Wang, Qi

Postdoctorate researcher

Qi Wang was born in Anhui province in the east part of China. He spent near 7 years in Xi’an from China, where he received both his bachelor’s and master’s degree (with honor) from Northwestern Polytechnical University. He did his PhD study in the group of Structural Optimization and Mechanics (SOM) under the supervision of Fred van Keulen and Hans Goosen between 2012 and 2016. Since 2017, he has been working on active functional material structures as a postdoc funded by NERI.



Doctoral project: Modeling, Design and Optimization of Flapping Wings for Efficient Hovering Flight

Inspired by insect flights, flapping wing micro air vehicles (FWMAVs) keep attracting attention from the scientific community. In my doctoral project, how to design flapping wings and their kinematics for a power-efficient hovering flight was studied. To do so, a predictive quasi-steady aerodynamic model was proposed. The model allows evaluating the aerodynamic performance of flapping wings without relying on any empirical parameters. This is particularly useful for the shape and kinematic optimization of flapping wings. Combining this model with an analytical presentation of wing twist, a highly computationally efficient fluid-structure interaction (FSI) model was also proposed. This FSI model makes it possible to simulate the motion of twistable flapping wings within just a few minutes instead of days to weeks normally required by traditional FSI models. Based on these models, the wing shape, kinematics and the twist pattern were optimized in order to minimize the average power consumed for hovering. Optimal wing shapes similar to insect wings were found. Up to 33% percent of energy can be saved by using the optimal shapes we have obtained as compared to traditional wings with a straight leading edge. Meanwhile, it was also found that flapping wings of different flexibilities can maintain similar power efficiency when hovering. This provides an explanation for the diversity of wing flexibility shown in nature. In addition, an energy-efficient wing flexibility control design was presented by using electrostatic force to change the wing stiffness at the root. In short, we have made a remarkable progress towards more power-efficient flapping wing designs for hovering flight as compared to most existing designs.

Postdoc project: Active function material structure

This project aims at developing novel functional material structures which can provide satisfactory responses (typically force and displacement) when subjected to certain stimuli (i.e., electric/magnetic field, heat, moisture, etc). The challenges include the difficulty of simultaneously obtaining moderate/large force and displacement outputs while maintaining high energy-efficiency and fast responses. The research is being carried out from the aspect of designing distributed actuation system.

  • Aerodynamics & Aeroelasticity
  • Biomimetics & flapping-flight mechanics
  • Topology & shape optimization
  • Structural reliability analysis

Doctoral thesis

  • Wang, Q.(2017). Modeling, design and optimization of flapping wings for efficient hovering flight. Delft University of Technology, Doctoral thesis. ISBN 978-94-92516-57-2.

Journal papers

  • Wang, Q., Goosen, J. F. L., & van Keulen, F. (2017). An Efficient Fluid-Structure Interaction Model for Optimizing Twistable Flapping Wings. Journal of Fluids and Structures, 73, 82-99.
  • Wang, Q., Goosen, J. F. L., & van Keulen, F. (2017). Optimal pitching axis location of flapping wings for power-efficient hovering flight. Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, 12, 056001.
  • Wang, Q., Goosen, J. F. L., & van Keulen, F. (2016). A predictive quasi-steady model of aerodynamic loads on flapping wings. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 800, 688-719.

Book chapters

  • Peters, H. J., Wang, Q., Goosen, J. F. L., & van Keulen, F., 2017. Active control of the hinge of a flapping wing with electrostatic sticking to modify the passive pitching motion. In: A. L. Araujo and C. A. Mota Soares (Eds.), Smart Structures and Materials, Computational Methods in Applied Sciences 43, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

Conference papers

  • Wang, Q., Goosen, J. F. L., & van Keulen, F. (2014). Study of design parameters of flapping-wings. In International Micro Air Vehicle Conference and Flight Competition (IMAV2014). Delft, The Netherlands.
  • Wang, Q.,Goosen, J. F. L., &van Keulen, F. (2014). Optimal pitching axis of flapping wings for hovering flight. In The 4th international conference on engineering optimization (EngOpt2014). Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Wang, Q., Goosen, J. F. L., & van Keulen, F. (2013). Optimal hovering kinematics with respect to various flapping-wing shapes. In International Micro Air Vehicle Conference and Flight Competition (IMAV2013). Toulouse, France.
  • Goosen, J. F. L., Peters, H. J., Wang, Q., Tiso, P., & van Keulen, F. (2013). Resonance based flapping wing micro air vehicle. In International Micro Air Vehicle Conference and Flight Competition (IMAV2013). Toulouse, France.

Best poster prize in the Seventeenth Engineering Mechanics Symposium Event. Arnhem, the Netherlands. Oct., 2014.

Qi Wang

  • +31 (0)15 27 86842
  • Room number: G-1-150 (4A-1-26)


    Faculty 3mE

    Dep. Precision and Microsystems Engineering

    Mekelweg 2

    2628 CD DELFT

    The Netherlands


    Fax: +31 (0)15-27 82150