Research Fellow II, University of Surrey

Jason L. Forshaw was born in the UK in 1986. He graduated faculty valedictorian with an MEng (Hons) in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Sheffield (UK) in 2008 (visiting student at Virginia Tech (US) in 2007), obtained an MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University (US) in 2010 and a PhD in Electronics Engineering at the Surrey Space Centre (UK) in 2013. From an industrial perspective, his employment includes Rolls-Royce (Boeing 787 engine), BAE Systems (Eurofighter) and QinetiQ where he was the principal lead research engineer for the QinetiQ Eye-On (TM) UAV, an advanced twin-rotor VTOL tailsitter. His EPSRC CASE funded PhD focused on development of a flight control system for tailsitters and specifically on the transitions between vertical (helicopter) and horizontal (fixed-wing aircraft) flight, involving 6-DoF simulation and optimisation, hardware / software design and the execution of a flight campaign. After completing his PhD in under 3 years, he provided project management support to the EU FP7 SME-SAT mission, the EU FP7 Spaceplan 2020 roadmapping project, and provided tether dynamics & GNC modelling support to the Service Orientated Active Debris Removal (SOADR) project for SSTL, an ESA phase-0 study into deorbiting Envisat.

Currently as postdoctoral research fellow at the Surrey Space Centre he provides technical direction and leadership as a control systems specialist. He has had various roles for the EU FP7 RemoveDEBRIS (€11.3M, 600+ man-months), a mission to demonstrate netting, harpooning and drag sail debris removal technologies. These include consortium programme manager, leading over 60 staff across 9 partners (including SSTL, Airbus Toulouse, Airbus Les Mureaux, Airbus Bremen, Airbus Stevenage, ISIS), and SSC programme manager. He is also the technical and project manager for Intrepid, a spherical air-bearing satellite testbed custom designed and installed for Airbus Friedrichshafen (AOCS & GNC group) and DLR.

Dr Forshaw is a member of the IET, IEEE, a senior member of the AIAA, and is a chartered engineer (CEng) with the IET. He has a wide range of awards, scholarships and fellowships from both universities and professional institutions including an IET Undergraduate Scholarship, the Sir Basil Blackwell Award, the Sir Frederick Mappin Medal and a Stanford Fellowship.

Dr Forshaw’s research interests and publications mainly focus on the applications of multi-rotor unmanned systems (quadrotors, tailsitters) and small satellites from both simulation and experimental perspectives. His main interests include: modelling and simulation, optimal control, predictive control, self-tuning control, inertial actuation, autopilot design, testbed and laboratory design, motion capture systems, debris removal.

He is a reviewer for: IEEE AES, AIAA GCD, IMechE JAERO


  • –present
    Research Fellow, University of Surrey