• Aeronautics and Aerospace Department

    To respond to the needs of space exploration
  • 1

Aeronautics and Aerospace Department

The Aeronautics and Aerospace Department focuses in particular on the modelling, simulation and experimental validation of atmospheric entry flows and thermal protection systems, including transition to turbulence and stability.

A wide spectrum of facilities and computational tools covers the flow range from the low-speed regime of commercial aircraft to the supersonic and hypersonic regime of atmospheric space entry.

The experimental studies are carried out in its world-class Mach 14, Mach 6 and Inductively Coupled Plasma windtunnels, for which dedicated measurement techniques have been developed, e.g. involving spectroscopic laser techniques.

Recently the department initiated a strong activity on small satellite developments and launching (CubeSat Programme QB50 and Qarman CubeSat).

On the computational side the department has developed an extendable software platform (COOLFluiD) for high performance computational flow simulation which incorporates the research on numerical algorithms, advanced physico-chemical and plasma models as well as fluid-structure interaction and conjugate heat transfer.

The facilities of the Institute are renowned and VKI is recognized as a world-class research center of excellence by its peers. As an example, VKI and the European Space Agency (ESA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in November 2011 under which VKI acts as a reference laboratory for ESA. This agreement involves 10 research staff and more than 20 PhD students in a continuous effort devoted to the present space transportation missions and the challenges of the future space explorations.


Faculty - AR

Olivier Chazot

Professor and Head of Department

Thierry Magin


Georg May

Associate Professor

Christophe Schram


Benoît Bottin

Adjunct Professor from ISIB

Gérard Degrez

Adjunct Professor from Université libre de Bruxelles

  • Joseph EL RASSI

*Collaborative Post Doc

  • Enrico ANFUSO
  • Ata Onur BASKAYA*
  • Anatole BERGER*
  • Carlo BRUNELLI*
  • Michele CAPRIATI
  • Nicolas CORTHOUTS
  • Simone DEL MONTE
  • Andrea FAGNANI
  • Giuseppe GANGEMI
  • Ward HAEGEMAN*
  • David HENNEAUX
  • Sander HOLUM
  • Pedro JORGE
  • Greyson KALE*
  • Daniel Gabor KOVACS
  • Tomáš LEVÝ*
  • Diana LUIS
  • Pietro PARODI
  • Paolo SCUDERI
  • Roemer SPREIJ

*Collaborative PhD

  • Antonio ABREU
  • Dimitrios ADAM
  • Mehmet ARSLAN
  • Ian BALLOU
  • Bruno FONTAINE
  • Andrea PERIN
  • Landry RIOU
  • Damla SAN
  • Jan SKACEL
  • Rebecca STANCIU
  • Alberto TESTA

Project Office - Research Managers

Jean-Baptiste Gouriet

Research Manager

Philippe Planquart

Research Manager

Aude Lahalle

Research Manager