Centre for Future Air-Space Transportation Technology


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Academic Staff & Researchers


Dr Christie Alisa Maddock

Lecturer, Dept of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Dr Maddock received her undergraduate honours degree in 2002 in Aerospace Engineering with a concentration in Electronics and Systems from Carleton University in Canada. Her thesis was on the design of an optical inter-satellite link for a LEO-GEO data relay satellite system. Her doctoral research was conducted at the University of Glasgow on the dynamics, navigation and control of a spacecraft formation of solar concentrators in the proximity of an asteroid. Prior to obtaining her PhD, Dr Maddock worked for the Canadian Spectrum Engineering Division analysing and designing future communications satellites, and sitting on a number of working parties within the Radiocommunications bureau of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

Dr Edmondo Minisci

Lecturer, Dept of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Dr Minisci is an expert in the field of multidisciplinary design optimisation, including the robust design of aerospace transportation systems and wind turbines. He is currently involved in the development of methodologies and tools required to design future high performance air transport and trans-atmospheric systems for launch and (re-)entry. He obtained his PhD in 2004 from the Politecnico di Torino with a thesis focused on the application of evolutionary optimisation methods to the aerospace design. In 2006, he co-founded OPTIMAD Engineering S.r.l., a Spin-off of the Politecnico di Torino, active in the field of aerodynamic analysis and design. Dr Minisci joined the Space Advanced Research Team in 2007 as GRPE (Glasgow Research Partnership in Engineering) research fellow in Space Systems Engineering, at University of Glasgow, and since 2012 has been serving as Lecturer at University of Strathclyde.

Dr Tom Scanlon

Senior Lecturer, Dept of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Dr Scanlon is an expert in the modelling of high-speed rarefied gas flows using the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method. He is currently developing a computational model called dsmcFoam, written within the framework of the open-source OpenFOAM CFD software suite, to be capable of capturing the effects of chemical reactions on the non-equilibrium gas flows that are experienced by space vehicles as they enter a planetary atmosphere. Similar effects will be encountered in the propulsion systems of future hypersonic aircraft, and Dr Scanlon is contributing to a significant modelling capability in this area. Dr Scanlon obtained his PhD from the University of Strathclyde and subsequently spent a year as a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute de Mecanique des Fluides de Toulouse in France before joining the University of Strathclyde in 1994. 

Dr Marco Fossati

Lecturer, Dept of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Dr. Fossati's research interests are in the area of multiphysics computational aerodynamics. His expertise is in the field of aircraft and rotorcraft aerodynamics and icing, high-speed and non-equilibrium flows, modal-based Reduced Order Modeling for fluid dynamics, mesh optimization and generation. The research to which Dr. Fossati is committed aims at addressing the challenges of future aircraft aerodynamic design by working on non-conventional high- and low-fidelity computational methods where the physics of fluids predominates over the adoption of phenomenological relations, especially in the case of multiphysics and nonequilibrium flows. He is interested in pursuing computational studies that aim at improving the understanding of some fundamental flow mechanisms (like for example turbulence transition, vortex and separated flows dynamics, etc.) of nonequilibrium and potentially multiphysics flows that play a crucial role on the aerodynamic interaction. On the applied side, the goal of his research is to realize accurate assessment of the impact of such flow physics on aerodynamic performance and to mitigate as much as possible the impact of the uncertainty resulting from the chaotic determinism which is at the basis of the fluid dynamics of the majority of aerospace applications. Prior to joining Strathclyde Dr. Fossati was Associate Director of the CFD Laboratory at McGill University in Canada where he currently holds an Adjunct Professor position. He has been visiting researcher at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He holds a PhD in Computational Fluid Dynamics from Politecnico di Milano. He is member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, acts in the international advisory committee of the Parallel CFD conference, and is junior editor of the International Journal of Computation Fluid Mechanics. Dr. Fossati serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Computational Physics, AIAA Journal, International Journal of Multiphase Flows, Aerospace Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computers in Simulation and the International Journal of Computational Fluid Dynamics.

Dr Alessandro Mogavero

Research Associate, Dept of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Dr Mogavero's research expertise is in high speed propulsion systems for future access to space vehicles. To this end he developed a modular low-fidelity numerical tool, called HyPro (link: https://github.com/strath-ace/HyPro), able to model any type of combined cycle propulsion system. He also developed an optimization tool based on
genetic programming in order to optimize the combined cycle conceptual design. Furthermore he has broad experience in Computational Fluid Dynamics for internal and external flows and multi-physics problems, together with industrial experience in the field of launch system and rocket propulsion development. Currently he is working on the development of a kinetic scheme for non-equilibrium CFD in order to produce an efficient CFD model to be used in the transitional regime between continuum and free particles. Dr Mogavero obtained his PhD on Combined Cycle Propulsion systems at the University of Strathclyde in 2016. Prior to that (from 2008 to 2012) he was a fluid-dynamic and thermal engineer at Avio s.p.a, a leading company in the field of space transportation.

