PhD Studentship: 3D Printing for Future Satellite Design

University of Southampton - Structures and Solid Mechanics

Astronautics Group

The design process of satellites in the future will have many more imposed constraints and requirements than those that exist today, due to our increasing understanding in the sustainable use of the space environment. Operational satellites in low Earth orbit need to survive in an increasingly harsh debris environment and in an effort to stabilise this environment the manufacturers are being urged to ensure their own satellites do not add to the long term debris population. Satellite manufactures and operators are being asked to comply with specific requirements for the de-orbiting and disposal of their satellites. In order to achieve this, these requirements must be considered at the initial design stages. A European Union funded research project called ‘ReDSHIFT’ aims to tackle this problem by looking at new disruptive technologies. The project consists of a consortium of 13 institutions and companies (including the University of Southampton). Several key research areas have already been identified and the focus for the University of Southampton is the application of 3D printing to spacecraft design.  This PhD project will run in parallel to the ReDSHIFT project and will focus on a specific application of 3D printing for spacecraft design. The PhD student will have a unique opportunity to be part of an international, research leading consortium, with access to cutting edge manufacturing and test facilities. This is an exciting, potentially a high impact project, which can change the way satellites are designed and constructed in the future.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Scott Walker, Astronautics research group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 593882.

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South East England