Dr. Rafic Ajaj

Dr. Rafic Ajaj

Assistant Professor, Department of Aerospace Engineering

Address: P.O. Box: 127788

Telephone: +971-(0)2-8109143

Email:   rafic.ajaj@ku.ac.ae


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, Rafic 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, Rafic 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, Rafic was 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 3 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 1 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. Rafic is 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. Rafic also received the Faculty of Engineering Award for the Most Outstanding Student in Integrated Aerospace Systems Design at the University of Bristol in 2009.


  • Diploma, Aviation Studies, International Air Transport Association (Canada), 2017
  • Ph.D., Aerospace Engineering, Swansea University (UK), 2013
  • M.Sc., Integrated Aerospace Systems Design, University of Bristol (UK), 2009
  • B.Sc., Mechanical Engineering, University of Balamand (Lebanon), 2008
  • Aircraft Design
  • Mechanics of Flight
  • Aeroelasticity
  • Aerospace Structures
  • Dynamics and Control
  • Aviation Management and Certification
  • Morphing Wings
  • Flight Dynamics and Control
  • Aeroelasticity
  • Adaptive/Smart Structures
  • Aircraft/UAVs Design


  • RM Ajaj, FK Omar, TT Darabseh and JE Cooper Flutter of Telescopic Span Morphing Wings, International Journal of Structural Stability and Dynamics, Vol. 19, No. 6, 2019, 1950061.
  • Bourchak, KA Juhany, NSalah, RM Ajaj, A Algarni, and F Scarpa Tensile Properties and Dispersion Characterization of CNTS in Epoxy Using TEM and RAMAN Spectroscopy, Mechanics of Composite Materials, Springers, 2019.
  • RM Ajaj and MI Friswell Aeroelasticity of Compliant Span Morphing Wings, Smart Materials and Structures, 27 105052, 2018.
  • RM Ajaj and G Jankee, The Transformer Aircraft: A Multimission Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Capable of Symmetric and Asymmetric Span Morphing, Aerospace Science and Technology, Volume 76, May 2018, Pages 512-522.
  • J Mills and RM Ajaj Flight Dynamics and Control Using Folding Wingtips: An Experimental Study. Aerospace 20174, 19.
  • RM Ajaj, MI Friswell, M Bourchak & W Harasani, Span Morphing using the GNATSpar Wing. Aerospace Science and Technology, 53, June 2016, 38-46.
  • RM Ajaj, CS Beaverstock &MI Friswell, Morphing Aircraft: The Need for a New Design Philosophy. Aerospace Science and Technology, 49, February 2016, 154-166.
  • S Barbarino, EI Saavedra Flores, RM Ajaj, I Dayyani, MI Friswell, A Review of Shape Memory Alloys with Application to morphing Aircraft, Smart Materials and Structures 3, (6), 063001.
  • S Barbarino, O Bilgen, RM Ajaj, MI Friswell & DJ Inman, A Review of Morphing Aircraft. Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, 22(9), June 2011, 823-877.