Professor Massimiliano Vasile, Director the University’s Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory, will discuss the reasons for humanity’s interest in asteroids and how their motion can be controlled. He will also consider whether the risks they present to Earth can be converted into opportunities to expand the boundaries of space research. An open discussion will follow.

Professor Vasile leads the international Stardust project, a European Commission-funded network using cutting edge engineering and mathematics to create new and innovative technologies to address two of the most urgent, intriguing and challenging issues and space science: space debris removal and asteroid deflection.

The experts working at the heart of Stardust are making an impact on the way global policy is shaped with regard to space activity as well as training the next generation of scientists, engineers and policy-makers. The work is fundamental to protecting our planet and space assets. The programme has 16 partners across Europe and recently expanded with the addition of the University of New South Wales and the University of California Santa Barbara.

Members of the Stardust network have also been involved in the European Space Agency’s Rosetta Mission – joining scientists and engineers from all over Europe and the rest of the world to unravel the secrets of a comet.

Professor Vasile said: “Stardust is gaining a reputation throughout the international community and the collaborations in Australia and the USA demonstrate the impact the research is having within the space sector.

“Our growing network of experts on space debris and asteroids will bring high-concept engineering to a wider audience and through public engagement it is our aim to share our enthusiasm and demonstrate the possibilities our research presents.”

Professor Vasile’s lecture concludes the current series of eight lectures being held in partnership with coffee shop Tinderbox, at its branch in Ingram Street, Glasgow. It will be held from 5:30pm- 6:30 pm and the event is free, with no tickets or registration required.

The Coffee House Lecture series has reaffirmed Strathclyde’s roots in the 18th- century age of Enlightenment, when the coffee houses of Britain’s towns and cities became hotbeds of comment, debate and the exchange of new ideas.

The University’s founder, John Anderson, espoused a vision of a place of ‘useful learning’ which would bring education to citizens. This series of informal talks by some of Strathclyde’s leading academics has been inspired by his legacy and has aimed to invoke the spirit of the Enlightenment by inspiring curiosity, discussion and debate.



University of Strathclyde: Coffee House Lectures

Stardust project