Dr Nadjim Horri

Lecturer in aerospace control

School/Department: Engineering, School of



I am a lecturer in aerospace control at the University of Leicester. Before joining the University of Leicester, I was an assistant professor at Coventry University, where I worked on an EU ERFD project on hybrid UAV avionics, Innovate UK project Assured CAV parking and simulation based flight incident investigation consultancies. I also led the MSc Aerospace Engineering course and taught real time control, avionics, flight dynamics and UAV related modules. Before that, I worked as a research fellow for 5 years at the Surrey Space Centre, University of Surrey on EU project ASTRONET, EPSRC project AAReST (cubesat formation flight and reconfiguration) and STFC project STRaND-2 (In-orbit inspection). In surrey, I also led the guidance, navigation and control module and supported the spacecraft dynamics and propulsion modules. My PhD from University of Surrey was on the attitude control of underactuated spacecraft, with in-orbit implementation on SSTL satellites UoSat-12 and UK-DMC1.

My research interests are in the guidance, navigation and control (GNC) of aircraft (UAV and eVTOL) including estimation methods (observers, Kalman filters, particle filters) for fault tolerance (FDIR) and cybersecurity or wind disturbance rejection, spacecraft attitude and orbit control (AOCS) including satellite attitude determination and formation flight for applications such as in-orbit maintenance or assembly and debris removal as well as spacecraft reentry. I am also interested in optimal control allocation and in actuator systems. I have experience in flight simulation including co-simulation and hardware in the loop (HIL) implementations. I am also interested in flight envelope protection (FEP) for unmanned and manned aircraft. From a control perspective, my interests include goal oriented and supervisory mode switching control schemes, adaptive implementations of robust H-infinity control, gain-scheduled optimal control to handle input constraints, reference governor control to handle output constraints and optimal control approaches from gain scheduled LQR to adaptive MPC, robust control using finite time sliding mode control or Lyapunov redesign, as well as AI-enhanced control. I am also interested in path following, including enhanced formulations of pure pursuit, carrot chasing, vector field based methods and in optimal path planning including UAV formation flight. I am increasingly interested in machine learning but my research expertise is primarily in estimation and control, applied to aircraft, spacecraft and autonomous vehicles.


Currently interested in developing collaboration networks for research on the autonomous guidance, navigation and control for UAV, eVTOL, spacecraft and autonomous vehicles more generally.

Funded research:

- At Coventry University, I worked on externally funded research projects, including the avionics/GNC design for a ducted fan UAV project funded by European Union regional fund (Pii project), Innovate UK project Assured CAV Parking and consultancies including a tailplane stall investigation consultancy for AIBN (Air Investibation Board Norway). 

- At the University of Surrey, I worked on the real time implementation of low computational optimal spacecraft attitude control on an air bearing platform, which was fun the FP6 ASTRONET EU funded Marie Curie network. I also led the guidance, navigation and control part of EPSRC project AAReST and was also co-I during my time in Surrey for STFC funded project STRaND-2 with a focus on the relative attitude and orbit control for in-orbit inspection.

Research interests:
- Sensor/actuator fault detection and estimation in aircraft and spacecraft, using observers, Kalman filters and particle filtering methods.
- Optimal sensor fusion for aircraft/spacecraft motion estimation
- Spacecraft attitude control subject to actuator failures and actuator saturation, including momentum dumping.
- Control and sizing of eVTOL (electric VTOL) aircraft configurations
- Control challenges of hybrid aircraft configurations (eg. quadplanes) including transitioning strategies and stable mode switching control.
- Observer-based active disturbance rejection control for aircraft under wind disturbances
- Robust H-infinity aircraft control under faults and disturbances
- Aircraft path following methods from carrot chasing to optimal nonlinear guidance laws.
- System identification for the online estimation of aircraft parameters (stability and control derivatives)
- Aircraft flight envelope protection (FEP) using gain scheduled, reference governor and model predictive control approaches
- Linking control and machine learning based approaches for path planning and fault tolerance
- Multimode navigation and control for autonomous vehicles
- Formation flight in aircraft and spacecraft


Journal papers

[1] Dahia, K., Horri, N., Musso, C., Merlinge, N., Gyroless satellite attitude determination using a SVD-Laplace Particle Filter, Acta Astronautica, Volume 207, Pages 33-46, 2023.

