Starship Engineer Workshops


Date: 24 and 25 November 2015
Venue: The BIS HQ, 27/29 South Lambeth Road, Vauxhall, London, SW8 1SZ

The Initiative for Interstellar Studies (i4is) in collaboration with the British Interplanetary Society.

Initiative For Interstellar Studies

This new and innovative educational product is being launched by the Initiative for Interstellar Studies (a not-for-profit organisation incorporated in the UK) in collaboration with the British Interplanetary Society. We aim to help raise the educational levels of participants so that they can use some of the tools to start assessing deep space exploration concepts and even designing interstellar vessels. Two one day courses have been arranged, and you can either attend one or both, each will be different and important in their own way. Come and join us, and you too can become a Starship Engineer.

Starship Engineer

Tuesday 24 November: Starship Engineer

This course aims to give you a basic grounding in interstellar studies. We go from considering the essential requirements to giving you an overview of different spacecraft systems. We then take you on a journey through several actual starship design studies, and show you how to calculate and evolve an interstellar machine. We will give a broad set of examples from the literature, but focus on two specific case studies, that of fusion propulsion and laser-sail propulsion, as plausible ways by which we may someday reach the distant stars.

Wednesday 25 November: Science Fiction Starships

The works of science fiction literature have produced many fascinating starship concepts, but how realistic are they? In this one day course we will examine texts such as laser-sails in “The Mote in Gods Eye (Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle), Torch Ships in “Time for the Stars” (Robert Heinlein), Quantum Ramjets in “The Songs of Distant Earth” (Arthur C Clarke) and other inspirational examples of interstellar vessels. This course will teach you how to evaluate these ideas from the imagination and how to perform a physics and engineering assessment of their feasibility.

Education Requirements: The courses are open to everyone and anyone is welcome to attend, but to participate in the design workshops it is recommended that you have some familiarity with basic mathematics and algebra.

Principal Lecturers: Kelvin F. Long is a physicist and aerospace engineer, Chief Editor Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, author of the book “Deep Space Propulsion: A Roadmap to the Stars” and is the Executive Director i4is. Rob Swinney is a former RAF Squadron Leader aerosystems engineer and is a Deputy Director of i4is.  Both have been involved in the creation and running of the only two modern starship design projects, Project Icarus (fusion) and Project Dragonfly (laser-sails).

Pricing: Normal rate: £59 per day or £99 for the two days. Discounted rate: £49 per day or £79 for the two days; includes students and senior citizens. Lunch and coffee will be provided on the day for all attendees.

To join any of the events contact the booking team at:  or visit for more details.



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