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:
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-
Beagle2 Mars lander: Shaun invented the novel clamshell design of this British-
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-
He also carried out configuration design and early orbit thermal analysis for the
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