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Dr. Adnan Maqsood (HoD Research)
Assistant Professor
Department of Computational Engineering

National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST)
Research Center of Modeling and Simulation(RCMS), Academic-I Building, NUST Campus, H-12, Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel : +92-51-9085-5734

Aerodynamics/Flight Mechanics & Control/Human Factors

PhD (Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering)

Dr. Adnan Maqsood is working as Assistant Professor at National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Pakistan, since 2012. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from NUST, Pakistan in 2005 and PhD from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore (Currently No. 11 in the world according to QS-Rankings) in January 2012. Currently, he is engaged in graduate teaching and research at Research Centre for Modeling & Simulation and heading Mechanics Interdisciplinary Group (MIG) ( Dr. Adnan Maqsood has done significant research work and published several top quality international conferences and journal papers.  He has been often invited as a reviewer for a number of conferences, journals and book reviews. The current research interests of Dr. Adnan Maqsood are associated with: Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) Systems, Flight Dynamics and Control, Nonlinear Dynamics, Applied & Computational Aerodynamics and Human Factors in UAVs.
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Research Focus Areas:

MIG thematic areas focus on problem-centric solution approach rather than solution-centric problem-search. Working in collaboration, MIG customize methodologies and carry out innovative applied research in the area of aerodynamics, flight mechanics & control. Currently, MIG researchers are actively pursuing following thematic / focus areas:

1.Aerodynamics, Flight Mechanics & Control of Fixed-Wing Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems. 

Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems with the wing span less than one meter have gained significant attention in recent years because of its versatility in multi-faceted mission profiles. Conceptually, these systems should be capable of immediate deployment and operated through a palm sized ground control station by a single operator. Even though this area of research is pretty renowned in academia for the last two decades, however, lot of challenges impedes its large-scale operational deployment.
Typical attributes associated with the aerodynamics of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are low Reynolds number, low altitude flying environments and low aspect ratio platforms. These attributes give birth to several challenges such as poor aerodynamic performance, nonlinear/complex lift patterns and reduced gust tolerance. Specifically we are working on:
  • Configuration Aerodynamics: We are exploring biplanes, flexible membrane wings and different morphing configurations to enhance aerodynamic performance in this flight regime.
  • Utilization of Polhamus method to segregate potential & vortex lift associated with these platforms and generate an alternate way of assessing aerodynamic contributions.
  • Engineering the nature-inspired corrugation for small UAS platforms.

Similarly, the attributes associated with the flight mechanics and control for these systems are expanded flight envelopes, low moment of inertia and small stability margins with high design versatility. These attributes give birth to the several challenges out of which a few are: triggering of nonlinear phenomena, dynamic stability estimation and flight performance prediction. We are currently working on following approaches to build new knowledge in this area: 

  • Evaluation of dynamic stability derivatives using CFD. Our major focus is tilted towards studying the effect of geometric variables on dynamic damping behavior.
  • Different optimization algorithms are used to study versatile trajectories associated with small UAS such as: transitions between hover & cruise, perching & dynamic soaring maneuvers. One of our recent initiatives is the characterization of perching maneuvers performed by flying insects.
  • Development of surrogate models to evaluate the performance & find underlying scalability trends between geometric & performance parameters.

2. Limit Cycle Oscillations in Aerospace Systems: 

Limit Cycles are self-sustained oscillations manifested by dynamic systems that are mostly undesirable in aerospace applications. Linear systems theory is limited and cannot decipher the limit cycle characteristics in relation to the aircraft parameters. To overcome this limitation, nonlinear analysis is required.


Complex dynamic systems generally exhibit a mixture of fast and slow response. Some parameters of a certain system may govern the fast dynamic behavior while other may affect the slow dynamic response of the system. In order to fully understand the system so that desired alterations during design and development cycle can be made, understanding the response due to relevant parameters on the slow and fast system behavior can be vital. Generally, instabilities in slow behavior are less threatening than in the fast dynamics. The Multiple Time Scales (MTS) approach separates these slow and fast manifolds of the system explicitly and is based exactly on this separation idea. The idea of the extension is to transform the existing dimension of time to a multiple dimensional space. Since many physical systems of interest exhibit multiple natural time scales, the MTS method is applicable to a wide range of problems. One example is the separation of phugoid mode (slow varying manifold) and short-period mode (fast varying manifold) in aircraft longitudinal dynamics.


