Skip to main content
Professor Alicia Kim

Professor Alicia Kim


Available for postgraduate supervision


Structural and topology optimization, multidisciplinary design optimization, multiscale and multiphysics optimization of structures and materials, optimization with uncertainties, aerospace structures, computational mechanics.

Alicia's research is primarily focused on topology optimization, in particular level set based method. She and her M2DO lab researchers are developing level set topology optimization methods for multiscale and multiphysics problems leading to optimum multifunctional structures. Today's engineering structures are designed to carry out multiple functionalities and structural optimizations provide a common design platform under multiphyiscs considerations. She develops and applies optimization methods for challenging problems involving issues such as large-scale design variables, global optimization, nonlinearity, complex coupling of physics and high computational cost. She works closely with multidisciplinary researchers at the interface of engineering, computer science and applied mathematics and strives to find simple and powerful solutions for engineers. One focus area of Alicia’s current research activities is in coupled multiscale topology optimization for integrated material-structural systems. She developed a integrated framework that coupled two scales via homogenization enabling the macroscopic and the microscopic material optimization simultaneously. This paves the way for a new paradigm of tailoring material properties specific to the functional requirements of the application usually defined at the macroscopic scale.


Dr H Alicia Kim is a Professor in Structural and Material Optimization in the School of Engineering of  Cardiff University and also in the Structural Engineering Department of the University of California San Diego. Her interests are in level set topology optimization, multiscale and multiphysics optimization, modeling and optimization of composite materials and multifunctional structures. She has published nearly 200 journal and conference papers in these fields including award winning papers at the AIAA conferences and World Congresses on Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization. She is a Review Editor for the Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization journal.

Honours and awards

  • ISSMO/Springer Prize for Best Paper in World Congress in Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, 2013
  • Collier Research HyperSizer/AIAA Structures Best Paper Award, AIAA Structures Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference, 2013
  • Royal Academy of Engineering Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, 2000
  • Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellowship Award, 2000

Professional memberships

  • Member of the International Society for Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization (ISSMO).
  • Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

Academic positions

  • 2017 - present: Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK, Professor, School of Engineering.
  • 2017 - present: University of California, San Diego, USA, Professor, Structural Engineering Department.
  • 2015 - 2017: University of California, San Diego, USA, Associate Professor, Structural Engineering Department.
  • 2015 - 2017: Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK, Senior Research Fellow, School of Engineering.
  • 2001 - 2015: University of Bath, Bath, UK, Reader/Senior Lecturer/Lecturer, Mechanical Engineering.











Engineering fellowships for growth: Materials by design for impact in aerospace engineeringKim AEPSRC94606202/10/2015 - 01/07/2019

Supervised Students and Postdocs


Postdoc                               Renato Picelli                                     Current                                         PhD

Postdoc                               Scott Townsend                                  Current                                         PhD

Postdoc                               Xiao-Yi Zhou                                       Current                                         PhD

Phd candidate                     Andreas Neofytou                               Current                                          MSc.


Past projects