Work and Research Interest
I am a space systems researcher at the University of Southampton as a member of the European Stardust research network and my PhD supervisors are Hugh G. Lewis and Peter M. Atkinson. My research focuses on asteroids and how they pose a threat to us on Earth through asteroid impacts (Planetary Defense). To facilitate research in this area, I develop the ARMOR software tool that can predict asteroid impact locations and the consequences for human populations.
I received my training as an aerospace engineer from Purdue University in Germany and Purdue University in the US. While studying, I worked at Airbus DS on an asteroid deflection mission and investigated its GNC (Guidance Navigation and Control) aspects. Later, at ESG GmbH, I helped write a situational aware route planning software for helicopter crews and my diploma thesis was at the DLR Space Systems Institute designing a navigation Kalman filter for a vertical take-off and landing vehicle.
The Univeristy of Southampton Small Satellite, UoS3, will be the first CubeSat to be designed, built and tested at the University of Southampton. Together with a colleague, I initiated and lead this project that will support re-entry prediction of space objects, such as space debris.
I am very interested in space politics and follow it avidly. Occasionally, I publish space policy articles and usually focus on the European perspective.
Working on space research every day makes it seem very normal to me. It is always a huge pleasure to get in touch with people from all walks of life to share my experience and also understand better what role spaceflight plays in their lives. For past and upcoming public events, look here.
Life Outside Work
Throughout my life, I have been very happy to enjoy a rich "informal" education outside of university and work. When I was 13 years old, I joined the local gliding club and had many amazing experiences as a competative glider pilot. I am happy to hear that the club is the current national gliding champion. At TU Braunschweig, I was a member and official of the student rocketry and satellite group ERIG where we build sounding rockets and satellites. In 2015, ERIG launched a self-developed, hybrid propellant rocket to 5.7km altitude. Lacrosse has been an eye-opening sport to me and I started playing it at Purdue University. After returning to Germany, I became a coach and referee. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to play much recently but hope that might change again.
I am a sailor and recently acquired a 31 foot Westerly Longbow. It is a huge pleasure and an exceptionel educational experience to sail and work on it. Read more about it in the Projects section.