[2] Zyadat Z, Horri N, Innocente M, Statheros T. Observer-Based Optimal Control of a Quadplane with Active Wind Disturbance and Actuator Fault Rejection. Sensors, 23(4):1954, 2023.

[3] Horri N, Pietraszko M. A Tutorial and Review on Flight Control Co-Simulation Using Matlab/Simulink and Flight Simulators. Automation, 3(3), 2022.

[4] Horri, N., Haas, O., Wang, S., et al. Mode Switching Control Using Lane Keeping Assist and Waypoints Tracking for Autonomous Driving in a City Environment, Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Vol. 2676, Issue 3, 2022.

[5] Bromfield, M., Holvorsen, K., Horri, N., Lande, K., Tailplane or main wing stall? LOC-I event due to suspected icing, FORUM, journal of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI), Pages 18-23, 2021.

[6] Merlinge, N. J. A., Dahia, K., Piet-Lahanier, H., Brusey, J. & Horri, N., A Box Regularized Particle Filter for state estimation with severely ambiguous and non-linear measurements, In : Automatica. 104, Pages 102-110, June 2019.

[7] Horri, N.M., Dahia, K., “Model predictive lateral control of a UAV formation using a virtual structure approach”, International Journal of unmanned systems engineering (IJUSENG), Volume 2, No. 3, 2014.

[8] Inumoh., D., Horri,N.M., Forshaw, J., Pechev, A., "Bounded Gain-Scheduled LQR Satellite Control using a Tilted Wheel", IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic systems, Volume 50, Issue 3, August 2014.

[9] Horri, N.M., Palmer, P.L., “Practical implementation of attitude control algorithms for an underactuated satellite”, AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics, Volume 31, No1, Pages 40-50, Jan-Feb 2012. (18 citations on Scopus)

[10] Horri, N.M., Palmer, P.L., Roberts, R.M.,"Gain scheduled inverse optimal satellite attitude control", IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic systems, final acceptance received, Volume 48, No 3, July 2012.

[11] Horri, N.M., Palmer, P.L., Roberts, R.M.," Energy Optimal spacecraft attitude control with convergence rate constraints", IFAC Journal of Control Engineering Practice, Volume 19, Issue 11, Pages 1297-1314, November 2011.

[12] Horri, N.M., Kristiansen, K., Palmer, P.L., Roberts, R.M, “Relative attitude dynamics and control for a satellite inspection mission”, Acta Astronautica, Volume 71, Pages 109-118, February-March 2012.

[13] Horri, N.M., Palmer, P.L., Roberts, R.M.," Design and validation of geometric optimisation software for the attitude control of microsatellites", Acta Astronautica, Volume 69, Issues 11-12, Pages 997-1006, December 2011.

[14] Biggs, J., Horri, N.M. “Single slew re-pointing for spin-stabilized spacecraft”, Systems and control letters, Volume 61, Issue 4, pp. 609-616, 2012.

[15] Horri, N.M., Hodgart, M.S., “Novel Developments in the Attitude Control of an Underactuated satellite using two wheels”, WSEAS Transactions on systems, Issue 1, Volume 3, pp.328-334, January 2004.

[16] Horri, N. & Dahia, K., Model Predictive Lateral Control of a UAV Formation Using a Virtual Structure Approach 2014, In : International Journal of Unmanned Systems Engineering . 2, 3, p. 1-11 11 p.

Book chapters and book reviews

[17] Horri, N.M., Palmer, P.L., Giffen, A., “Spacecraft attitude control mechanisms”, Encyclopedia of Aerospace Engineering, 9 Volume Set, DOI: 10.1002/9780470686652.eae299, John Wiley and Sons, Article number Part 26:265, December 2010.

[18] Horri, N.M., Palmer, P.L., “Technological challenges: relative navigation”, IAA book on Distributed Space Missions for Earth System Monitoring, Springer Verlag, 2012.

[19] Horri, N.M., Pierpaolo Pergola, Yuan Ren “Trajectory optimisation and mission design”, Astrodynamics book of the research network ASTRONET, successfully reviewed in September 2011, 2014.

[20] Horri, N., Book review of “Spacecraft Modeling, Attitude Determination and Control: Quaternion-Based Approach” by Yang Yaguang, The Aeronautical Journal, December 2020.

[21] Horri, N., Book review of “Book review of "Spacecraft and Payload Pointing” by Geoffrey N. Smit, The Aeronautical Journal, June 2016.

