Space-themed Zoomposium 4: 28 February 2024

Published: 9 February 2024

Dr Krzysztof BZDYK: ‘Experimental Investigation of Autophage Rocket Propulsion Systems’ Dr Christopher OSBORNE: ‘Non-equilibrium Radiative Transfer for Isolated Solar Structures’ Ms Gemma MILNE: ‘Political Imaginations of New Space startups’

Watch this Zoomposium here Passcode: nA#F&3Lv  


Dr Krzysztof Bzdyk, James Watt School of Engineering

Experimental Investigation of Autophage Rocket Propulsion Systems’ 

My research focus is in launch vehicle and in-space rocket propulsion systems with a focus in emerging technologies. Specifically, I have been leading the development of a state-of-the-art autophage (self-eating) rocket engine which was successfully tested for the first time in 2023. We are currently continuing development through funding from the UK Space Agency and are looking forward to scaling up the technology to eventually showcase a sub-orbital flight demonstration in 2028. To accomplish that we are exploring industry partnerships as well as looking for expertise in flight dynamics, control systems and materials science to join our team for future funding opportunities.


Dr Christopher Osborne, School of Physics & Astronomy

‘Non-equilibrium Radiative Transfer for Isolated Solar Structures’

My research is on the modelling of atomic spectral lines and related energy propagation in solar structures such as prominences. These structures serve as key laboratories through which to interpret astrophysical plasmas, and spectroscopic observations are our window into their structure. I am collaborating with magnetohydrodynamic modelers to simulate these effects in high-resolution and incorporate them as feedback. This will extend current simulations to investigate the effects of a form of energy transport unconstrained by the magnetic field, and additionally provide a basis for comparison with high-resolution observations to improve exploitation of cutting-edge observatories such as the Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope.


Ms Gemma Milne, School of Social & Political Science

‘Political Imaginations of New Space startups’

I’m a Research Fellow based in the College of Social Sciences, working on a research project exploring the New Space sector, in particular, startups. I am interested in the ‘Lab to Market’ process, what power structures are at work within its infrastructure, and what alternatives might exist. Before entering academia, I was a science and technology journalist and innovation advisor in the Deep Tech startup space, so my research builds upon that experience. I am always keen to explore how social scientists can collaborate with scientists, and have the input of those working on science and technology ‘at the coal face’ informing the social scientific analysis and outcomes. I will be applying for fellowship funding to continue my work over the next few years.

First published: 9 February 2024