Michael Smart is the founder of Hypersonix. Hypersonix has been formed to transition world-leading hypersonic technology from research at UQ to technology that can disrupt the space industry. He is the inventor of the SPARTAN concept for reusable launch of small satellites.
Professor Smart graduated with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from UQ in 1985 and completed a PhD at NYU-Poly in 1995 in New York City. He then spent 10 years as a research scientist in the Hypersonic Airbreathing Propulsion Branch at NASA’s Langley Research Center.
He returned to UQ in 2005 and in 2007 was appointed Professor and Chair of Hypersonic Propulsion.
Since 2005 he has been developing scramjet technology that can “fly to space”. Along the way he has been involved in thousands of experiments in UQ’s hypersonic facilities, and designed scramjets for the joint Australian-USA HIFiRE program which conducted 8 hypersonic flights from numerous launch sites around the world between 2007 and 2017.