Conference papers

[22] Ugwueze, O., Statheros, T., Horri, N., Innocente, M., Bromfield, M., Investigation of a Mission-based Sizing Method for Electric VTOL Aircraft Preliminary Design, AIAA Scitech 2022 Forum, San Diego, USA, Jan 2022.

[23] Iglésis, E., Horri, N., Dahia, K., Brusey, J. & Piet-Lahanier, H., Nonlinear Estimation of Sensor Faults With Unknown Dynamics for a Fixed Wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, IEEE 2021 International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS), p. 404-412, July 2021.

[24] Iglésis, E., Horri, N., Brusey, J., Dahia, K. & Piet-Lahanier, Simultaneous Actuator and Sensor Faults Estimation for Aircraft Using a Jump-Markov Regularized Particle Filter, 2021 IEEE International Conference on Prognostics and Health Management, ICPHM 2021. Detroit, USA, June 2021.

[25] Iglésis, E., Dahia, K., Piet-Lahanier, H., Merlinge, N., Horri, N., Brusey, J., Markov Regularized Particle Filter for the estimation of

ambiguous sensor faults, 21st IFAC World Congress, Berlin, Germany, July 2020.

[26] Merlinge, N. J. A., Horri, N., Dahia, K., Brusey, J. & Piet-Lahanier, H., Box Particle Control for Aerospace Vehicles Guidance Under Failure Probability Constraints1 Nov 2018, 2018 UKACC 12th International Conference on Control (CONTROL) . IEEE, p. 75-80 6 p.

[27] Milward, T. O., Bromfield, M., Horri, N., Ali, R. & Scott, S., 10 Sep 2018, (Submitted) AIAA SciTech 2019 Proceedings. American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics, Vol. (In-Press). AIAA 2019-1540 Multi-point Angle of Attack Sensing for Avoidance of Loss of Control in Flight

[28] Merlinge, N. J. A., Brusey, J., Horri, N., Dahia, K. & Piet-Lahanier, H., Enhanced cooperative navigation by data fusion from IMU, ambiguous terrain navigation, and coarse relative states23 Jan 2018, 2017 IEEE 56th Annual Conference on Decision and Control (CDC). IEEE, p. 375-380 6 p.

[29] Horri, N.M., Dahia, K., “Optimal coordinated lateral control of a UAV formation using a virtual structure approach”, World congress on unmanned systems engineering, Oxford, UK, 2014.

[30] Horri, N.M., Rihan, A., Palmer, P., “Optimal coordinated attitude control of multiple satellites in a formation”, 5th international conference on spacecraft formation flying missions and technologies, Munich, Germany, May 2013.

[31] Bridges, C., Taylor, B., Horri, N., Underwood, C., “STRaND-2: Visual inspection, proximity operations & nanosatellite docking”, 2013 IEEE aerospace conference, Montana, 2013.

[32] Yusuf Acar, Horri, N., “Optimal Momentum Unloading of Reaction Wheels in the Presence of Attitude Control Errors”, AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) Conference, August 2013.

[33] Underwood, C., Pellegrino, S., Taylor, B., Chhaniyara, S., Horri, N., “Autonomous Assembly of a Reconfigurable Space Telescope(AAReST) Rendezvous and Docking on a 2D Test-bed”, 9th IAA Symposium on Small Satellites for Earth Observation Berlin, Germany, April 2013.

[34] Underwood, C., Pellegrino, S., Lappas, V., Bridges, C., Taylor, B., Chhaniyara, S., Theodorou, T., Shaw, P., Horri, N.M., Baker, J., Arya, M., Breckinridge, J., Hogstrom, K., “Autonomous Assembly of a Reconfigurable Space Telescope(AAReST) – A CubeSat/Microsatellite Based Technology Demonstrator”, 27th Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites, August 2013.

[35] Inumoh, L. O., Forshaw, J. L. & Horri, N. M., Tilted Wheel Satellite Attitude Control with Air-Bearing Table Experimental Results, Sep 2015, In : Acta Astronautica. 117, Article 5550, p. 414-429 16 p.

[36] Inumoh, L. O., Horri, N., Forshaw, J. L. & Pechev, A., Bounded gain-scheduled LQR satellite control using a tilted wheel, 2014, In : IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems. 50, 3, p. 1726 – 1738

[37] Inumoh, Y., Horri, N.M., "Real time demonstration of three-axis attitude control using a tilted wheel methodology ", AIAA conference on Guidance, Navigation and Control, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, August 2012.

