Dr Malcolm Claus


I studied at Kingston for both my undergraduate and post graduate degrees. I graduated from Kingston University in 1997 after the completion of my undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering with Astronautics and Space Technology – being awarded the Vega Space Systems Engineering prize for best all-round performance on the Space Technology course at Kingston University. In 1998, I was later awarded the Jack Finnimore Engineer Award by the Heathrow Branch Royal Aeronautical Society for my undergraduate final year individual project on the "Low Speed Landing Characteristics of the Skylon Spaceplane".

Following completion of my undergraduate studies, I began my PhD on the "aerodynamic effects of a divert jet with the external aerodynamics of a hypersonic Kinetic Kill Vehicle (KKV)". This research was carried out as part of my employment with Hunting Engineering Limited and was based at the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) located at Farnborough. This work was purely experimental with hypersonic wind tunnel tests being carried out at Mach 12.1.

From 1997 – 2003, I worked for Hunting Engineering and Insys Limited as a Systems Engineer working in the aerodynamics department. Work was mainly defence related activities. Being based at Farnborough between 1998 – 2001.

From 2003 – 2005, I was a Doctoral Researcher with the NRC (National Research Council) and the USAFA (United States Air Force Academy), Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. I was involved with both teaching (supervising and supporting final year projects) and research, where I contributed to a number of projects including ARGUS (formerly Steel Eagle II), NASA OSP (Orbital Space Plane) and C-130 Hercules as part a multi-national research programme (this involved working with teams in the US, UK, France and Germany)  on the C-130 transport aircraft using CFD.

After returning to the UK in 2005, I worked within the Special Projects Department at Lockheed Martin UK at Ampthill as a Senior Systems Engineer. Work was mainly aerospace/space and defence related activities.

From 2010 – 2013, I worked as a Principal Engineer in the Aerodynamics and Propulsion Department, MBDA, Filton, Bristol, UK  where I contributed to several projects including – Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM) and Sea Venom (formerly Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon (Heavy).

I joined Kingston in 2013 as a senior lecturer in Astronautics and Space Technology, undertaking both teaching and research activities. These include module leader of both Space modules (Space Vehicle Design 2018/19 and Space Mission Analysis and Design – current). I have also been individual projects co-ordinator (UG and PG) for the School of Engineering. I am also the STEM and Outreach Champion for the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing and academic lead for primary engineer. I am also helping in progressing of the new propulsion test facility which will be an asset to the teaching and development of future propulsion/space engineers. As part of my development, I gained my Fellowship in Higher Education in 2014.

Academic responsibilities

Senior Lecturer Astronautics and Space Technology


  • PhD in Hypersonic Aerothermodynamics
  • BEng (Hons) Aerospace Degree with Astronautics and Space Technology
  • BTEC HND (Higher National Diploma) in Aerospace Engineering
  • BTEC OND (Ordinary National Diploma) in Mechanical Engineering
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Teaching and learning

Qualifications and expertise

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Postgraduate courses taught


I am interested in both "blue skies" and "applied" research. Currently my focus has been on applied research conducting investigations into the development and analysis of new space and aerospace technology. The bulk of my current research activities are "applied" and are focused on evaluation of hypersonic vehicles and space technology considering both their applications and the technological challenges they face. This work is published in an industry trade publication which is widely used in the aerospace/space and defence sectors. A list of the most recent publications can be found at the end of this section. Other dissemination for my research has been through presentation at conferences attended by both industry experts and the wider community. My work has also been quoted in the in a publication presented to the US congress – "Hypersonic Weapons: Background and Issues for Congress, CRS Report -R45811 (updated 2021)"

As with my teaching and supervising of projects my philosophy is to "design, build and test" , either by producing and testing hardware or through simulations using high fidelity software such as Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) or Finite Element Analysis (FEA).

List of applied research publications (full list is available on LinkedIn)

Claus, M. "Laser Strikes – Technical Hurdles Remain in DEW Counterspace Applications", Jane's Intelligence Review, September 2021

Claus, M. "Space Race – China Faces Technical Challenges in Spaceplane Development", Jane's Intelligence Review, July 2021

Claus, M. "Inspector Calls – Russia Advances in co-orbital Satellite Kill Technology", Jane's Intelligence Review, February 2021

Claus, M. "Wind Change – China Extends Range of its Hypersonic Missile System", Jane's Intelligence Review, December 2020

Claus, M. et al. "Interception Reception – Development of Russian PRS-1M missile Continues", Jane's Intelligence Review, March 2020

Claus, M. et al. "Standing Tall – Assessing India's Anti-Satellite Missile Test", Jane's Intelligence Review, June 2019

Claus, M. "Gliding Forward – Chinese Hypersonic Programme Reflects Regional Priorities", Jane's Intelligence Review, April 2019

Claus, M. "Flying Daggers – New Russian Missile Likely to be Part of Anti-Satellite System", Jane's Intelligence Review, December 2018

Claus, M. "Rapid Delivery – Russia Seeks to Defeat Ballistic Missile Defence", Jane's Intelligence Review, May 2018

Areas of specialism

  • Launch Vehicle Design and Operation
  • Hypersonic Vehicle design (this includes both high and low speed aerodynamics)
  • Air-breathing (gas turbines up to scramjet development) & Rocket propulsion systems
  • Aerospace Vehicle Design (including aircraft and UAV design)
  • Automotive Engineering (including design and aerodynamics)

Research student supervision


Number of items: 5.


Simpson, Charles, Shaw, Peter and Claus, Malcolm (2022) Metamorphic parachutes for planetary entry : a feasibility study. Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, 75(2), pp. 56-67. ISSN (print) 0007-084X

Augousti, A T., Baker, A, Claus, M and Karaveckas, L (2018) Development of a high flow rate piston pump for rocket engines. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1065, p. 262003. ISSN (print) 1742-6588

Barbosa, Luiz Filipe, Trunins, Jevgenijs, Zweiri, Yahya H., Claus, Malcolm and Kamm, Niklaus (2015) Development and testing of the Mars Rover Mobility Platform for educational and research purposes. IARJSET, 2(10), pp. 99-104. ISSN (print) 2394-1588

Conference or Workshop Item

Marlow, J.J., Baker, A., Augousti, A.T. and Claus, M. (2016) Low cost rocket engine development at Kingston University London. In: 14th Reinventing Space Conference 2016; 24-27 October 2016, London, England. (Unpublished)


Claus, Malcolm (2001) Jet interaction effects on a hypersonic interceptor. (PhD thesis), Kingston University, .

This list was generated on Sat Apr 20 06:45:56 2024 BST.

Professional practice, knowledge exchange and impact

Professional and scholarly affiliations

  • Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) - Member of the Weapon Systems & Technology Group
  • Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology
  • Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics - Member of the Reusable Launch Vehicle Technical Committee

Social media

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