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Claudio Rapisarda BEng MSc AFHEA

DPhil Student

TEL: 07824505325
COLLEGE: University College


Claudio Rapisarda is a Doctoral student at the Oxford Thermofluids Institute, specializing in the computational investigation of non-equilibrium phenomena in hypersonic flows. He earned his honours Bachelor of Engineering degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Manchester and graduated cum laude with a Master of Science degree in Space Engineering from Delft University of Technology.

Claudio has interned at the European Space Agency (ESA), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), where his work was primarily centred around spacecraft and (re-)entry vehicles.

Awards and Prizes

  • Outstanding Presentation Award for 3rd best Student Poster at the 20th International Planetary Probe Workshop (IPPW), Marseille, August 2023

  • Hermann Oberth Gold Medal for best technical paper at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) Student Conference, Paris, September 2022

  • Outstanding Academic Achievement Award as recognition of 0.5% top students in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at The University of Manchester and The Royal Aeronautical Society Prize for Best Overall performance in BEng programme

Research Interests

  • Hypersonics
  • Nonequilibrium flows
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Space Engineering and Spacecraft (Re-)entry

Current Projects

Numerical modelling of nonequilibrium hypersonic flows in the context of expanding flow phenomena around a spacecraft.


  • Rapisarda, C., Cervone, A. (2023). A Framework for Low-Fidelity Aerodynamic and Aerothermal Analysis of a Parameterized Stacked-Toroid. Poster presentation at IPPW23, 20th International Planetary Probe Workshop.

  • Sujahudeen, S., Rapisarda, C., Ross, O., Dighe, N., Knoll, N. (2023). Design and Testing of a Reefed Disk-Gap-Band Parachute of Huygens Heritage for Sounding Rocket Recovery. Aerospace Europe Conference 2023 Joint 10th EUCASS – 9th CEAS Conference.

  • Anton, S. V., Rapisarda, C., Ross, O. J., & Mooij, E. (2023). Development and Validation of a Nonlinear Fabric Model for Subsonic Parachute Aerodynamics. Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 60(6), 1871-1891.

  • Rapisarda, C., Roberts, P. C., & Smith, K. L. (2022). Design and optimisation of a passive Atmosphere-Breathing Electric Propulsion (ABEP) intake. Acta Astronautica, 202, 77-93.

  • Marchese, F., & Rapisarda, C. (2022). Detailed Design and Verification of a Wave Spring Self-pressurized Tank for a Micro-resistojet Thruster. 73rd International Astronautical Congress, Paris 2022.

  • Rapisarda, C. (2022). Investigation of ESA'S RAM-EP Intake via Direct Simulation Monte Carlo. JBIS - Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, 75 (1), pp. 30 – 35

  • Rapisarda, C. (2021). Modelling and simulation of atmosphere-breathing electric propulsion intakes via direct simulation Monte Carlo. CEAS Space Journal, 1-14.

  • Rapisarda. C. (2021). ‘Design and Performance Optimisation of Atmospheric Breathing Electric Propulsion (ABEP) Intakes. Poster presentation at the 1st International Symposium on VLEO Missions and Technologies, Manchester 2021.
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