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Shaun spent 13 years at the Space Research Centre of the University of Leicester and continues to be associated with the group.  Some key roles included:

JET-X: Mechanical and systems engineer on the Joint European X-ray Telescope (JET-X) (Russian Space Agency).  Shaun worked with the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Engineering Department of Leicester University to specify and develop the huge 4m long Carbon-Fibre Reinforced Polymer “optical bench” telescope tube.  Barnes Wallis would have loved this modern application of his novel “geodetic” structure design concept.  Shaun enjoyed the trips to the pre-perestroika and glasnost Soviet Union!

EPIC XMM: Shaun designed many components and led most of the integration and testing of the EPIC MOS cameras, launched on the very successful XMM-Newton spacecraft.  XMM-Newton was launched in 1999 and continues to send back amazing images of beautiful space phenomena, including black holes and nebulae - the birth places of stars.

Beagle2 Mars lander: Shaun invented the novel clamshell design of this British-built Mars lander.  He also performed systems engineering until the lander design and build activity was passed over to the company Astrium.

Beagle 2 PAW: Shaun was Chief Engineer for the PAW (an invented acronym that does not stand for anything, Shaun just thought it would be fun given the name of the lander!), the part of Beagle2 that would reach out and touch the surface of Mars.

Described as a 'Swiss army knife for the 21st century', the PAW was a highly optimised tool created in collaboration with teams from across the globe.  The team included the unique Dr TC Ng, who led Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s Corer/Grinder package development.

Shaun’s challenge was to bring the PAW design together within very tight constraints of mass, volume, extreme environmental conditions, radiation and electrical interference.  He also spent many hours in the aseptic facility.  In this sterile room, the lander could be assembled without contamination from humans.  Suiting up to go into the room was very much like preparing for a spacewalk!

With Astro Pioneer, Shaun developed novel space release mechanisms using shape memory alloys and special electrically-debonding adhesives, as well as martian aerobot prototypes.

He also carried out configuration design and early orbit thermal analysis for the Swift X-Ray Telescope (NASA).

Working with Magna Parva Ltd, Shaun led a successful €250k bid and subsequent project to develop an ultrasonic drilling tool for planetary use for the European Space Agency.

More recently, through his company Scoutek Shaun has helped to define the payload of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s ambitious Chandrayaan 2 lunar rover.

Shaun at work in

the clean room