Charanya Venkatesan-Crome

Current Research

Co-design of aeroservoelastic systems using algorithmic differentiation

My research aims to investigate strategies for optimum design of a dynamic system, together with its controller, process usually referred to as co-design. The focus will be on very flexible solar-powered aircraft problems but the goal is to investigate general solutions that can be applied to a wide range of applications as the intrinsic methodology is transferable. The research can be split into the following categories:

  • The methodology for devising a dynamic system and corresponding controller
  • The methodology for a gradient-based optimisation
  • Algorithmic differentiation to find the required sensitivities

Algorithmic differentiation (AD) is an automated, systematic approach to find derivatives using the chain rule. This method is a better alternative to symbolic and numerical methods for calculating derivatives due its accuracy and computational efficiency. AD can be performed either in forward mode (also known as direct) or in reverse mode (also known as adjoint) and depending on the system of interest, one mode will be more efficient than the other.


  • 2009 - 2014 : MEng Aeronautical Engineering, Imperial College London
  • 2012: The City and Guilds Association Student Activity Award (Aeronautics)

Professional experience

  • 2014 – 2016: Vehicle Dynamics Engineer, Williams Martini Racing
  • 2012 – 2013: Junior Aerodynamicist – Industrial Placement, Williams Martini Racing


Department of Aeronautics,
Room 151 Roderic Hill Building,
Imperial College London,
South Kensington Campus,
Prince Consort Road,