Previous members

Dr Ian Taylor

Lecturer, Dept of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Dr Taylor has significant experience in the computational modelling unsteady aerodynamic processes and their effect on the dynamics of engineering structures. He is interested in modelling the effect of atmospheric and self-induced fluid dynamic disturbances on the subsequent aero-elastic and flight dynamic response of aircraft and spacecraft. He is also using his expertise to tackle some particularly difficult fluid dynamic effects that arise within the advanced propulsion systems that will be used by future high-speed aircraft. Dr Taylor obtained his PhD from Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Glasgow. He has also worked for Rolls-Royce plc as a Aero-thermal Technologist in the Turbine Engineering Research Group where he worked on developing new CFD methods for predicting heat transfer and turbine film cooling performance on stationary and rotating blades in large gas turbine engines.

Dr Zhangming Wu

Dept of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Dr Wu joined the University of Strathclyde as a lecturer  in 2014.  He received his PhD from Aston University, UK whereafter he took a postdoctoral position at the "Advanced Composite Centre for Innovation and Science (ACCIS)", University of Bristol.  His expertise is on structural mechanics, lightweight composite structures, mathematical modelling, structural optimization and fluid-structure interactionThe area's of application include aerospace, wind energy and maritime industries.

Associated academics


Prof Massimiliano Vasile

Professor, Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory
Dept of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Prof Vasile has significant experience in the development of single and multi-objective optimisation algorithms for system engineering design and robust design optimisation. He is interested in developing the algorithms and methods that are required for the design and optimisation of the trajectories of air-space vehicles and for their optimal control. The main applications of his work so far have been to low-thrust trajectory design, aerocapture and re-entry. His current research, in collaboration with ESA, on uncertainty modelling and quantification in space system engineering aims to allow a quantitative assessment of the uncertainty that is inherent in the characterisation of its various subsystems to be incorporated into the multidisciplinary optimisation of air-space vehicles at preliminary design stage. Dr Vasile obtained his PhD from Politecnico di Milano working on optimal trajectory design for interplanetary space flights, then subsequently worked with the European Space Agency (ESA) for two years, creating their Advanced Concepts Team. He returned to Politecnico di Milano as a Lecturer, then moved to the University of Glasgow as Senior Lecturer before joining the University of Strathclyde in 2010 as a Reader.

Dr Malcolm Macdonald

Reader, Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory
Dept of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Dr Macdonald has significant experience in advanced technology development and road-mapping, and is interested in developing mission-critical software as well as the technologies that will be required to support future missions involving planetary entry, descent and landing. He competed his PhD in astrodynamics at the University of Glasgow in 2002, after which he worked for two years as a research assistant, funded by the Science Directorate of ESA, performing technology roadmapping ahead of the 2005 Cosmic Visions call.

Dr Igor Gejadze

Senior Research Fellow
Department of Civil Engineering

Dr Gejadze has particular expertise in the analysis of heat transfer in flight vehicle structures and thermal protection systems, and the development of algorithms for identifying the thermal state of aerospace structures using inverse problem theory. He is interested in the development of optimal observation schemes and the application of Data Assimilation techniques to complex and nonlinear physico-chemical models, including ablative thermal protection systems and catalytic surfaces. He holds a PhD from the Moscow Aviation Institute and was previously employed by the State Research Institute for Aviation Systems in Moscow.

Dr Irina Trendafilova

Dept of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Dr Trendafilova is an expert in structural dynamics and vibration-based health monitoring, and has a particular interest in vibrations of structures made of composites, nonlinear dynamics and signal processing methods with application to the development of management and health monitoring strategies for aerospace components and structures. She has more than 50 publications in this area and has led several funded projects on aircraft safety, and fault detection and monitoring.

Dr Mónica S N Oliveira

Senior Lecturer
Dept of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Dr Oliveira is Senior Lecturer in the University of Strathclyde. She has a PhD in Chemical & Process Engineering from Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh, UK), and a degree in Chemical Engineering from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (Porto, Portugal). She was awarded a postdoctoral scholarship to work in the Non-Newtonian Fluid Dynamics Research Group at MIT (Cambridge MA, USA), after which she returned to the University of Porto to join CEFT (Transport Phenomena Research Centre) where she held a research position until 2012. She is a member of both the Society of Rheology (AIP), and the British Society of Rheology. Currently, a major part of her research is dedicated to rheology and the flow of viscoelastic fluids in microscale devices, taking advantage of the unique conditions provided by these small-scale platforms. She has been focusing on the fundamental flow physics of complex fluids in both rheometric and microfluidic devices, but also exploring the distinctive characteristics of complex fluid flows at the micro-scale to design new microfluidic components for extensional rheometry, to develop synthetic biofluid analogues, and to enhance and control microscale mixing.

