Dr. Rafic Ajaj joined the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Khalifa University of Science and Technology in August 2019. He is also a Visiting Academic at the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics of the University of Southampton, UK. Between 2017 and 2019, Dr. Ajaj was an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the Mechanical Engineering Department of the United Arab Emirates University, UAE. From 2013 to 2017, he worked as an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Structures at the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics of the University of Southampton, UK. Between 2009 and 2013, Dr. Ajaj worked as a Research Assistant in Aerospace Engineering on a number of EU-funded projects focused on morphing aircraft under the supervision of Professor Michael Friswell at the University of Bristol and Swansea University in the UK. In 2012, he was a Visiting Researcher at Bauhaus Luftfarht e.V., Germany working on the flight dynamics of variable span wings in collaboration with Dr. Askin Isikveren for a period of three months.
His research is mainly focused on morphing wings, aircraft/UAVs design, flight mechanics, aeroelasticity and adaptive structures. In 2016, Rafic was awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering Industrial Secondment, which allowed him to work for one year at Airbus UK to develop novel actuation system for folding wingtips used for loads alleviation on large transport aircraft. A patent with Airbus UK was filed on this work. Dr. Ajaj is also a fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the UK since 2015. In 2009, he received the Boeing UK Prize for the best master’s research project in aerospace engineering. He also received the Faculty of Engineering Award for the Most Outstanding Student in Integrated Aerospace Systems Design at the University of Bristol in 2009.