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  Prof Roberto Armellin, Dr Laura Pirovano  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Mission analysis concerns the definition, development and preparation phases of a space project, analysing the best satellite orbits to achieve specific objectives within the space mission. Within this framework, the University of Auckland is looking for a PhD candidate to investigate the current challenges of mission analysis, such as guidance and station keeping for interplanetary flights and homotopic and smoothing approaches for low-thrust trajectory.

The ideal candidate will have:

• a background in aerospace engineering, physics or other relevant field;

• good programming skills (e.g. C++, Python and/or Matlab);

• solid mathematical background;

• ideally knowledge in astrodynamics.

The PhD student will be a part of Astrodynamics group of Te Punaha Atea Auckland Space Institute, at The University of Auckland ( The Astrodynamics Group is a lively and active group researching into space mission design and space surveillance and tracking. Our main goal in mission design is to exploit the nonlinearities of the dynamics and optimal control theory to reduce mission costs and enable new mission concepts. We apply our research to a variety of problems, including low-thrust and impulsive interplanetary transfers, formation flying design and control, rendezvous and docking, remote sensing missions.

The Space Institute/Te Punaha Atea is a multidisciplinary centre of expertise in space science and engineering, including a capability to execute space missions and develop applications.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please follow these guidelines:

  1. Check your eligibility to take a PhD at The University of Auckland at
  2. Please give an outline (500 words) of your intended topic and areas of interest for doctoral study. When you detail your research interest, please ensure you succinctly record:
  •  The area of research which particularly interests you.
  • Why you have chosen this area.
  • What you hope to achieve during your studies at the University of Auckland
  • How your proposed research relates to current and recent research in this area at the University of Auckland.
Engineering (12) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

Excellent candidates for PhD research at The University of Auckland can compete for a University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship. We can assess your chances if you send us your statement, CV and academic record (including grades and subjects).
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