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Professor Jonathan Cooper

Professor Jonathan Cooper

Professor Jonathan Cooper
FAIAA, FREng, BSc(London), PhD(London), FRAeS(Royal Aeronautical Society)

RAEng Airbus Sir George White Professor of Aerospace Engineering

Area of research

Integrated Design of Novel Wing Architectures

Office 2.83
Queen's Building,
University Walk, Clifton BS8 1TR
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 95 45388


Jonathan Cooper holds the Royal Academy of Engineering Airbus Sir George White Chair in Aerospace Engineering and has an international reputation in the fields of aeroelasticity, loads, structural dynamics, adaptive aircraft structures and aeroelastic optimization.

His current research involves the following main research themes all focussed on the development of new efficient future aircraft designs:

  1. Novel technologies for loads control
  2. Improved measurement and modelling of structural / control system nonlinearities and more accurate and efficient prediction of aeroservoelastic behaviour
  3. Use of aeroservoelastic designs for improved aircraft performance
  4. Efficient and accurate prediction of uncertainties in aircraft performance
  5. Improved multi-disciplinary design optimisation and certification for future wing structures


Upon obtaining a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of London, Jonathan Cooper worked as a Senior Research Fellow at the Royal Aerospace Establishment, Farnborough, for three years before joining the University of Manchester in October 1989 as a ‘new-blood’ lecturer.  During 18 years there, he made a significant contribution in terms of teaching, research and administration, and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in October 1997 and Professor in March 2001, becoming the last Head of School before the merger in October 2004 between the University of Manchester and UMIST.  In August 2007 he moved to the School of Engineering at the University of Liverpool as Professor of Aerostructures and Aeroelasticity.  In February 2012 Prof Cooper took up the Airbus Sir George White Chair at the University of Bristol and was also awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair in February 2013 working on Novel Aircraft Architectures.   [Brief cv

Prof Cooper has published over 400 technical papers in journals and conferences, 7 book chapters and is co-author of the textbook “An Introduction to Aircraft Aeroelasticity and Loads” published by Wiley in 2007 (2nd edition 2014). Several of the algorithms that he has developed are now used by industry throughout the world.  Prof Cooper has participated in / led several invited EU Framework projects and has been involved in research projects that have attracted funding of over £8m as lead investigator, over £12m as co-investigator.   He has supervised over 50 PhD students and 26 Research Assistants.  He spent a six month sabbatical as Visiting Professor at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium in 1995, and also five months on a Royal Academy of Engineering secondment at British Aerospace Military Aircraft in 1997.   From October 2005 to September 2006 Prof Cooper was a Royal Academy of Engineering / Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellow working on Morphing Aircraft Structures.   [Publications]

Jonathan is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and has been a Chartered Engineer for over 25 years. He was a member of REF2014 sub-panel 12  on Mechanical, Aerospace, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering and is also on sub-panel 12 (Engineering) for REF2021. On 16 May 2019 he became the President of the Royal Aeronautical Society and was elected as Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in Sept 2019.




Prof Cooper has had a wide range of roles relating to teaching and syllabi development for Engineering degree courses, which including liaison with industry and Learned Societies, in order to make the content more relevant for the needs of today’s engineering graduates.  He has developed and taught a number of modules in the areas of aeroelasticity, structures, structural dynamics, optimisation and aircraft design, including the development of Problem Based Learning and Enquiry Based Learning modes of teaching.    He has presented a number of short courses that have been run ‘in-house’ in several of the British Aerospace and Airbus sites across the country and also in Europe on Aircraft Aeroelasticity and Loads, along with other short course on Experimental and Analytical Modal Analysis. 


  • Aeroelasticity
  • Loads
  • Structural Dynamics
  • Optimisation
  • adaptive structures
  • flight flutter testing
  • aircraft design.

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system


Professor Cooper currently teaches 1 courses:

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