• United Kingdom

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PhD projects

Design and performance optimisation of a multi-stage space access system
Surrogate modelling for large datasets within multidisciplinary design optimisation

Personal profile

Personal Statement

Dr Maddock is an expert in mathematical modelling and system design optimisation for transatmospheric flight vehicles, including spaceplane-based launch systems. 

Dr Maddock received her undergraduate honours degree in 2002 in Aerospace Engineering with a concentration in Electronics and Systems from Carleton University in Canada. Her thesis was on the design of an optical inter-satellite link for a LEO-GEO data relay satellite system.

Her doctoral research was conducted at the University of Glasgow on the dynamics, navigation and control of a spacecraft formation of solar concentrators in the proximity of an asteroid. The research investigated a method for asteroid deflection/manipulation using a formation of spacecraft in proximity to the asteroid, equipped with a solar light concentrator, either mirrors/lens or lasers. By directing a high temperature spot beam into the surface of the asteroid, the regolith will sublimate and produce a low-thrust jet which will alter the orbital trajectory of the asteroid.  

Prior to obtaining her PhD, Dr Maddock worked for the Canadian Spectrum Engineering Division analysing and designing future communications satellites, and sitting on a number of working parties within the Radiocommunications bureau of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). In particular, she was a member of the Canadian Delegation, and Chair for the ITU-R Working Party 4B on performance, availability, air interfaces and earth-station equipment of satellite systems in the FSS, BSS and MSS.



Expertise & Capabilities

  • Access to space systems
  • Multi-disciplinary design optimsation, trajectory optimisation and optimal control
  • Atmospheric flight dynamics and control 
  • Spacecraft formation flying
  • Modelling and simulation of engineering systems
  • Evaluation and analysis of trajectory design for air/space vehicles
  • Design and analysis of proximal motion dynamics, open and closed loop control
  • Space and satellite telecommunications
  • Analysis and/or the development and simulation of software models
  • Consultation on the regulatory process for satellite frequency and orbital location

Teaching Interests

I am currently lecturer for the following courses:

Dynamics & Control 16361 (Dynamics 3 ME305, Measurement, Instrumentation & Control 16318)

The course covers topics on kinematics and kinetics of rigid bodies, mechanical vibrations in the first semester, while the second semester looks at control systems engineering, methods for analysing and altering the performance of dynamics systems, and designing controllers. Elements of numerical modelling and simulation is woven throughout the year. 

Applied Mechanics and Machine Design EO402 (Applied Mechanics module)

The module on applied mechanics covers general motion of rigid bodies including forces & accelerations, energy methods and impulse & momentum. Free and forced vibrations of mass-spring-damper systems are also studied. 



Adviser of Studies, Year 3 Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering (2020/21--)
Adviser of Studies, Year 3 Electrical & Mechanical Engineering (2019/20)


Industrial Relevance

Technical consultant for several launch vehicle start-ups including Orbital Access Ltd, and Orbital Cargo Drone as well as larger companies such as Reaction Engines Ltd. 

Consultancy work involves using research-driven software tools for trajectory optimisation, and robust multi-disciplinary design optimisation to analyse the mission, performance capabilities of the system, range safety and abort cases, system design and the impact of design drivers on performance, and vice versa. By numerically modelling the vehicle and environment, it is possible to analyse the performance of the entire system, capturing the interdependancies between design decisions, such as engine sizing, re-start and burn times, stage separation timing and conditions and flight path, to performance such as payload-to-orbit, abort flight paths, vehicle and/or payload recovery, and glide profile.  


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Academic Studies (Academic Practice) , University Strathclyde

Award Date: 20 Sept 2018

Doctor of Engineering, Dynamics, Navigation and Control of a Spacecraft Formation of Solar Concentrators in the Proximity of an Asteroid, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 23 Feb 2010

Bachelor of Engineering, Optical inter-satellite link for a LEO-GEO data relay satellite system, Carleton University

Award Date: 1 Jun 2002


  • space
  • aerospace
  • launch vehicles
  • access to space
  • engineering
  • Aerospace Centre of Excellence
  • trajectory
  • optimisation


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