Dr. Rafic Ajaj
Dr. rafic m. ajaj Associate Professor Aerospace Engineering

Contact Information
rafic.ajaj@ku.ac.ae +97123124238


Dr. Rafic Ajaj is an Associate Professor at the Department of Aerospace Engineering of Khalifa University of Science and Technology (KUST). He joined KUST in August 2019. Rafic is also a Visiting Academic in Aerospace Structures at the Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanics Group of the University of Southampton, UK. 

His research is mainly focused on morphing wings, aircraft/UAVs design, flight mechanics, aeroelasticity, and adaptive structures. In 2015, Rafic was awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) Industrial Secondment, which allowed him to work for one year at Airbus UK to develop a novel actuation system for folding wingtips used for load alleviation on large transport aircraft. A patent with Airbus UK was granted (US11203410B2) on this work. Rafic is also a fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the UK since 2015 and a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) since 2020. 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.

He is a member of the editorial board of Aerospace (MDPI) since 2014. In addition, he is the collection editor for the " Adaptive/Smart Structures and Multifunctional Material in Aerospace" Special Issue, Aerospace, since 2016. Rafic is a member in the topical advisory panels of Polymers (MDPI) and Designs (MDPI).

Career History:

Between 2017 and 2019, he was an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the Mechanical Engineering Department of the United Arab Emirates University, UAE. 

Between 2013 to 2017, he worked as an Assistant Professor (Lecturer) of Aerospace Structures at the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics of the University of Southampton, UK.  While at Southampton, he was seconded to Airbus Operation Limited, Bristol, UK for 1 year.

Between 2009 and 2013, he worked as a Research Assistant in Aerospace Engineering on several 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 the Visionary Aircraft Concepts of Bauhaus Luftfarht e.V., Germany working on the flight dynamics of morphing aircraft for three months.

  • Diploma, Aviation Studies, International Air Transport Association (Canada), 2017
  • PhD, Aerospace Engineering, Swansea University (UK), 2013
  • MSc, Integrated Aerospace Systems Design, University of Bristol (UK), 2009
  • BSc, Mechanical Engineering, University of Balamand (Lebanon), 2008

  • Advanced Flight Dynamics and Control (ENGR606)
  • Aerospace Vehicle Performance (AERO480)
  • Aircraft Design Laboratory (AERO470)
  • Aviation Management and Certification (ECCE658)
  • Flight Dynamics and Stability (AERO450)
  • Introduction to Aerospace Engineering (CIVE370)

Affiliated Research Institutes/Centers
  • Advanced Research and Innovation Center
  • KU Center for Autonomous Robotic Systems

Research Interests
  • Morphing wings
  • Flight dynamics and control
  • Flight Loads and Aeroelasticity
  • Adaptive structures and flexible materials
  • Aircraft/UAVs design
  • VTOL Aircraft

Research Staff and Graduate Students:

Dr. Dilshad Ahmad Postdoctoral Fellow
Ms. Baraah Fraihat Research Associate
Mr. Mohammad Alomari Research Assistant
Mr. Zawar Haidar PhD Student
Mr. Omar Mamoun PhD Student
Mr. Tianqiang Huang PhD Student
Mr. Hamad Almarzooqi MSc Student