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At the University of Strathclyde, we believe ideas can change the world

The University has strong and broad expertise and capability in space and space-related activity. Currently, there are over 60 academics with interest and expertise in space technologies across two faculties and multiple departments. The core research groups composing the space cluster count over 20 academic staff and 60 PhDs and researchers.  Space activity also incorporates educational activity; from school outreach programmes to post-graduate studies.

The University has a long history of national and international funded projects and activities. In the last 6 years the University has been involved in, or has led, space-specific projects for a total value of nearly £23M with the involvement of partners and collaborators across three continents. Notable international partners are the French, German, Japanese and European space agencies, top Universities like Stanford and MIT, and large system integrators like Airbus, Thales and Leonardo.

The main research groups that have space focused R&D are:

Aerospace Centre of Excellence (MAE, Faculty of Engineering)

ACE develops frontier research on innovative concepts and solutions for present and future space systems, aerospace transport, access to space, space safety, space exploration, satellite applications and the sustainable use of space. ACE is a unique interdisciplinary centre developing fundamental research and applications at the interface between mathematics, engineering and computer science with key expertise in computational and artificial intelligence applied to space and aerospace, aero thermal dynamics, structural mechanics and astrodynamics.

Space Mechatronic Systems Technology Laboratory (DMEM, Faculty of Engineering)

Undertakes leading research in areas including: in-space robotics and manufacturing-Centre for Signal and Image Processing

Applied Space Technology Laboratory, ApSTL, (EEE, Faculty of Engineering)

ApSTL is addressing global challenges by working at the boundaries between disciplines to deliver a step-change in the democratisation, exploration, and exploitation of space with research expertise in Earth intelligence, connectivity, signal and image processing, mission and system design, as well as CNI, national security, resilience, and cybersecurity.

Centre for Space Science and Applications (Physics, Faculty of Science) and research across the Department of Physics

Undertakes leading research in areas including: earth information, quantum technologies and applications, signal and image processing.

The University has numerous facilities that enable leading space research. These facilities can be utilised by industry and partners;

  • Concurrent and Collaborative Design Studio (CCDS).
    This facility enables end-to-end mission and system design using modern approaches to concurrent and collaborative engineering. It allows collaboration between organisations enabling them to work simultaneously on design projects. The CCDS is also a laboratory to experiment with new technologies for AI assisted design, mission operations, resilience engineering, design4demise and eco-design.
  • Mission Laboratory.
    This facility enables rapid development cycles of new technologies & mission concepts. Includes two nanosatellite hardware-in-the-loop environments and a spacecraft tracking & command station.
  • Scottish Centre for the Application of Plasma-based Accelerators (SCAPA) in which conditions can mimic harsh environments to enable radiation testing of components and space craft
  • Robotic and mechatronic facilities within the Space Mechatronic Systems Technology Laboratory

National Manufacturing Institute of Scotland (NMIS)

A group of industry-led manufacturing research and development facilities where research, industry and the public sector work together to transform skills, productivity and innovation. Key relevant capabilities include additive manufacture, digital manufacturing/IoT, engineering design, materials science and photonics.

In addition to the space cluster, the University has also invested in its Quantum Technology and 5G cluster.

Quantum Technologies

The University is a member of all four of the UK National Quantum Programme “hubs”, participates in International programmes and has links to many industrial partners in the photonics and quantum supply chains


The 5G cluster builds on the University’s 30-year heritage in mobile and wireless communications with leading research capability in mobile, wireless and 5G engineering expertise and state-of-the-art facilities to enable technology development.