Student profile

Elisabetta Iorfida

“Surrey has broadened my mind, culture and knowledge.”

"I came from Italy to study at the University of Surrey for two reasons. Surrey’s Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering is famous and has an amazing reputation, and I was able to take a PhD on astrodynamics within Surrey Space Centre (SSC).

I’ve always liked orbital mechanics as a topic, and wanted to collaborate with the Department of Mathematics. My PhD explores ‘interplanetary trajectory optimisation’, looking at the motion of satellites in deep Space.

My aim is to have two journal publications by the time I complete my PhD. I’m working on one now, hoping to start work on the second very soon.  My supervisor supports me continuously and we have a couple of weekly meetings each week. One is with the entire research group, and the other is a face-to-face catch-up. He’s available whenever I need advice.

I’ll start an internship at a major Space agency in September. It’s due to last three months, and will be based in Germany. I’m thrilled to have been offered the placement, as the company is well-known, and part of the Marie-Curie Network that funds my PhD. I’ll be working on astrodynamics and will apply the theoretical models I have developed so far at Surrey.

When I finish my PhD I might stay in academia as a postdoctoral researcher or go into industry; but for now, I’m keeping my options open. From the first day I arrived, Surrey has broadened my mind, culture and knowledge and the SSC has become like an extended-family to me. I have a good relationship with my colleagues and research group and am looking forward to the future."


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