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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 Research Center for Modeling and Simulation, National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Pakistan, since 2012. He received his Bachelor degree in Aerospace Engineering from NUST, Pakistan in 2005 and PhD from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore in January 2012. The current research interests of Dr. Adnan Maqsood are associated with:
  • Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) systems
  • Flight dynamics and control
  • Applied aerodynamics
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • 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 and journals.

    My fundamental research interests are associated with:

  • Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) Systems
  • Flight Dynamics and Control
  • Applied Aerodynamics
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Research positions are AVAILABLE for motivated candidates who want to pursue Masters/Ph.D degree in Modeling and Simulation of Aerospace Systems, Applied/Computational Aerodynamics, Human Factors, Dynamics and Control. Candidates who have completed a bachelor (not necessarily a Master Degree) with strong background in Aerospace, Mechanical, Applied Physics and Advanced Mathematics are encouraged to apply. Please contact me with your detailed Resume, Research statement/area of interest for graduate studies. Currently, I am working on following projects:

    Energy Efficient Ceiling Fan-blade Design:

    Ceiling fans have played a pivotal role in indoor–cooling throughout the history. With the increase in cost of electricity, it is very difficult for many people in developing countries to have an air conditioner to achieve indoor comfort conditions. Pakistan used to have a significant share of exports in ceiling fans. Gujrat, Pakistan, a hub of fan industry used to host about 400 Small and Medium Enterprises (SME). The rise in global competitiveness and lack of R & D infrastructure has reduced the number of SME to the figure about 100 resulting in soaring unemployment rates. In order to revive our fan industry, technology protagonists need to re-visit fan designs to boost our economy.
    The project is of industrial nature and warrants applied research. We are working closely with Pakistan Electric Fan Manufacturing Association (PEFMA), Gujrat. My research group is looking at the design of fan-blades for improved energy efficiency and compliance with international standards. Specifically, we will be focusing on the following areas:
  • Understand the flow field of fan blade through rigorous modeling and simulation techniques.
  • Characterization of fundamental design parameters in fan blade design.
  • Carry out parametric study of design parameters.
  • Optimization of fan-blade to improve air flow/circulation in room and suppression of undesirable acoustic noise (if any).
  • Design of Energy Harvester based on Wing-Rock Phenomena:

    The wing rock is an undesirable phenomenon that comprises of complex nonlinear dynamic behavior in the slow flying aircraft at high angles of attack. This effect has been studied extensively on slender delta wings but a little is understood about the large amplitude sustained oscillatory motion of High Aspect Ratio Rectangular (HARR) wings. In this project, we aim to harness these self-sustained high amplitude oscillations for energy generation at the wind-currents of as low as six meters/second.
    Theoretical Nonlinear Flight Dynamics:
    Nonlinear phenomena are well-known in flight dynamics of aircraft. Ample amount of numerical and experimental investigations have been carried out for the characterization of the nonlinear dynamic behavior in this field. However, most of the investigations are associated with certain design or based on observations. In this work, the dynamics of the aircraft is modeled in terms of generic stability parameters and study the effects of individual nonlinearities. Specifically, Multiple-Time Scales (MTS) method from perturbation theory is used to model the aircraft dynamics and parameterize the equations of motion in terms of amplitude and frequency.

    Unconventional Flight Maneuvers

    When the human factor requirements of a pilot and flight crew are no longer required in the onboard equation, substantial increase in the airplane performance can be achieved. A remarkable feature of research during the last century was a high degree of tradeoff based on human performance limitations inside the cockpit. With the emerging technologies in unmanned flight, several unconventional aircraft platforms are also coming into existence. This area of research focuses on unconventional flight maneuvers and its associated flight dynamics. Some of the unconventional maneuvers include transitions between hover and cruise, cobra, herbst and perching maneuvers.

    Collective Aerodynamic Performance of a Swarm/Formation Flight of MAVs:

    Typical attributes associated with the aerodynamics of MAVs 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 lift patterns and reduced gust tolerance. Studies of birds have shown that the V formation can greatly enhance the overall aerodynamic efficiency by reducing the drag and thereby increasing the flight range. In this project, we are trying to introduce the concept of collective aerodynamic performance of the swarm/formation flight of fixed wing MAVs. Specifically, an optimal configuration through computational aerodynamics studies will be developed. Salient challenging features of the research project include:
  • Low Reynolds number flows
  • Low Aspect Ratio wings
  • Poor aerodynamic performance
  • Improvement in aerodynamic characteristics through close formation flying in a swarm
  • Configuration Aerodynamics and Flight Dynamics of Micro Air Vehicles

    Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) have gained significant attention from defense industry in recent years because of its versatility in multi-faceted mission profiles. Conceptually, the MAV system 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 last two decades however, no system has yet achieved full operational status. The research endeavor in this area is of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary nature.
    Typical attributes associated with the aerodynamics of MAVs 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 lift patterns and reduced gust tolerance. Two techniques that are explored to overcome these problems are biplane designs (improved aerodynamic performance) and flexible membrane wings (improved gust tolerance). To understand the nonlinear lift patterns, a technique proposed by Polhamus based on leading-edge suction analogy is used to segregate pressure based and vortex based lift factors.
    Similarly, the attributes associated with the flight dynamics of MAVs are expanded flight envelopes, low moment of inertia and small stability margins. These attributes give birth to the several challenges out of which a few are: high amplitude roll oscillations, nonlinear dynamic behaviors and agile maneuverability. Roll-oscillations are basically wing-rock phenomena that need to be understood in great detail first so that further suppression techniques can be explored. Similarly, dynamic stability derivatives of MAVs and autopilot compensations are other two aspects that will be studied in this project.

    Propeller-Induced Effects on the Aerodynamics of MAVs:

    The propeller-induced effects for small unmanned air vehicles are more significantly pronounced than general aviation aircraft, because of their high propeller-diameter-to-wing-span-ratio. The stall angle of attack of the small unmanned air vehicle is generally delayed under slipstream effects. The study will evaluate the shift in stall angle of attack as a function of propeller-diameter-to-wing-span and advance ratios of the propeller. The study is part of an effort to develop the framework for the analysis of propeller-wing interaction for small/micro unmanned air vehicles at an early design stage. Specifically, the slipstream effects on the aerodynamics of a generic small unmanned air vehicle will be studied computationally for the estimation of shift in the aircraft stall angle of attack.

    Detection and Assessment of Cognitive Responses Through Pupil Dilation

    Eye-Tracking systems use a video camera to capture images of the eyes to track pupil dilation. The systems are either desktop-mounted or head-mounted. They are very expensive due to high hardware and data processing requirements. In addition, the user interfaces are not particularly user-friendly. Effective usage of eye movements as a communication technique in human-computer interaction finds place in various application areas. As a first step of designing interaction techniques using natural eye movements, the aim of the project is to track eyes and recognize its features such as pupil dilation, location of pupil with respect to outline of the iris area in images which do not only contain face images. The proposed cost effective, robust and fast tracking solution to this problem will depend on simple computer vision techniques with easy to implement setup and the property of tracking with scale invariance.


  • 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:

    • Ahmad, S., Ahmad, R. and Maqsood, A. (2014). Parametric Screening and Design Refinement of Ceiling Fan Blades. International Conference on Manufacturing & Engineering Technology (ICMET), China. Pages: 591-595; CRC Press 2014.
    • 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)

    • Advanced Flight Mechanics
    • Unmanned Aircraft Systems
    • Human Factors Engineering
    • Advanced Compressible Fluids