Currently, we are working on following problems:

  • Effect of low-aspect ratio rectangular wings on wing-rock.
  • Effect of compressor characteristic curve on surge in axial flow compressors.
  • LCO of Atmospheric Entry Vehicles in low supersonic regime.
  • Pressure Oscillations inside Combustion Chamber of solid rocket motors.

3.Aerodynamics & Flight Mechanics of Supersonic Blunt Bodies with Active / Passive Flow Control. 

The main scientific aim of this project is to reduce and modify the nose shock wave in order to generate smaller drag force and / or better conditions to overcome sonic barrier and to diminish sonic boom intensity. 

The main motivation of this project is to understand the complex shock wave pattern formed by the nose of the aircraft and alleviate its adverse contributions that are high drag, high acoustic signature and high aerodynamic heating.Specifically, feasibility of different passive, active and hybrid flow control techniques to tailor the shock wave characteristics are currently investigated. In near future, effect of active flow control techniques on static and dynamic stability characteristics will also be investigated.

The research in this area is pursued through active collaboration with Dr. Laurent Dala, Northumbria University, UK.


4.Design & Development of Energy-Efficient Electric Fan Blades 

This research pertains to the improvement in the energy efficiency of pedestal and ceiling fans through aerodynamic design refinement of blades. The fan industry of Pakistan is renowned at national and international levels. This is widely considered as an elite sector that is fulfilling national needs of domestic electric fans as well as exporting their products. Gujrat, a hub of fan industry hosts about 300 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). These SMEs are facing tough competition because of advancement in technology, requirement of energy efficiency and failure to comply national / global quality standards. As a result, different fan manufacturers are approaching scientific experts in academia to improve their product design. In this research, we will be collaborating with STARCO® Fans, Gujrat, an industry that has evolved during the last 10 years from a small setup to a substantially large enterprise with primary focus on ceiling, pedestal and wall-mounted fan manufacturing. MIG has already executed a small-scale project with STARCO® Fans in the past in which one ceiling fan blade design of one product was optimized. National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) and STARCO® Fans intend to expand the scope of collaboration. In this research, aerodynamics body of knowledge is used to refine / redesign / optimize the pedestal and ceiling fan blade designs through computational and experimental approaches. The results produced through this research are lucrative in the sense that implementation cost of the solutions can boost the quality of products with zero investment cost. Moreover, the proposed solutions do not require any improvisation in existing production line.



