Space research

UNSW Canberra Space team holding hands

Space research aims to provide tangible solutions to Earth's problems. As part of our research, we’re also looking into how global advancements in space might create ethical challenges. Using advanced materials and structures, our researchers have changed the way we develop resilient materials and structures that perform better when placed under dynamic loading.

Advanced materials & impact dynamics

Our researchers are changing the way we develop resilient materials and structures to outperform conventional materials when placed under dynamic loading conditions.

Artificial intelligence for space

The application of artificial intelligence to space systems is a growing research strength for UNSW Canberra Space. We focus on the development of miniaturised satellites as edge devices, capable of performing complex tasks and analysis of data on orbit.

Astronomy & astrophysics

We apply the physical laws of microphysical processes to explain astronomical events and determine the lifecycle of stars, planets and galaxies in the Universe and how the Universe has changed with time.


We specialise in developing new aviation technologies using aviation safety and human factors research. We aim to reduce the likelihood of error and build more tolerant and resilient systems to support safe air travel and airways management for economic, social and cultural development worldwide.

Fluid & fluid-structure interaction

We’re leading research in fluid-structure interactions to understand how the flow around objects can influence their mechanical performance. From developing flapping-wing flight to modelling the flow of blood through veins, fluid-structure interaction research has a vast range of applications.


Imaging research develops and utilises image processing techniques to transform the way we see the world. From shaping the design of future artificial knees to informing knowledge of climate change, digital image processing holds huge potential for the future.

Optimisation & design

We are developing cutting-edge, practical and efficient algorithms and frameworks to support multidisciplinary design optimisation. These design methods address the fundamental challenges and uncertainties involved in finding optimal solutions for product design and decision-making activities.

Space ethics

New advances in space technology and science open new worlds for humans to explore. However, not all innovation is positive, and even the development of ‘good’ technologies can have negative outcomes.

Space situational awareness

Space situational awareness (SSA) is the understanding of the very large number of objects in orbit around Earth, the complex and dynamic environment they orbit in, and their interactions with that environment.

Systems & control

We use research into the theory of automatic systems and control to address real-world problems in electrical, electronic, aerospace, quantum and mechanical engineering. 

Trusted autonomy

Trusted Autonomy is an emerging field of research that focuses on understanding how human-machine interactions and artificial intelligence can be used to develop autonomous systems that have a positive impact on our society and quality of life.