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Dr Rafic Ajaj BSc, MSc, PhD, FHEA

Visiting Academic in Aerospace Structures

Dr Rafic Ajaj's photo

Dr Rafic Ajaj is a Visiting Academic in Aerospace Structures within the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department at the University of Southampton. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the United Arab Emirates University, UAE.

Dr Rafic Ajaj joined the department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the University of Southampton on September 2013. His main research is focused on morphing aircraft and on developing adaptive and smart structural concepts that facilitate wing shape transformations. Currently, he is working (with Airbus Operations) on utilising folding wingtips for loads alleviation on large transport aircraft and he filed a patent with Airbus on this topic. Before joining Southampton, he worked as a lecturer in Aerospace Engineering for 3 months at Swansea University. He also worked as a researcher at the University of Bristol, Swansea University and Bauhaus Luftfahrt eV in Germany.

Google Scholar Citations

Research interests

  • Morphing aircraft
  • Aircraft design
  • Flight mechanics
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
  • Adaptive structures
  • Acoustic fatigue
Gnatspar at different span extensions

Research group

Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanic (AFM)

Affiliate research groups

Airbus Noise Technology Centre, Institute for Life Sciences

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  1. MASystems and Control Ltd, £3,500, Wind Powered Lighter-than-Air Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, May 2014
  2. University of Southampton Adventures in Research scheme, £10,000, Flight Dynamics and Control of a Morphing UAV, December 2014
  3. Royal Academy of Engineering, Industrial Secondment at Airbus Operations, Loads Alleviation Using Advanced Folding Wingtips for Transport Aircraft, £29,983 (plus £1,000 top-up from Airbus), Awarded March 2015.
  4. US Air Force(USAF), European Office of Aerospace Research and Development (EOARD), Flight Dynamics and Control of a Morphing UAV: Bio-lnspired by Natural Fliers,", $15,779, Awarded September 2015.
  5. US Air Force (USAF), European Office of Aerospace Research and Development (EOARD),"Toward An Autonomous Morphing UAV", $30,000, Awarded March 2017.
  • Visiting Aerospace Engineer at Bauhaus Luftfahrt e.V. Germany, June - September 2012
  • Honorary researcher at the University of Bristol, 2011 - 2013
  • Most outstanding MSc student in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Bristol, 2009
  • Boeing UK Prize for Best MSc Research Project in Aircraft Design, University of Bristol, November 2009
  • Dean's Honour List at the University of Balamand, Lebanon, 2005-2008 
Dr Rafic Ajaj
Southampton Boldrewood Innovation Campus
University of Southampton
Building 176
Burgess Road
SO16 7QF

Room Number : 176/2035/B1

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