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Silvio Sinibaldi

Silvio Sinibaldi
Research Student
School of Environment, Earth & Ecosystem Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

Professional biography

2021 - present: PhD student with AstrobiologyOU

2013 - present: Planetary Protection Officer at Airbus Defence and Space UK

2007 - 2013: Materials and Processes Manager at Umbragroup

2005 - 2006: Master in Science – Nanotechnology, University of Perugia (placement at University of Alicante)

1999 - 2005: Batchelor in Material Science – University of Perugia

I hold a degree in Materials Science and a Master (MSc) in Nanotechnology, both from the University of Perugia, Italy. As part of my studies, I have worked as a researcher in different countries investigating nanomaterials.

I am a professional materials and processes, cleanliness & contamination and Planetary Protection expert. Since 2013, I have been working at Airbus Defence and Space UK and have been involved in state-of-the-art scientific projects, including ExoMars Rover, Solar Orbiter, Aeolus, Mars Sample Return.

Currently I act as Airbus planetary protection officer for ExoMars Rover and Sample Fetch Rover. I am also part of international working groups on planetary protection (i.e. PPOSS – planetary protection outside solar system) and I am the Airbus focal point for reviewing European Space specifications at industry level.

Research interest:

The aim of my research is to investigate innovative and more flexible biological assay methodologies that can be tailored for space planetary missions and that are able to measure a broader range of microbes, in a timely manner and with reduced costs.

Any space project planning to land flight hardware on celestial bodies shall minimise its bioload to preserve the indigenous biota for future scientific missions and avoid “false positives” when searching for life. Planetary protection requirements are currently evolving to meet the needs of increasingly sophisticated missions like Mars sample return, Icy Moons and human explorations to other planets.  Innovative and effective assay methodologies shall reflect these needs and qualified for space use.


“Incorporation of Pd Nanoparticles in Mesostructured Silica” in the journal “Microporous and Mesoporous Materials”.