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





Research activities are all in a broad range of aeroelastic design, aerodynamic load control, and fluid-structure interaction problems. The focus is currently on the next four main themes:

* Flight dynamics and control of very flexible aircraft

* Aeroelastic optimization and aerodynamic load control in large wind turbines

* Fluid-structure interaction in membrane wings and micro air vehicles

* Computational methods for high-fidelity optimisation and reduced-order modelling in nonlinear aeroelasticity

You can find more information at the webpage of the Load Control and Aeroelastics research group, including information on research opportunities in the lab. For a full list of recent publications, please go to Publications, Google Scholar or the college's Spiral repository.

PhD student supervision (Main supervisor)

Student Dates
Norberto Goizueta 2018-
Real-time nonlinear control strategies for flexible aircraft
Pedro Gomes 2018-
Topology optimization of nonlinear structures under aerodynamic loading
Arturo Munoz 2017-
Methods for aeroservoelastic analysis of floating wind turbines
Alfonso del Carre 2016-
Data fusion architectures for fluid-structure interaction with large displacements
Charanya Venkatesan-Crome 2016-
Optimization and Co-Design of Aeroservoelastic Systems
Alvaro Cea 2016-
Model-order reduction methods in nonlinear aeroelasticity
Ruben Sanchez 2014-17
A Coupled Adjoint Method for Optimal Design of Fluid-Structure Interaction Problems with Large Displacements
Salvatore Maraniello 2013-17
Optimal manoeuvres and co-design with very flexible wings
Stefano Buoso 2012-15
High-fidelity modelling and feedback control of bio-inspired membrane wings
Rob Simpson 2011-15
Unsteady aerodynamics, reduced-order modelling, and predictive control in linear and nonlinear aeroelasticity with arbitrary kinematics
Yinan Wang 2011-15
Aeroelastic modelling and control of very flexible air vehicles using a nonlinear modal formulation
Bing F. Ng 2010-14
Model-based aeroservoelastic design and load alleviation of large wind turbines
Alvaro Gonzalez 2010-17
Aeroelasticity of deformable wing turbine aerofoils in stalled conditions
Julian Dizy 2009-14
Homogenisation of Slender Periodic Composite Structures
Sara Arbos 2009-13
Aeromechanical performance of compliant aerofoils
Henrik Hesse 2009-13
Consistent Aeroelastic Linearisation and Reduced-Order Modelling in the Dynamics of Manoeuvring Flexible Aircraft
Joseba Murua 2008-12
Flexible Aircraft Dynamics with a Geometrically-Nonlinear Description of the Unsteady Aerodynamics
Robbie Cook 2008-12
Robust Control of High Altitude Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicles using Novel Lift Effectors

Current Research Grants

show research
  • EC H2020-MSCA-ITN-2017, PID:765579Control of flexible structures and fluid-structure interactions (CONFLEX) (Oct 2017-Sep 2021)
  • EPSRC, Grant EP/R007470/1 , Farming the Environment into the Grid: Big data in Offshore Wind (FENGBO-WIND) (Jul 2017-Jun 2020)
  • Airbus Defence & Space, Methods for aeroelastic analysis of solar-powered aircraft (Sep 2016-Aug 2019)
  • EPSRC ICASE Award (Airbus), Assessment of geometrically-nonlinear effects on aircraft loads (Oct 2016-Sep 2019)
  • EPSRC, Grant EP/N006224/1, Maximizing Wind Farm Aerodynamic Resource via Advanced Modelling (Nov 2015-Apr 2019)

    previous Grants:

    • USAF/EOARD Grant FA9550-14-1-0055, "Aeroservoelastic Optimization of Aircraft Wings with Load Alleviation Systems" (May 2014-April 2017)
    • EPSRC Grant EP/K037536/1, "Vortex Induced Vibration and Structural Integrity of Deep Water Flexible Risers" (October 2013-Sep 2016)
    • EPSRC Grant EP/J002070/1, "Towards Biologically-Inspired Active-Compliant-Wing Micro-Air-Vehicles" (Jul 2012-Apr 2016)
    • USAF/EOARD Grant FA8655-12-1-2046, "Integrally Actuated Membrane Wings" (October 2012-September 2015)
    • EPSRC Grant EP/I014683/1, "Nonlinear Flexibility Effects on Flight Dynamics and Control of Next-Generation Aircraft" (March 2011- February 2015)
    • Host in RAEng Distinguished Visiting Fellowship to Prof. Moti Karpel (May-June 2011)
    • QinetiQ EPSRC CASE Award (2008-2011)


    Prof. Mike Graham, Imperial College London

    Dr Silvestre Pinho, Imperial College London

    Dr Paul Goulart, ETH Zurich

    Dr Andrew Wynn, Imperial College London

    Prof Bharathram Ganapathisubramani, University of Southampton

    Prof. Moti Karpel, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology

    Prof. Carlos E.S. Cesnik, University of Michigan

    Prof. Ken Badcock, University of Liverpool