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Raphael T. Haftka - RESUME  

Dr. Raphael T. Haftka

Distinguished Professor
Dept. of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

University of Florida

 Gainesville, Florida 32611-6250. 

Tel: 352-392-9595 Fax: -7303


university of florida


The International Society for Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization






President, International Society for Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization (ISSMO)(1995-99); Fellow, AIAA; Member ASEE



My major interest in teaching is introducing optimization techniques into the undergraduate cur-riculum and bringing them to bear on undergraduate design activities. For this purpose I have introduced into the curriculum 3 undergraduate optimization courses - a general optimization course, a course on experimental optimal engineering design and a composite structures and material optimization courses. Additionally, I have initiated and collaborated with colleagues on the introduction of mini-design projects into structures and vibration-and-control courses.

Curriculum Development at the University of Florida


My research area is structural and multidisciplinary optimization. In the area of structural opti-mization, my students and I investigate diverse applications ranging from the development of algorithms to the experimental validation of reliability based optimization. The focus of many of these investigations is the design of structures made from composite materials. The combinato-rial nature of the stacking sequence design for composite laminates is particularly challenging, and has motivated my work in the development of genetic algorithms for this application.

In the past few years I have focused much of my interest in optimization methodology into methods that are used for experimental optimization. These methods, commonly known as de-sign-of-experiment techniques, are becoming increasing appropriate because of the growing similarities between computer simulations through complex numerical models and physical ex-periments.

In the area of multidisciplinary optimization I have focused on combined structure and control optimization of space structures, and on combined aerodynamic and structural optimization of aircraft wings. The first topic has a strong experimental flavor, because I believe that much of the challenge in the area of structural control derives from the discrepancy between theoretical re-sults and what can be achieved in real applications. In the area of combined aerodynamic and structural optimization, I am currently working with three other faculty members and five gradu-ate students in a major effort of developing design methodology for the next generation super-sonic transport. I am also working with a team of colleagues and students at Virginia Tech on the design of a truss braced transport, with the truss brace allowing for a substantial improvements in aspect ration and lift to drag ratios.

Another multidisciplinary program involves the design of miniature unmanned aerial vehicles. The focus in this research is on the smallest size that can be achieved with present day technol-ogy. I am working with seven other faculty members in AeMES and one in Electrical and Com-puter Engineering on various aspects of aerodynamics, control and performance of miniature air-craft.

I like to work with colleagues, and I attempt to share all of my graduate students with other fac-ulty members or NASA researchers. This arrangement benefits the students, and it helps me cre-ate interactions with and learn from my colleagues. This interaction results also in joint papers and joint research proposals. Over my 13 years at Virginia Tech, I have written papers with 8 faculty colleagues in my department and 8 in other departments. At the University of Florida I have published papers with 4 faculty members. Since 1991 I have also published papers with 10 NASA researchers and colleagues from other many other countries including, Belgium, Den-mark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Poland and Turkey.


I believe that many researchers and industrial practitioners do not have the time to read the large numbers of papers that are published in their field. I have invested much effort in keeping abreast of the latest development in the areas of structural and multidisciplinary optimization and I attempt to use this to provide a service to the engineering community in these fields. I have written a textbook (with Gürdal) which has an extensive list of references, and which we update regularly. I have written several survey papers, and I review about 30--40 papers per year, mostly for the AIAA journals. I have also served as associate editor of the AIAA Journal 1980--1982. In reviewing papers I always attempt to call the authors attention to related work that they might have overlooked. I also organized and chaired many sessions in scientific meetings (mostly AIAA).

Recently I have focused on improving the cooperation between industry and universities in the area of multidisciplinary optimization. In May of 1993 I have organized (together with my colleagues Grossman and Mason) an industry-university workshop on multidisciplinary aircraft design attended by most of the major aircraft manufacturers. The recommendations of the workshop for changes in the way universities, industry and government interact were published in July 1994 in Aerospace America. I have also intensified my own work with industry, and recently I have been working on projects with Boeing, McDonnell Douglas and the Ford Scientific Research Laboratory.

I am the president of the International Society of Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization (1995--1999). This young society (founded by George Rozvany in 1991) has about 400 members, and is concerned with promoting international research and education in Structural and Multidisciplinary optimization. I am also a member of the AIAA Technical Committee on Multidisciplinary Design Optimization. I continue as a member of the executive committee of ISSMO.





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Last updated 12 February 08

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Dr. Raphael T. Haftka
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