Dr Alan Stirling Brown prize won by aerospace sciences PhD graduate

Issued: Mon, 30 Jun 2014 16:33:00 BST

The School of Engineering has awarded the prestigious Dr Alan Stirling Brown Prize to Dr Sergio de Florio, a PhD graduate from the Aerospace Sciences Research Division.  This prize is awarded annually in recognition of the outstanding research by a postgraduate student in the School of Engineering.

During his doctoral studies, supervised by Dr Gianmarco Radice, Sergio distinguished himself not only through the high level of his research work, as evidenced by his impressive publications list, but also with his natural curiosity, attention to detail and profound knowledge of his field of study.

His graduate work consisted in the development of algorithms for the control of the relative motion between spacecraft. This is a key technology that will expand and enhance the current imaging and observational capabilities of space based systems for both civil and scientific applications, as well as make in-orbit inspection, servicing and assembly, possible.

The work was done in conjunction with the Swedish Space Corporation and the Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt  (DLR, the German Aerospace Centre) as part of the PRISMA space mission. This mission, consisting of two satellites, was conceived as a technology demonstrator to validate new sensors and novel guidance/navigation strategies for spacecraft formation flying and satellite rendezvous in space. It was the first ever European mission to perform such a key and crucial challenge.

Founded in 2005 by Pamela and Gordon Cairns in the name of Pamela's father Dr Alan Stirling Brown, as acknowledgement of 35 years contribution to the University of Glasgow and in celebration of the honorary award of doctor of the University in 2001.