 Current PhD Students

Martin Kubicek

Martin is working on multi-fidelity approaches for uncertainty quantification. The aim of the work is to develop a set of tools, as well as cutting edge expertise, for the efficient characterisation of the uncertainty related to the modelling of hypersonic rarefied flows.
(Supervised by Edmondo Minisci and Richard Brown) 


Javier Herrera Montojo

Javier is working on the aerodynamic characterization of hypersonic vehicles through approximate engineering methods. The final aim of his research is to use these engineering methods to perform design optimization.
(Supervised by Richard Brown and Edmondo Minisci) 


Daniel Espinoza

Daniel is working on the development of a hybrid solver that simulates spacecraft re-entry, tackling the problem of coupling two different fluid regimes and their completely different numerical resolution techniques. By incorporating in-house and open-source code, as well as developing the code required for the coupling, the accurate flow field around the spacecraft will be resolved, and important physical features, such as thermal and dynamic loads, will be obtained.
(Supervised by Tom Scanlon and Richard Brown) 


Vincent Casseau

Vincent's work is to produce a hybrid CFD-DSMC solver within the OpenFOAM framework to traverse the spectrum of rarefied to continuum conditions. The coupling mechanism will be based on a local continuum-breakdown parameter (Kn-related). An appropriate OpenFOAM CFD solver for compressible flow will be selected and dsmcFoam will be used for the DSMC part.
(Supervised by Tom Scanlon and Richard Brown)


Jimmy-John Hoste

Jimmy-John is working on the improvement of HyPro's capability in predicting scramjet flows and it's use in combined cycle engines. To this end  he uses Eilmer (University of Queensland) as a CFD tool to better understand scramjet flow fields from a design point of view. 
(Supervised by Marco Fossati, Tom Scanlon and Ian Taylor) 


Federico Toso

Federico is working on the creation of an integrated multidisciplinary platform for the preliminary design of spaceplanes, optimising the performances and mission design of future space access vehicles. By incorporating current models developed in FASTT and developing the missing ones, vehicle performances across the overall mission will be optimised, obtaining a trajectory and control solution.
(Supervised by Christie Maddock and Edmondo Minisci)


Robert Garner

Robert’s research goal is to characterise the environmental impact of hypersonic vehicles on the atmosphere. He is developing several models in order to simulate the flight of a realistic hypersonic vehicle. These include a propulsion model capable of simulating the emissions of different high speed engine concepts, vehicle models (aerodynamics, vehicle dynamics) and code to generate optimal trajectories.  
(Supervised by Christie Maddock and Kerem Akartunali) 


Viola Renato

Viola is working on computational characterisation of ablative materials using the OpenFOAM framework. The aim of her project is to construct a new chemical-physical model of ablative materials which will be able to reproduce the complexities of the internal structure of an ablative material down to micro-scale level.
(Supervised by Richard Brown and Tom Scanlon)


Giulio Maddalena

Giulio is working on Multidisciplinary Design Optimisation (MDO) techniques for Space launch vehicles. The research is focused on the effect of the propagation of early uncertainty through the design process, also taking into account operational conditions and cost estimation. The aim of the work is to develop new methods to reduce the costs and improve the effectiveness of Space Transportation Systems (STSs) launch programs.  
(Supervised by  Edmondo Minisci and Christie Maddock) 


Alessandro Falchi

Alessandro is working on the development of new Design for Demise techniques and methods for future satellites and spacecraft. The aim of his project is to fully investigate multidisciplinary design approaches in order to increase the likelihood to demise of newly designed satellites, reducing human casualty risk associated with uncontrolled re-entry of objects.
(Supervised by Edmondo Minisci and Massimiliano Vasile) 

Previous PhD Students

Alessandro Mogavero

Toward automated design of Combined Cycle Propulsion, 2016 
(Supervised by Richard Brown and Ian Taylor) 

Romain Wuilbercq 

Multi-Disciplinary Modelling of Future Space-Access Vehicles, 2015
(Supervised by Richard Brown, Christie Maddock and Qing Xiao)

Rodrigo Palharini

Atmospheric Reentry Modelling Using an Open-source DSMC Code , 2014
(Supervised by Tom Scanlon)

Craig White

Benchmarking, Development and Applications of an Open Source DSMC Solver, 2013
(Supervised by Tom Scanlon)