[38] Inumoh, O., Horri, N.M., Pechev, A., "Tilted Wheel for Three-Axis Attitude Control of A Rigid Satellite", 1st IAA Conference on Dynamics and Control of Space Systems, Porto, Portugal, March 19-21, 2012.

[39] Inumoh, D., Horri, N.M., Pechev, A. “Hybrid attitude control of an underactuated satellite”, 62nd IAC (International Astronautical Congress), Cape Town, 03-07 October, 2011.

[40] Sharmila, K., Horri, N.M. Tekinalp, O., Ozgoren, K., “Gain scheduled inverse optimal control for fine pointing of a spacecraft camera”, Recent advances in space technology, Istanbul, Turkey, paper accepted, 09-11 June 2011.

[41] Horri, N.M.,Palmer, P.L., Roberts, R.M., “Design and validation of geometric optimisation software for the attitude control of microsatellites”, proceedings of the 61st IAC (International Astronautical Congress), Prague, Czech republic, September 27th – October 1st, 2010.

[42] Horri, N.M., Palmer, P.L., Roberts, R.M., “Optimal satellite attitude control: A geometric approach”, proceedings of the 2009 IEEE aerospace conference, 11 pages, ISBN: 978-1-4244-2621-8, Big Sky, Montana, USA, March 7-14, 2009.

[43] Horri, N.M., Palmer, P.L., Roberts, R.M., “Practical implementation of inverse optimal satellite attitude control techniques”, 21st International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics, Toulouse, France, September 28th –October 2nd, 2009.

[44] Horri, N.M., Palmer, P.L., Roberts, R.M., “Inverse optimal satellite attitude control from a geometric viewpoint”, proceedings of the 11th IASTED conference on Control and Applications, Cambridge, UK, also chair of the nonlinear systems session, July 13-15, 2009.

[45] Horri, N.M., Palmer, P.L., Roberts, R.M., “Optimal satellite attitude control with low implementation complexity”, 7th IAA symposium on small satellites for earth observation, Berlin, Germany, May 04-08, 2009. ISBN: 3-89685-571-9.

[46] Horri, N.M., Palmer, P.L., Roberts, R.M.," Optimal spacecraft attitude control with convergence rate constraints", International Conference on Space Technology, Thessaloniki, Greece, August 23-27, 2009. ISBN: 978-1-901725-38-4.

[47] Horri, N.M., Hodgart, M.S., “Attitude stabilisation of an underactuated small satellite using two wheels”, Proceedings of the 2003 IEEE AEROSPACE CONFERENCE, ISSN: 1095-323X, Big Sky , Montana, USA, volume 6, pages 6_2629 - 6_2635, March 07/15 , 2003.

[48] Horri, N.M., Hodgart, M.S., “Large angle manoeuvre of an underactuated small satellite using two wheels”, 4th IAA (International Academy of Astronautics) symposium on small satellites for earth observation, Berlin, Germany, April 07/11, 2003.

[49] Horri, N.M., Hodgart, M.S., “Novel Developments in the Attitude Control of an Underactuated satellite using two wheels”, proceedings of the 3rd WSEAS Int. Conf. on Instrumentation, Measurement, Control, Circuits And Systems, Malta, September 1-3, 2003.


5 successful PhD completions so far.

Accepting PhD students. Currently co-supervising PhDs with other Universities.

Interested in PhD supervisions in the fields of autonomous aircraft guidance, navigation and control (GNC) for UAV and eVTOL, flight envelope protection, fault tolerance, wind disturbance estimation and rejection, loss of control in flight, machine learning for increased situational awareness and autonomy, control allocation problems, advances in optimal, robust or adaptive control, spacecraft control and autonomy/GNC/machine learning for autonomous vehicles and their formations more generally. This list is not comprehensive. Always happy to discuss research ideas from enthusiastic students.


  • EG3421: Flight Dynamics, Control and Avionics
  • EG7040/EG4323Attitude and Orbit Control 

Press and media

Willing to discuss autonomous vehicles, including UAV, eVTOL (urban air mobility) and small satellites, France-UK and UK-Europe research collaborations.


Associate editor for the Drones and Sensors journals (Q1)

Reviewer for Automatica, Aerospace Science and Technology, IEEE Transactions on robotics and automation, AIAA journal of guidance, control and dynamics, Acta Astronautica, control engineering practice, systems and control letters, scientific reports, RAeS and Wiley book reviews, etc.

Back to top