Dr Zahra Sharif Khodaei, Senior Lecturer, Aeronautics

I am a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Aeronautics. I completed my PhD at the Czech Technical University in Prague before I joined Imperial as a Research Associate, which led to a lectureship position from 2014. My research is focused on non-destructive inspection techniques and damage tolerant design of composite structures, mainly for aerospace application.

I am the co-founder of our research group structural integrity and health monitoring which consists of 2 academics, 3 researchers and 11 PhD students. We have a very dynamic group where everyone makes a positive contribution to the research.

In general my research interest is improving the robustness, reliability and economics of operation of structures. To achieve this, I develop methodologies and technologies based on permanently mounted sensors on the structure which can monitor and record the in-service response of the structure and assess its structural integrity. The motivation for this research is to move from scheduled-based maintenance to condition-based maintenance for the next generation of smart aircrafts.

What I enjoy the most about my research is the multi-disciplinary nature of the field. Our research contributes to several areas such as advanced numerical tools, actuator and sensor technology, inkjet printing, reliability analysis, design and optimization, data analysis and machine learning. I also enjoy teaching. It gives me great joy to be nominated for any teaching awards or to receive positive feedback from students. My goal is to inspire more female students to study engineering and be the leaders of tomorrow.

Zahra is one of 20 women who have been featured as part of the Women@Imperial portrait project. The Women at Imperial portraits project aims to raise awareness of female role models across the College as part of our wider Women@Imperial Week (Monday 4 – Friday 8 March). We hope that they will help to showcase role models for our students, as well as recognising the many and varied contributions that women make to our university community, as researchers, teachers, technicians, professional and support staff, and as students.

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