Engineering and the Environment

Research Group: Astronautics

The activities carried out by the Astronautics Group cover a wide spectrum of fundamental and applied research in the field of space physics and spacecraft engineering. Our members are active in both theoretical modelling and physical experimentation, and are supported by a wide range of computational and experimental facilities. This diversity is one of our main strengths.

Currently Active: Yes

Group Overview

Particular areas of expertise include:

Our published research activities have made a substantial contribution to advancing the field; and hardware developed by members has successfully flown on various space missions, including on the International Space Station.

We collaborate with a wide range of companies, including EADS Astrium, Surrey Satellite Technologies Ltd, QinetiQ, Thales-Alenia, Satellite Services Ltd, and carry out research sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Union (EU), and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

We have also been a leading centre for the training of professional engineers in the worldwide space sector and associated industries since 1974 (see our continual professional development courses).

Contact us

  • Aeronautics, Astronautics and Computational Engineering

    Engineering and the Environment
    Building 13 (Tizard)
    University of Southampton
    Highfield Campus
    Southampton SO17 1BJ


    Faculty Administrative officers (job-share): Jayne Angland and Richard Allan

    Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 7658



The international space station

The international space station

What's related


    Selected publications associated with this group from the University of Southampton's electronic library (e-prints):


    Kisdi, Áron and Tatnall, Adrian (2011) Future robotic exploration using honeybee search strategy: Example search for caves on Mars. Acta Astronautica, 68, (11-12), 1790-1799. (doi:10.1016/j.actaastro.2011.01.013).
    Lewis, Hugh G., Swinerd, Graham and Newland, Rebecca J. (2011) The space debris environment: future evolution. Aeronautical Journal, 115, (1166)
    Redi, S., Aglietti, G.S., Tatnall, A.R.L. and Markvart, T. (2011) Dynamic response to turbulence of tethered lighter than air platforms. AIAA Journal of Aircraft, 48, (2), 540-552. (doi:10.2514/1.C031137).
    Lewis, H.G., Saunders, A., Swinerd, G.G. and Newland, R.J. (2011) Effect of thermospheric contraction on remediation of the near-Earth space debris environment. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, (A2), A00H08-[10pp]. (doi:10.1029/2011JA016482).

    Conference or Workshop Item

    Norlund, C.C.F., Lewis, H.G., Atkinson, P.M. and Guo, J.Y. (2011) NEOMiSS: A near-Earth object decision support tool. In, IAA Planetary Defense Conference, Bucharest, RO, 09 - 10 May 2011. 8pp.


    Grubisic, Angelo Niko (2011) Microthrusters based on the T5 and T6 hollow cathodes. University of Southampton, School of Engineering Sciences, Doctoral Thesis , 214pp.
    Jiggens, P.T.A. (2011) A new solar energetic particle event modelling methodology incorporating system memory. University of Southampton, School of Engineering Sciences, Doctoral Thesis , 331pp.
    Foster, James A. (2011) Thermal management of multifunctional spacecraft power structures. University of Southampton, School of Engineering Sciences, Doctoral Thesis , 210pp.


    Members of staff associated with this group:


    As well as the general state-of-the-art facilities available to the whole faculty, the group has some specific high-spec equipment and lab-space:

    - the Shaker table

    Postgraduate opportunities

    Postgraduate programmes:

    MSc Space Systems Engineering