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Dr Sophy Antrobus researches contemporary air power in the context of the institutional, cultural and organisational barriers to innovation in modern air forces, in particular the Royal Air Force. She joined the Freeman Air and Space Institute from Portsmouth Business School at the University of Portsmouth where she was a Teaching Fellow in Strategic Studies. She completed her PhD at the University of Exeter in 2019. Her thesis researched the early politics of air power and networks in Whitehall in the inter-war years.


Prior to her PhD, Sophy served in the Royal Air Force for twenty years including in Iraq and Afghanistan and a tour with the Royal Navy. She is a Fellow and elected member of the Council of the Royal Aeronautical Society; she also chairs its Learned Society Board. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and co-founder of the Defence Research Network for postgraduate and early career researchers.

Research Interests

  • Cultural and organisational barriers to change and innovation in the armed forces.
  • Critical thinking and the military.
  • The cultural development of the early Royal Air Force.
  • Remotely piloted systems and autonomy
  • Integrated Deterrence