Dr. Stéphanie Cazaux

My name is Stephanie Cazaux, I am Associate Professor at Aerospace Engineering (TU Delft). I obtained a Master in physics (in France) and did a PhD in Astrophysics in Groningen. I have been working for the long time on the formation of stars and the medium from which they form (the interstellar medium). After looking for a long time at the space between stars, I moved to Delft to start working on our solar system. My main topics of interests are icy moons, comets but also origin of moons in general. I enjoy combining experiments, theory and observations to understand different aspects of solar system bodies. We are currently developing experiments to recreate icy moons plumes in laboratory, testing the propagation of ultra sound in ices similar to solar system ices, and looking at plumes models and comparing with observations (Cassini, IRAM 30m etc), but also developing models to understand the formation of moons.

In keywords: Interstellar medium, Star formation, Planetary sciences, Icy moons, Astrochemistry, Laboratory Astrophysics, Molecules, Dust, Solid phase

Research: My research focuses on the formation, evolution and destruction of ices in the solar system. I am developing theoretical models in order to determine the kinetic of their formation and destruction by reproducing measurements from experiments. Such models can then be extended to conditions in space and predict/constrain observations. I especially enjoy understanding very small scale physics on earth and export this to large scales such as formation of planets, moons as well as their evolution. I am interested in the presence of life in our solar system, and if a possible living form could hide under the icy crust of moons. I am (co)supervising two PhD students, Tara-Marie Brundl and Nick Oberg, as well as 7 MSc students. The topics covered by my groups ranges from laboratory experiment (making a plume from Enceladus in laboratory), impact craters in icy surfaces, formation of ices and trapping of volatiles, to theoretical models both on small scales to reproduce laboratory experiments, or on large scale for the formation of moons and planets.

Education: I am involved in Planetary Sciences 1 course (Asteroids, Planetesimals and Icy moons) and Planetary Sciences 2 course (Dust and PS2 projects). I am co-coordinator of the Design Exercise course (from 2021-2022 academic year). I am one of the Joint Interdisciplinary Project (JIP) coaches.

For possible thesis topics, please have a look at the Brightspace page of the MSc AE profile Space Exploration.