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Personal profile

Personal profile

Christos Spitas is professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China (UNNC). Prior to this appointment he served as professor of Machine Design and head of the Space, Industry and Transportation Cluster at Nazarbayev University, professor of Embodiment Design and head of the Product Engineering Section in the Dept. of Design Engineering at Delft University of Technology, and in various positions in the industry up to Manager Research and Development, working with clients such as ESA, Thales, CERN, Toyota etc

Prof. Spitas's research interests span the following areas, centred around his primary focus on advanced engineering design, with various projects and grants concentrating on each area:


  1. Multifunctional composite shell structures, truss-cores and honeycombs, incl. mechanical, thermal and electrical functions and integrated condition monitoring, typ. utilising novel (micro- and meta-)structural architectures, material properties (elastic, hyperelastic, self-healing) and in consideration of hysteretic vibration damping modalities and complex structural failure modes
  2. High-speed high-torque-density high-efficiency powertrains, typ. utilising novel transmission architectures, elements and materials and leveraging unexplored multi-physical affordances and system dynamics and in consideration of vibration and thermal management, as well as (static/ dynamic) errors, misalignments and failure modes
  3. Mechanism and actuator design, mass-and-stiffness-optimised (frequency-tuned) high-accuracy error-insensitive, controllable and resilient multi-DOF mechanisms, CMGs and automata with explicit forward and inverse kinematics
  4. Novel multiscale manufacturing processes, incl. subtractive, additive and fusion (zero and artificial gravity, cryogenics, friction-stirring, atom-level modification and fusion/ perforation by ion impacts), incl. fine-micro-structured and nanomaterials design and fabrication/ synthesis (nanopowder fusion, nanobristles, membranes and films, novel 2d and 3d multifunctional and topologically complex materials)


  1. New vehicle design: Spacecraft, aircraft, rail, automotive, underwater (innovative architectures, leveraging original research results within the subsystems-level scope, with focus on enabling multifunctionality, new/ improved mission profiles and the development of demonstrators)
  2. Systematic abstraction of machine performance and user interaction: Self-operating machines and vehicles (basic intelligence, machine learning, incl. adaptive inference of functional/ control models without a priori knowledge); Enablers for systematic design and engineering (knowledge networks and 'idea algebra' models, CAD workflows and user interfaces, CAD-CAE integration)

Prof. Spitas is module convenor of AERO3000 'Management and professional practice' of the Aerospace course at UNNC and contributes as expert to other modules in the Aerospace, the Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering, and the Product Development and Manufacturing courses at UNNC, and serves as supervisor in the MRes and PhD programmes.

He regularly organises symposia and conferences on advanced engineering design (CSIAED), as well as advanced vehicles and powertrains (ICAVP), and serves in the editorial boards of relevant journals in his discipline, incl. the Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science (Sage/ IMechE), the International Journal of Powertrains (Inderscience), and Mechanics of Advanced Materials and Structures (Taylor and Francis).


Interested MRes, PhD and post-doctoral candidates are welcome to contact Prof. Spitas with their curriculum vitae and statement of research interest. Depending on the project, positions may be available in China (UNNC), United Kingdom, Kazakhstan, Greece or the Netherlands (overseas team).


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