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Professor Lucy Berthoud

Professor Lucy Berthoud

Professor Lucy Berthoud
MEng(Bristol), PhD(Toulouse)

Professor of Space Engineering

Area of research

Spacecraft Systems Engineering

Office QB 1.34
Queen's Building,
University Walk, Clifton BS8 1TR
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 331 5140



Mars ExpressCubesatJUICE ExplorerResearch interests include:

  • Interplanetary spacecraft systems design
  • Phase A studies of scientific spacecraft
  • Nano and microsatellites
  • Model-Based Systems Engineering for spacecraft
  • Mars Sample Return
  • Martian habitats
  • Space Debris and micrometeoroid impact
  • Active Debris removal

Previous research projects have included:

  • Modelling deorbiting of cubesats
  • Dynamics considerations of using a harpoon for debris removal
  • Designing a deployment device for 50+ cubesats
  • Selecting an asteroid for mining
  • Fuel depots at Lagrange points
  • Thermal and power design for a Ganymede Penetrator Probe
  • Thermal design for a Europa Penetrator Probe
  • Ultra low altitude SAR microsat
  • Ultra low altitude hyperspectral imager and SAR microsatellites
  • Thermal design for a propulsion-enabled cubesat
  • Thermal design of a Lunar Penetrator probe



Professor Berthoud has worked for 25 years in Spacecraft research and in industry. She started out with a 4 year Master's in Mechanical Engineering (with Distinction) from the University of Bristol then went to Toulouse where she studied for a PhD in Space Physics at Sup'Aero/ONERA (French National Research Organisation). She then did Post doctoral fellowships at the European Space Agency and NASA Johnson Space Centre, before  going to work for BAe Space Systems (now Airbus Defence and Space). In 2009 Dr Berthoud started teaching at the University of Bristol and is now a Professor of Space Systems Engineering in the Aerospace Engineering department. She teaches Space Systems, Advanced Space Systems, Systems Engineering design and has research interests in microsatellites, interplanetary spacecraft design, Mars sample return missions, planetary protection, active debris removal, Model-Based Systems Engineering. She is passionate about teaching and has set up a teaching network for other space engineering lecturers in the UK called 'Space Universities Network'. In 2014 she was awarded a UoB teaching award for the Faculty of Engineering. In 2015 she was nominated to give a 'Best of Bristol' public lecture on 'Is there Life on Mars?'. In 2016 she gave a TEDx University of Bristol talk. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and in 2019 became a UK National Teaching Fellow.


Prof Berthoud teaches:

Space Systems 2nd Year

Advanced Space Systems 4th Year

Research Projects 3rd/4th Year

Spacecraft Team Design Project 4th Year


  • Interplanetary spacecraft systems design Phase A studies scientific spacecraft Model Based Systems Engineering applied to Spacecraft Nanosatellites microsatellites Power Thermal Space Debris micrometeoroid hypervelocity impact

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system


Professor Berthoud currently teaches 3 courses:

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