  • Ahmed, W., Maqsood, A., and Riaz, R. (2018). Multiple Time Scale Analysis of Pressure Oscillations in Solid Rocket Motors. Results in Physics. 8(2018), 1068-1075. (Impact Factor ~ 0.9)
  • Nasim, A., Maqsood, A. and Saeed, T. (2017). Multicore and GPU based Pupillometry using Parabolic and Elliptic Hough Transform. International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Research. 6 (5), 425-433. (Scopus indexed)
  • Munawar, H. S., Maqsood, A. and Mustansar, Z. (2017). Isotropic Surround Suppression and Hough Transform based Target Recognition from Aerial Images. International Journal of Advanced & Applied Sciences. 4(8), 37-42. (ISI Master List)
  • Bibi, A., Maqsood, A., Sherbaz, S., and Dala, L. (2017). Drag Reduction of Supersonic Blunt Bodies using Opposing Jet & Nozzle Geometric Variations. Aerospace Science & Technology. 69(2017), 244-256. (Impact Factor ~ 2.057)
  • Afaq, M. A., Maqsood, A., Butt, S. I., Tauqeer, T. and Hasan, A. (2017). Aerodynamic Investigation and Redeisgn of Ceiling Fan Blades for Enhanced Energy Efficiency. MAEJO International Journal of Science & Technology. 11(2), 97-114. (Impact Factor ~ 0.312)
  • Siddiqui, M. A., Butt, S. I., Gilani, O., Jamil, M., Maqsood, A. and Zhang, F. (2017). Optimizing Availability of a Framework in Series Configuration Utilizing Markov Model and Monte Carlo Simulation Techniques. Symmetry. 9(7), 01-14. (Impact Factor ~ 1.457)
  • Dawood, A. B., Butt, S. I., Ghulam, H., Siddiqui, M. A., Maqsood, A. and Zhang, F. (2017). Thermal Model of Rotary Friction Welding for Similar and Dissimilar Metals. Metals. 7(6), 01-14. (Impact Factor ~1.984)
  • Rashid, K., Ahmad, R., Maqsood, A. and Mazhar, F. (2016). Knowledge-Based Aerodynamic Estimation of Airships. International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Research. 5(4), 239-245. (Scopus indexed)
  • Ramzan, M. and Maqsood, A. (2016). Dynamic Modeling & Analysis of a High Pressure Regulator. Mathematical Problems in Engineering. 2016. (Impact Factor ~ 0.802)
  • Adeeb, E., Maqsood, A., Mushtaq, A. and Sohn, C. H. (2016). Parametric Study and Optimization of Ceiling Fan Blades for Improved Aerodynamic Performance. Journal of Applied Fluid Mechanics. 9(6), 2905-2916. (Impact Factor ~ 0.888)
  • Manzoor, M., Maqsood, A. and Hasan, A. (2016). Quadratic Optimal Control of Aerodynamic Vectored UAV at High Angle of Attack. International Review of Aerospace Engineering. 9(3), 70-79. (Scopus indexed)
  • Sherbaz, S., Maqsood, A. and Khan, J. (2015). Machinery Options for Green Ship. Journal of Engineering Science & Technology Review. 8(3), 169-173. (Scopus indexed)
  • Bibi, A., Maqsood, A. and Go, T. H. (2015). Review on Analysis & Modeling of Dynamic Stability Characteristics of Atmospheric Entry Vehicles. NUST Journal of Engineering Sciences. 7(1), 15-21.
  • Maqsood, A. and Go, T. H. (2015). Effect of Aspect Ratio on Wing Rock at Low Reynolds Number. Aerospace Science and Technology. (Accepted)
  • Maqsood, A. and Go, T. H. (2015). Aerodynamic Characteristics of a Flexible Membrane Micro Air Vehicle. Aircraft Engineering & Aerospace Technology. 87(1), 30-37.
  • Maqsood, A. and Go, T. H. (2013). Parametric Studies and Performance Analysis of a Biplane Micro Air Vehicle. International Journal of Aeronautical & Space Sciences. 14(3), 229-236.
  • Maqsood, A. and Go, T. H. (2013). Lift Estimation of Low Aspect Ratio Annular Wings Based on Suction Analogy. AIAA Journal, 51(2), 529-534. Doi: (10.2514/1.J051914)
  • Maqsood, A. and Go, T. H. (2012). Optimization of Transition Maneuvers through Aerodynamic Vectoring. Aerospace Science and Technology, 23(1), 363-371. Doi: (10.1016/j.bbr.2011.03.031 )
  • Maqsood, A. (2012). Longitudinal Dynamics, Optimization and Control of Aircraft Transition Maneuver Using Aerodynamic Vectoring. Journal of Aerospace Technology and Management, 4(3), 393-395.
  • Maqsood, A., Huei, F. H. and Go, T. H. (2012). Propeller Induced Effects on the Aerodynamics of a Small Unmanned-Aerial-Vehicle. Journal of Aerospace Technology and Management, 4(4), 475-480. Doi: (10.5028/jatm.2012.04043112)
  • Maqsood, A. and Go, T. H. (2012). Design Improvement of a Versatile Ducted-Fan UAV. Journal of Mechanical Engineering, 9(1), 01-17.
  • Maqsood, A. and Go, T. H. (2012). Multiple Time Scales Analysis of Aircraft Longitudinal Dynamics with Aerodynamic Vectoring. Nonlinear Dynamics, 69(3), 731-742. Doi: (10.1007/s11071-011-0300-3 )
  • Maqsood, A. and Go, T. H. (2010). Longitudinal Flight Dynamic Analysis of an Agile UAV. Aircraft Engineering & Aerospace Technology, 82(5), 288-295.
  • Maqsood, A. and Go, T. H. (2010). Optimization of Hover-to-Cruise Transition Maneuver Using Variable-Incidence Wing. AIAA Journal of Aircraft, 47(3), 1060-1064.
  • International Conferences:

    • Afaq, M. A., Maqsood, A., Parvez K. and Mushtaq, A.  (2014). Study on the Design Improvement of an Indoor Ceiling Fan. 11th International Bhurban Conference on Applied Sciences and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan.
    • Akram, F., Masud, J., Rehman, A. and Maqsood, A. (2007). Optimization and Integration of NACA Submerged Inlet For Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Operating in High Subsonic Regime. 5th International Bhurban Conference on Applied Sciences and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan.

