Shaun Whitehead is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He has been involved in space and archaeological exploration technology for three decades, both in academia and as an entrepreneur.
His space engineering work has been with most major space agencies, from X-ray satellites to planetary landers. He was project engineer for the EPIC MOS cameras on ESA’s XMM Newton, the largest ever European scientific satellite, and his company ThumbSat has developed the world’s smallest practical satellite – no larger than a human thumb. Shaun was Chief Engineer for the PAW on the British Beagle 2 Mars Lander, and consultant for thermal aspects of NASA’s SWIFT telescope. He has contributed to India’s Chandrayaan and China’s Chang’e lunar missions, and he is currently leading the technical development of Anilore Banon’s “Project Vitae” lunar art installation, recently deploying his own hand-built deployable sculpture on the International Space Station.
He is leading the development of the miniature “StratoBooster” stratospheric launch vehicle at Teesside University in the UK.
His archaeological robotics work includes the development of minimally-invasive devices that have been successfully deployed on sites as diverse as the Great Pyramid in Egypt and slate mines in Europe.
His particular research interests in exploration technology are ground and flying robots that can pass through very small apertures (<25mm) and transform and deploy to do useful work.
Shaun believes strongly in inspiring future generations, and has funded and mentored many student projects related to exploration technology.