Imperial College London

Dr Rafael Palacios

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Aeronautics

Professor in Computational Aeroelasticity



+44 (0)20 7594 5075r.palacios CV




338City and Guilds BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Rafael is the Professor of Computational Aeroelasticity at the Department of Aeronautics, where he has been since 2007. He is Aeronautical Engineer from Universidad Politécnica, Madrid (1998), and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan (2005). Rafael also worked as R&D engineer at Airbus in aeroelasticity and structural dynamics (1998-2001). At Imperial he leads the Load Control and Aeroelastics lab, that investigates computational methods for dynamic analysis, control and optimization of flexible air vehicles and offshore wind turbines. He is theme leader for Offshore Renewable Energy at Imperial's Energy Futures lab and deputy Director of Research at the Department of Aeronautics. He is in the editorial board of Progress in Aerospace Sciences, the Journal of Fluids and Structures and the Journal of Aircraft, Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

In 2013, Rafael was voted the best college supervisor at Imperial's Student Academic Choice Awards. For his doctoral research on Aeroelasticity of Smart Structures, he received the AIAA Foundation Orville and Wilbur Wright Graduate Award. At Michigan he was a Fulbright fellow and a Francois-Xavier Bagnoud fellow.  He has also been a technical consultant to MSC Software in the development of the finite-element package Nastran, and more recently to Facebook Inc and Airbus Defence & Space in the design of solar-powered aircraft. As a curious fact, Rafael's academic lineage can be traced back to German physicians from the 1700s!

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Maraniello S, Palacios R, State-space realizations and internal balancing in potential-flow aerodynamics with arbitrary kinematics, AIAA Journal, ISSN:0001-1452

Palacios Nieto R, Cea A, 2018, Nonlinear modal condensation of large finite element models: An application of Hodges’ intrinsic theory, AIAA Journal, ISSN:0001-1452

Wang Y, Wynn A, Palacios R, 2018, Nonlinear Aeroelastic Control of Very Flexible Aircraft Using Model Updating, Journal of Aircraft, Vol:55, ISSN:0021-8669, Pages:1551-1563

Sanchez R, Albring T, Palacios R, et al., 2018, Coupled adjoint-based sensitivities in large-displacement fluid-structure interaction using algorithmic differentiation, International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, Vol:113, ISSN:0029-5981, Pages:1081-1107

Buoso S, Dickinson BT, Palacios R, 2018, Bat-inspired integrally actuated membrane wings with leading-edge sensing, Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, Vol:13, ISSN:1748-3182

Buoso S, Palacios R, 2017, On-Demand Aerodynamics in Integrally Actuated Membranes with Feedback Control, AIAA Journal, Vol:55, ISSN:0001-1452, Pages:377-388

Wang Y, Wynn A, Palacios R, 2016, Nonlinear Modal Aeroservoelastic Analysis Framework for Flexible Aircraft, AIAA Journal, Vol:54, ISSN:0001-1452, Pages:3075-3090

Bao Y, Palacios R, Graham M, et al., 2016, Generalized thick strip modelling for vortex-induced vibration of long flexible cylinders, Journal of Computational Physics, Vol:321, ISSN:0021-9991, Pages:1079-1097

Maraniello S, Palacios R, 2016, Optimal vibration control and co-design of very flexible actuated structures, Journal of Sound and Vibration, Vol:377, ISSN:0022-460X, Pages:1-21

Ng BF, New TH, Palacios R, 2016, Effects of leading-edge tubercles on wing flutter speeds, Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, Vol:11, ISSN:1748-3182

Buoso S, Palacios R, 2016, Viscoelastic effects in the aeromechanics of actuated elastomeric membrane wings, Journal of Fluids and Structures, Vol:63, ISSN:0889-9746, Pages:40-56

Hesse H, Palacios R, 2016, Dynamic Load Alleviation in Wake Vortex Encounters, Journal of Guidance Control and Dynamics, Vol:39, ISSN:0731-5090, Pages:801-813

Ng BF, Palacios R, Kerrigan EC, et al., 2016, Aerodynamic load control in horizontal axis wind turbines with combined aeroelastic tailoring and trailing-edge flaps, Wind Energy, Vol:19, ISSN:1095-4244, Pages:243-263

