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Dr Mario Ferraro BSc, MSc, PhD

Enterprise Fellow

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Dr Mario Ferraro is an Enterprise Fellow within Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton with over 8 years of experience in design and flight testing of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

Mario has worked on several aerospace research and enterprise projects both as a UAV developer and as a project manager. He has worked with a number of international academic and industrial partners (including AIRBUS and BAE Systems). He is one of the founders of the SotonUAV group, a research team consisting of academics, staff and post-graduate researchers/students working at the development and exploitation of aerial robots within the Autonomous Systems research group of the University of Southampton.

In 2011 he designed the world’s first 3D printed aircraft (SULSA) that was later used in a series of trials in the Antarctic in collaboration with the Royal Navy. His main project is the development of Spotter, a 35 kg twin-engine UAV, initially designed to meet the maritime surveillance needs of the European police and port authorities participating in the 2Seas 3i and BERISUAS projects. Spotter was the largest UAV to fly at Farnborough International Airshow 2016 and is currently used in a number of research projects including the aerial deployment of autonomous underwater vehicles (project OPSARS) and the long-range test of a novel laser-based communication system developed by AIRBUS (project AIRSTART).

Mario holds a Bachelor and a Master degree in Aerospace and Astronautics Engineering (1st Class Honours), both from the Universita degli Studi di Napoli Federico II in Italy. In 2009 he spent a year at the Institute for Sound and Vibration, at the University of Southampton, as a fellow of the Marie Curie Initial Training Network, before joining the Computational Engineering and Design research group as a UAV designer and a part-time PhD student (Thesis title: “Value Driven Design of Additive Manufactured Unmanned Aircraft”). 

Mario’s research focuses on unmanned aerial vehicle design, additive manufacturing, value-driven design and optimization.

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Research interests

  • Aircraft design
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles
  • Additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping
  • Value-driven design and optimization
  • Flight dynamics
  • Systems Engineering

Research projects

Research group

Computational Engineering and Design

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Dr Mario Ferraro
Engineering, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton. SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

Room Number: 176/5009


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