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Oxford researcher, tackling barriers to space travel, secures big Government grant


Dr Tobias Hermann has been named among 101 'most promising' UK experts, sharing £109 million.

Research leaders across the country will receive a share of the funding, which the Government has said will help 'turn novel science innovations into a reality.'

Oxford University's Dr Hermann wants to ensure spacecraft can re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere safely while being exposed to extreme heat.

Dr Hermann said: 'Within this fellowship, I am planning to build a new type of experimental facility that improves how we can replicate the environment faced by a re-entering spacecraft when it travels through the atmosphere. 

"This will unlock previously unavailable data to help us improve the heat shields of re-entry capsules. This in turn will allow an expansion of the domain of our solar system we can explore through space return missions.’

Delivered through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the money aims to support the country’s “most promising future science leaders” by helping to buy equipment or fund wages.

Three other researchers in Oxford have been awarded some of the money too.

Dr Jane Hirst at the University of Oxford aims to transform care for women after high risk pregnancy around the world to improve their life long health and wellbeing.

Oxford University's Dr Eleanor Carter aims to develop an improved understanding of how government can steward complex networks of public service provision in order to more holistically and better support citizens

Dr Greg Brittles - whois based at Tokamak Energy at Milton Park - is developing new superconducting magnet technologies for use in fusion energy, a clean, safe, carbon-free energy source which could be globally deployable in the 2030s.

Science minister Amanda Solloway said the Government was committed to supporting 'science superstars', adding: 'By backing these inspirational Future Leaders Fellows, we will ensure that their brilliant ideas can be transferred straight from the lab into vital everyday products and services that will help to change all our lives for the better.'

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