    National Conferences:

    • Maqsood, A., Masud, J. and Qazi, O. A. (2006) Analysis of Aerodynamic Characteristics of Original and Modified Wing-Strake Arrangement of JF-17 THUNDER Aircraft. 10th National Aeronautical Conference, Risalpur, Pakistan.
    • Mehdi, A., Masud, J., Maqsood, A. and Sheikh, S. R. (2006) Evaluation of Aerodynamic Effect of Upgrade Antenna Modification on DA-20 Aircraft using Linearized Potential Flow Approximation. 10th National Aeronautical Conference, Risalpur, Pakistan.
    • Afridi, U., Maqsood, A., Khan, A. M. and Sheikh, S. R. (2006) Review of the Active Aeroelastic Wing Concept and Utilization. 10th National Aeronautical Conference, Risalpur, Pakistan.
    • Ahmed, S., Sarosh, S., Maqsood, A. and Masud, J. (2006) MAGLEV – A High Speed Landborne Technology. 10th National Aeronautical Conference, Risalpur, Pakistan.
    • Khwaja, H. A., Maqsood, A., Haq, I., Masud, J. and Sheikh, S. R. (2006) Statistical Evaluation of the Performance Parameters of Dual Working Propulsion Systems in Conjunction by Varying Mass Flow Rate . 10th National Aeronautical Conference, Risalpur, Pakistan.
    • Khan, H. A., Aneel, M., Maqsood, A. and Khan, A. M. (2006) High Speed Civil Transport . 10th National Aeronautical Conference, Risalpur, Pakistan.
    • Zaidi, S. A. N., Maqsood, A. and Sheikh, S. R. (2006) Bio Structures: Hydrodynamics of a Shark . 10th National Aeronautical Conference, Risalpur, Pakistan.

    Keynote/Invited Speaker:

  • Maqsood, A., (2014) Modeling & Simulation: Science for Youth of Pakistan. Punjab Youth Summit, Lahore, Pakistan
  • Maqsood, A. (2013). Overview of Low Reynolds Number Flight – From Earth to Mars. 2nd National Conference on Space Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan
  • National Conferences:

  • Maqsood, A., (2013) Modeling & Simulation: A Methodology to Accelerate Research Endeavors of Pakistan. 1st Kinnaird Multidisciplinary Research Conference, Lahore, Pakistan.
  •  Post-Graduate Students Supervision/Co-Supervision:

  • Shagufta Yasir (2014-Current). Deciphering the Physics of Dragonfly Flight. (PhD)
  • Imran Mir (2014-Current). Dynamics, Optimization and Control of Albatross Inspired Dynamic Soaring Maneuvers for a Generic Unmanned Air Vehicle. (PhD)
  • Muhammad Aaqib Afaq (2013). Aerodynamic Design & Optimization of Energy Efficient Ceiling Fan. (MSc)
  • Arooj Fatima (2013). Numerical Investigation of the Effect of Gap on Biplane Wings for MAV Applications. (MSc)
  • Amnah Nasim (2014). Detection and Cognitive Assessment of Pupil Dilation Using High Performance Computing. (MSc)
  • Muhammad Kamran Khan Tareen (2014). Analysis of Surge Phenomena in Axial Flow Compressors. (MSc)
  • Mubashra Manzoor (2014). Control Synthesis for High Angle of Flight of an Unmanned Air Vehicle Using Aerodynamic Vectoring. (MSc)
  • Ehsan Adeeb (2014). Computational Analysis of Forward Sweep Effect on Ceiling Fan Blades. (MSc)
  • Muhammad Usman (2014-Current). Flight Performance and Stability of Biplane MAVs under Gap Variation. (MSc)
  • Muhammad Ramzan (2014-Current). Modeling and Simulation of High Pressure Regulators. (MSc)
  • Saad Shahzad Sultan (2014-Current). Analytical Study of Limit-Cycle Oscillations for Decelerating Re-entry capsules. (MSc)
  • Muhammad Saleem Mumtaz (2014-Current). Computational Modeling & Analysis of Pitch Damping Derivatives for Generic Airfoils at Low Reynolds Number. (MSc)
  • Atiqa Bibi (2014-Current). Computational Modeling & Analysis of Pitch Damping Derivatives for Atmospheric Entry Vehicles. (MSc)
  • Shamraiz Ahmed (2014). Design Optimization of Ceiling Fan Blades using Design of Experiments & Response Surface Methods. (MSc)

    • CSE-901 Advanced Compressible Fluids
    • CSE-902 Advanced Incompressible Fluids
    • CSE-911 Advanced Flight Mechanics
    • SYSE-812 Human Factors Engineering
    • SYSE-821 Unmanned Aircraft Systems
    • SYSE-822 Applied Aerodynamics
    • ME-831 Nonlinear Dynamics