Description of the organisation
The University of Surrey (UoS) is one of the top ten universities in the UK according to the latest British national league tables, e.g. ranked 4th overall by the Guardian, 8th overall by the Complete University Guide, and 8th overall by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016. The University of Surrey has a good track record in hosting EC funded projects with a total of 218 funded projects, including 165 in FP7 and 53 in H2020, from prestigious individual fellowships under ERC and MSCA, to Research Innovation Actions and high TRL Innovation Actions in collaboration with the industry. The University has been a successful coordinator as well as a very reliable partner in all our collaborations in EU research grants. Surrey has cross-faculty and cross-departmental research clusters in the field of Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) which tackle scientific and technical problems relevant to a range of application areas such as space, nuclear, automobile, agriculture and medicine, etc. The space RAS cluster is coordinated by the Surrey Space Centre (SSC), which is a world leading research centre in space engineering, currently with ~100 academics, research staff and students. SSC has over 36 years of heritage in pioneering low-cost small-satellite engineering R&D and is one of the few university research entities in the world that has an end-to-end design capability to conceive, design, implement and operate space systems.
In the past 10 years, SSC has successfully extended its small-sat engineering philosophy to develop unique RAS solutions for space systems and missions, which led to the establishment of the Surrey Technology for Autonomous systems and Robotics (STAR) Lab. The STAR lab collaborates with nearly 40 academic and industrial organizations nationally and internationally through R&D projects. It has secured major research grants in the order of £5-6M since 2007 from major UK research councils/academies (such as Engineering and Physical Science Research Council, Science and Technology Facilities Council, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society), EU, InnovateUK, space agencies (i.e. ESA, UKSA and NASA) and industrial companies (such as Airbus, NDG, OHB, SSTL, Sellafield and BAE Systems), and has provided research opportunities to over 40 Postdoc and PhD researchers. Given its track record, there is no surprise that the STAR Lab was invited to lead the road mapping study on space RAS (complementary to the PERASPERA) as part of the SpacePlan 2020 project for the European Commission and is currently leading a similar road mapping exercise for the UK-RAS Network, a UK national network for research excellence in RAS.