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Research Fellows Directory

Colin McInnes

Professor Colin McInnes MBE FREng FRSE

Research Fellow


University of Glasgow

Research summary

Much of my work has centred on mathematical modelling of families of highly-perturbed spacecraft orbits, most recently funded by an Advanced Investigator Grant from the European Research Council. However, my research interests also cover the broad application of mathematical modelling to a range of problems in Engineering Science including:

Astrodynamics: Dynamics and control of highly perturbed spacecraft orbits, including families of non-Keplerian orbits and mission applications for solar sail spacecraft

Swarming systems: Artificial potential field methods to mediate interactions in swarms of autonomous agents using mathematical proof for system verification

Smart structures: Connecting unstable equilibria in actively controlled smart structures for low-energy geometric reconfiguration and enhanced energy harvesting using stochastic resonance

Macro-engineering: Large-scale, long-term ventures in Engineering Science for applications including climate engineering, near Earth asteroid capture strategies and in-situ asteroid materials processing

I’m also keenly interested in the long-term societal impacts of Engineering Science and write on Energy, Innovation and Environment issues for the print and on-line media. These public engagement activities also reflect my firm belief in the socially and environmentally progressive nature of Engineering Science, ideas which I explored in depth through the 2013 Royal Society of Edinburgh Kelvin Prize lecture on Energy, Entropy and the Human Enterprise and 2014 inaugural lecture on Reclaiming the Human Future: Energy, Engineering and Ideas of Progress.

Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

Ultra-low energy trajectories for near Earth asteroid capture and return

Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards

Dates: Oct 2015 - Sep 2020

Value: £25,000