Dr Rafael Palacios

Dr Rafael Palacios

The winner of the 2013 Student Academic Choice Award for Best Supervision was Dr Rafael Palacios of the Department of Aeronautics.


Dr Palacios is senior lecturer in aerostructures at the Department of Aeronautics. He is Aeronautical Engineer from University Politécnica, Madrid, and PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, where he was on a Fulbright scholarship. Dr Palacios’ research is on developing strategies for control of the aerodynamic loads on flexible lightweight air vehicles and off-shore wind turbines. His postgraduate work on this topic received the AIAA Foundation Orville and Wilbur Wright Graduate Award. In the last two years, PhD students he supervises or co-supervises have obtained best student paper awards at the AIAA Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference, the AIAA Aerodynamic Decelerator Systems Technology Conference, and the European Conference for Aerospace Sciences.

"We have always been convinced that Rafa is the best supervisor ever"

Reaction to winning a SACA:

"Imperial is a world-leading institution that attracts the most talented students. We academics are given the extraordinary privilege, which also a big responsibility, to be supervisors of some of your work and to help you to  develop into the next-generation of engineers, scientists and independent researchers. SACA recognises that effort, which is often carried out in closed doors, and is really encouraging for us to feel students’ appreciation for it."

Quotations from Dr Nieto's nomination(s):

"In our research group we have always been convinced that Rafa is the best supervisor ever. Awards like this one are a great idea to recognise this. Rafa is a fairly young and ambitious academic, who spends all of his time with us to establish himself and become a groundbreaking researcher. I sometimes feel sorry for his wife because it seems that he is always available answering all our emails instantly.”

"Finding a reason to nominate Rafa as the best supervisor is easy, the difficult thing would be finding one not to! He knows how to guide our incipient research brains into a world of exciting discoveries and productive science advancements; allowing us to experiment and learn on our own when possible, but pushing us and tightly overseeing our progress when deadlines need to be met and papers need to be out. Not unlike his namesake tennis player, he's all about winning in the research field with hard work and dedication.”

“He is also the only member ofstaff whom I've been able to have technical discussion with on a one-to-one level, as if talkingto a peer, but an extremely knowledgeable peer at that. This is immensely valuable as I do nothave other students working on a similar topic to have these discussions with, and the processof bouncing ideas off someone vastly improves my rate of progress. In short, Dr Palacios has been a Godsend.”



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