Wang Y, Palacios R, Wynn A, 2015, A method for normal-mode-based model reduction in nonlinear dynamics of slender structures, Computers & Structures, Vol:159, ISSN:0045-7949, Pages:26-40

Buoso S, Palacios R, 2015, Electro-aeromechanical modelling of actuated membrane wings, Journal of Fluids and Structures, Vol:58, ISSN:0889-9746, Pages:188-202

Cesnik CES, Palacios R, Reichenbach EY, 2014, Reexamined Structural Design Procedures for Very Flexible Aircraft, Journal of Aircraft, Vol:51, ISSN:0021-8669, Pages:1580-1591

Murua J, Martínez P, Climent H, et al., 2014, T-tail flutter: Potential-flow modelling, experimental validation and flight tests, Progress in Aerospace Sciences, Vol:71, ISSN:0376-0421, Pages:54-84

Hesse H, Palacios R, 2014, Reduced-Order Aeroelastic Models for the Dynamics of Maneuvering Flexible Aircraft, Aiaa Journal, Vol:52, Pages:1717-1732

Simpson RJS, Palacios R, Murua J, 2013, Induced-Drag Calculations in the Unsteady Vortex Lattice Method, AIAA Journal, Vol:51, ISSN:0001-1452, Pages:1775-1779

Murua J, Palacios R, Graham JMR, 2012, Applications of the unsteady vortex-lattice method in aircraft aeroelasticity and flight dynamics, Progress in Aerospace Sciences, Vol:55, ISSN:0376-0421, Pages:46-72

Palacios R, 2011, Nonlinear normal modes in an intrinsic theory of anisotropic beams, Journal of Sound and Vibration, Vol:330, ISSN:0022-460X, Pages:1772-1792

Palacios R, Murua J, Cook R, 2010, Structural and Aerodynamic Models in Nonlinear Flight Dynamics of Very Flexible Aircraft, AIAA Journal, Vol:48, ISSN:0001-1452, Pages:2648-2659


Qi P, Zhao X, Wang Y, et al., 2018, Automatic Landing Control of a Very Flexible Flying Wing, Pages:2599-2604, ISSN:0743-1619

Wang Y, Wynn A, Palacios R, 2016, Model-predictive control of flexible aircraft using nonlinear reduced-order models

Buoso S, Palacios R, 2016, Feedback control of integrally actuated membrane wings: A computational study

Hesse H, Palacios R, Murua J, 2014, Consistent Structural Linearization in Flexible Aircraft Dynamics with Large Rigid-Body Motion, AMER INST AERONAUTICS ASTRONAUTICS, Pages:528-538, ISSN:0001-1452

Dizy J, Palacios R, Pinho ST, 2013, Homogenisation of slender periodic composite structures, PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, Pages:1473-1481, ISSN:0020-7683

Palacios R, Wang Y, Wynn A, et al., 2013, Condensation of large finite-element models for wing load analysis with geometrically-nonlinear effects

Hesse H, Murua J, Palacios R, 2012, Consistent structural linearization in flexible aircraft dynamics with large rigid-body motion

Hesse H, Murua J, Palacios R, 2012, Consistent structural linearization in flexible aircraft dynamics with large rigid-body motion, ISSN:0273-4508

Hesse H, Palacios R, 2012, Consistent structural linearisation in flexible-body dynamics with large rigid-body motion, PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, Pages:1-14, ISSN:0045-7949

Hesse H, Palacios R, 2011, Consistent structural linearisation in flexible-body dynamics with large rigid-body motion, 15th International Forum of Aeroelasticity and Structural Dynamics, Paris, France

Arbos-Torrent S, Pang ZY, Ganapathisubramani B, et al., 2011, Leading and trailing edge effects on the aerodynamic performance of compliant aerofoils, 49th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition, Orlando, Florida, USA

Palacios R, Climent H, Karlsson A, et al., 2001, Assessment of Strategies for Correcting Linear Unsteady Aerodynamics Using CFD or Experimental Results, International Forum of Aeroelasticity and Structural Dynamics

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