Imperial College London

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 Polit├ęcnica, 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 currently Director of Research at the Department of Aeronautics and theme leader for Offshore Renewable Energy at Imperial's Energy Futures lab. 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

Del Carre de la Portilla A, Palacios R, 2020, Simulation and optimization of takeoff maneuvers of very flexible aircraft, Journal of Aircraft, ISSN:0021-8669

Gomes P, Palacios R, Aerodynamic-Driven Topology Optimization of Compliant Airfoils, Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, ISSN:1615-1488

Deskos G, Del Carre de la Portilla A, Palacios R, 2020, Assessment of low-altitude atmospheric turbulence models for aircraft aeroelasticity, Journal of Fluids and Structures, Vol:95, ISSN:0889-9746

Deskos G, Laizet S, Palacios R, 2020, WInc3D: A novel framework for turbulence-resolving simulations of wind farm wake interactions, Wind Energy, Vol:23, ISSN:1095-4244, Pages:779-794

Maraniello S, Palacios R, 2020, Parametric reduced-order modelling of the unsteady vortex-lattice method, AIAA Journal, Vol:58, ISSN:0001-1452, Pages:2206-2220

Palacios Nieto R, Cea A, 2019, Nonlinear modal condensation of large finite element models: An application of Hodges’ intrinsic theory, AIAA Journal, Vol:57, ISSN:0001-1452, Pages:4255-4268

Maraniello S, Palacios R, 2019, State-space realizations and internal balancing in potential-flow aerodynamics with arbitrary kinematics, AIAA Journal, Vol:57, ISSN:0001-1452, Pages:2308-2321

Wang Y, Wynn A, Palacios R, 2018, Nonlinear aeroelastic control of very flexible aircraft using modelupdating, Journal of Aircraft, Vol:55, ISSN:0021-8669, Pages:1551-1563

Palacios R, Buoso S, Dickinson B, 2017, Bat-inspired integrally actuated membrane wings with leading-edge sensing, Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, Vol:13, ISSN:1748-3182

Sanchez R, Albring T, Palacios R, et al., 2017, 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

Bao Y, Palacios R, Graham JMR, et al., 2016, Generalized thick strip modelling for vortex-induced vibration of long flexible cylinders, Journal of Computational Physics, Vol:321, ISSN:1090-2716, Pages:1079-1097

Wang Y, wynn A, Palacios R, 2016, A Nonlinear Modal Aeroservoelastic Analysis Framework for Flexible Aircraft, AIAA Journal, Vol:54, ISSN:1533-385X, Pages:3075-3090

Hesse H, Palacios R, 2016, Dynamic Load Alleviation in Wake Vortex Encounters, Journal of Guidance Control and Dynamics, Vol:39, ISSN:1533-3884, Pages:801-813

Ng BF, New TH, Palacios R, 2016, Effects of Leading-Edge Tubercles on Wing Flutter Speeds, Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, Vol:11, ISSN:1748-3190

Buoso S, Palacios R, 2016, Viscoelastic effects in the aeromechanics of actuated elastomeric membrane wings, Journal of Fluids and Structures, Vol:63, ISSN:1095-8622, Pages:40-56

Ng BF, Palacios R, Kerrigan EC, et al., 2015, 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

Murua J, Martinez P, Climent H, et al., 2014, T-Tail Flutter: Potential-Flow Modelling, Experimental Validation and Flight Tests, Progress in Aerospace Sciences, Vol:71, Pages:54-84

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

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

Arbos-Torrent S, Ganapathisubramani B, Palacios R, 2013, Leading- and Trailing-Edge Effects on the Aeromechanics of Membrane Aerofoils, Journal of Fluids and Structures, Vol:38, Pages:107-126

Simpson RJS, Palacios R, Murua J, 2013, Induced Drag Calculations in the Unsteady Vortex Lattice Method, Aiaa Journal, Pages:1-10

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, Pages:46-72

Palacios R, 2011, Nonlinear Normal Modes in an Intrinsic Theory of Anisotropic Beams, Journal of Sound and Vibration, Vol:330, Pages:1772-1792

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


Venkatesan-Crome C, Palacios R, Kattmann T, et al., 2019, Discrete Adjoint for Unsteady Incompressible Flows Using a Density-based Formulation, AIAA AVIATION Forum, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Hesse H, Palacios R, Murua J, et al., 2014, Consistent Structural Linearization in Flexible Aircraft Dynamics with Large Rigid-Body Motion, 53rd AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Pages:528-538, ISSN:0001-1452

Dizy J, Palacios R, Pinho ST, et al., 2013, Homogenisation of Slender Periodic Composite Structures, 53rd AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii [Lockheed Martin Best Student Paper Award], Pages:1473-1481

Palacios R, Wang Y, Wynn A, et al., 2013, Condensation of Large Finite-Element Models for Wing Load Analysis with Geometrically-Nonlinear Effects, International Forum of Aeroelasticity and Structural Dynamics 2013, Pages:1-25

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

Hesse H, Palacios R, 2012, Consistent Structural Linearisation in Flexible-Body Dynamics with Large Rigid-Body Motion, Pages:1-14

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, 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


Del Carre de la Portilla A, Goizueta N, Muñoz-Simón A, et al., 2020, SHARPy: A dynamic aeroelastic simulation toolbox for very flexible aircraft and wind turbines, v.1.1.1

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