Dr Steven Robert Owens

Knowledge Exchange Fellow

Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Personal statement

My early research focussed on mission analysis and trajectory design, specifically concerning hybrid propulsion spacecraft (i.e. those that combine electric and chemical propulsion systems). This is applicable for interplanetary travel as well as Earth-based transfers to orbits including Geostationary Earth Orbit. The method is applicable for the new generation of all-electric propulsion spacecraft when coupled with a chemical rocket injection.

After completing my Phd, I joined an engineering consultancy and focussed on projects spanning defence, nuclear and transport while growing their space business, with a specific interest in the application of space data.

I rejoined the University of Strathclyde in 2016 as a Knowledge Exchange Fellow within the Scottish Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications. My research interests are now split between mission design, industry engagement and the application of space data to terrestrial problems.

Notable projects include:

- The mission analysis for an polar imaging satellite in a highly elliptical orbit. Funder - European Space Agency.

- Wind Farm Optimisation for both Operations and Maintenance Forecasting and Power Output. Funder - EPSRC / ORE Catapult.

- The creation of a cycle route planning tool based on user preferences. Funder - European Space Agency. Co-Founder of the resultant spinout company.

- FireSat - A UK-Africa collaboration for enhanced detection of fires using nanosatellite technology. Funder - UK Space Agency.

- User Engagement for quantum key distribution from Space. Funder - UK Space Agency.

- User Engagement for compact multispectral imager for nanosatellites - UK Space Agency.

- Leading the SoXSA/Tontine space business incubation centre. Funder - UK Space Agency

- Co-organiser of Space 101, UK Space Conference 2017.


Combined high and low-thrust geostationary orbit insertion with radiation constraint
Macdonald Malcolm, Owens Steven Robert
Acta Astronautica Vol 142, pp. 1-9 (2018)
Novel numerical optimisation of the Hohmann Spiral Transfer
Owens Steven Robert, Macdonald Malcolm
64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, pp. Paper IAC-13-C1.6.7 (2013)
Analogy to bi-elliptic transfers incorporating high- and low-thrust
Owens Steven Robert, Macdonald Malcolm
Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics Vol 36, pp. 890-894 (2013)
Hohmann spiral transfer with inclination change performed by low-thrust system
Owens Steven Robert, Macdonald Malcolm
23rd AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Conference (2013)
An extension and numerical analysis of the Hohmann spiral transfer
Owens Steven Robert, Macdonald Malcolm
63rd International Astronautical Congress, pp. Article IAC-12-C1.5.5 (2012)
A novel approach to hybrid propulsion transfers
Owens Steven Robert, Macdonald Malcolm
62nd International Astronautical Congress 2011, pp. Article IAC-C1.9.7 (2011)

More publications


Smart route planning for cyclists, runners and hikers (RSE Enterprise Fellowship)
Owens, Steven Robert (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 31-Jan-2021
ORE Catapult IAA project 2
Owens, Steven Robert (Principal Investigator)
08-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2020
ESA ITT AO9109 UK Regional Ambassador Platform for Scotland & Northern Ireland
Macdonald, Malcolm (Principal Investigator) Lowe, Christopher (Co-investigator) Owens, Steven Robert (Co-investigator) Slaughter, James (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2022
Macdonald, Malcolm (Principal Investigator) Lowe, Christopher (Co-investigator) Owens, Steven Robert (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2020
ESA IAP - Mountain bike trail application
Lowe, Christopher (Principal Investigator) Owens, Steven Robert (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 01-Jan-2017
National Space Technology & Applications Horizon Scanning Activity
Macdonald, Malcolm (Principal Investigator) Clark, Ruaridh (Co-investigator) Khan, Hina (Co-investigator) Lowe, Christopher (Co-investigator) Owens, Steven Robert (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2019

More projects