a range of disciplines and career stages
  • Support one another in keeping up-to-date with the latest science, research and technology
  • Discuss funding opportunities from various organisations
  • Share industrial contacts and business development opportunities
  • Find projects we can collaborate on
  • Develop strategies for building more space research and development at the University

Some examples of the space research capabilities that we have at the University include:

Astrobiology, Astromedicine and Astropharmacy

Professor Nathaniel Szewczyk, Professor of Space Biology

Spaceflight effects on human and worm muscle health, molecular muscle experiment on-board the International Space Station to test if specific signals control the reproducible gene expression changes observed in space. Interested in developing CubeSats for space-biology research and develop a biology ‘instrument’ for interplanetary missions.

Professor Szewczyk's staff profile

Professor Phil Williams, Professor of Biophysics

Evolution of life and molecular evolution in space, on demand, on-site manufacture of biopharmaceuticals in extreme environments, regulation and safety, remotely manufactured medicines, and space tourism.

Professor Williams' staff profile



Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)

Professor Terry Moore, Director of the Nottingham Geospatial Institute

Orbital dynamics, GNSS Applications, Multi-constellation precise point positioning, Positioning and Navigation, Propagation effects.

Professor Moore's staff profile

Professor Xiaolin Meng, Professor of Positioning and Navigation Technologies

Structural health monitoring of large space bridges using GNSS and EO, Integrity of rail, maritime, unmanned aerial vehicles, transport applications, precision agriculture and knowledge exchange and technology transfer to China – Director of Sino-UK Geospatial Engineering Centre (SUGEC).

Professor Meng's staff profile



Dr Paul Blunt, Associate Professor of GNSS and Communications

Signal processing including signal modulation, multiplexing and encoding techniques, and acquisition and tracking architectures, integrated navigation including performance analysis of a GNSS-based navigation system for lunar missions.

Dr Blunt's staff profile

Paul Bhatia, General Manager of GRACE

Programme Management of GRACE, Industry engagement, GNSS & EO testing, training and consultancy and EO InSAR applications.

Paul Bhatia's staff profile



Small satellites and space debris

Dr Chantal Cappelletti, Assistant Professor in Aerospace Engineering

Small satellites including mission analysis and design, satellite systems analysis, design and implementation, AITV activities, in orbit operations, interplanetary missions, deployment mechanism and different manufacturing technologies. Space debris including observation and mitigation.

Dr Cappelletti's staff profile



Earth Observation

Professor Stuart Marsh, Professor of Geospatial Engineering

Earth Observation for monitoring: subsidence; compressible sediments and groundwater; coal mining; peat; slavery; sand; and oil seeps.

Professor Marsh's staff profile

Dr Stephen Grebby, Assistant Professor in Earth Observation

Identification of rocks and minerals indicative of presence of hydrocarbon and geothermal resources, detection of natural offshore oil seep, monitoring of ground motion, understanding the impact of oil spills.

Dr Grebby's staff profile



Professor Giles Foody, Professor of Geographical Information Science

Developing Earth Observation applications to remote sense terrestrial features, analyse digital images for image classification and enhancements and increase data quality.

Professor Foody's staff profile

Professor Doreen Boyd, Professor of Earth Observation

Application of Earth Observation data and methods for optimal extract of information relating to terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, particularly with respect to socio-ecological interactions.

Professor Boyd's staff profile




Professor Christopher Conselice, Professor of Astrophysics

Formation of galaxies, leader of several near infrared large extragalactic surveys, leading role in ESA’s Euclid Mission.

Professor Conselice's staff profile



Materials and Manufacturing

Dr Katy Voisey, Associate Professor in Advanced Materials

Test of materials for space applications, space-manufacturing methods and a member of the Gateway Earth Development Group.

Dr Voisey's staff profile

Dr David Sanderson, Senior Research Fellow in Advanced Manufacturing

Manufacturing, assembly, and repair operations in space, and autonomous robotic processes, artificial intelligence and smart integration.

Dr Sanderson's staff profile



System Dynamics and Controls

Dr Harald Pfifer, Assistant Professor in System Dynamics and Control

Worst-case analysis of launcher ascend trajectories, and robust control theory.

Dr Pfifer's staff profile



Electromagnetic Design

Professor David Thomas, Professor of Electromagnetic Applications

Computational electromagnetics including: GGI_TLM & UTLM for full field 3D electromagnetic simulation - suitable for application to all areas of the spectrum from static problems through to optical frequencies and SACAMOS (developed through funding from ESA) for the development of cable models for satellite applications.

Professor Thomas' staff profile




Institute for Aerospace Technology

Aerospace Technology Centre
Innovation Park
Triumph Road
Nottingham, NG7 2TU

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