Prof. Jennifer Palmer
Position: Associate Dean, Aerospace Engineering and Aviation
College / Portfolio: STEM College
School / Department: STEM|School of Engineering
Campus: Bundoora East
Prof Jennifer Palmer has a keen interest in research on autonomous-system teaming and swarming, learning and teaching in the Aerospace Engineering & Aviation Discipline, and industry collaboration.
In mid-2022, Jennifer Palmer was appointed Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Associate Dean of Aerospace Engineering and Aviation at RMIT in Melbourne, Australia. Previously, she was the Director – Technology Program at the Trusted Autonomous Systems (TAS) Defence Cooperative Research Centre, where she oversaw industry-led R&D projects supporting the Australia Defence Force in the land domain that were conducted in collaboration with academic institutions and government partners at the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG). Prior to that, she spent 13 years (2007–2020) working in the field of aerial autonomy and related technologies at DSTG. Prof Palmer’s research focussed on, amongst other things, hybrid power for small, unmanned aircraft, flapping flight, and autonomous systems for operations in complex, congested, and contested urban environments. She collaborated with a wide variety of national and international experts in autonomous-systems technologies and published in journals ranked in the top quartile (Q1, representing the 75th percentile and above) of all journals covering the fields of Aerospace, Mechanical, Energy, and Safety Engineering, as well as Computer Science. In her most recent role at DSTG (2020–2021), Jennifer oversaw its innovation programs and promoted innovation culture and collaboration across the Department of Defence.
Jennifer earned her PhD at Stanford University, California (USA), with a thesis on the application of laser-based diagnostics (a technique known as planar laser-induced fluorescence imaging) in supersonic and hypersonic flowfields. Her project, supported by a scholarship from the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research, included the adaptation of a shock tube into a shock-tunnel facility, the use of multiple laser, optical, and camera systems, and numerical prediction of supersonic free-jet flowfields in chemical and/or thermal non-equilibrium for comparison with experimental results. Prior to her PhD studies, Jennifer earned a Master of Science degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and, concurrently, a Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering at the University of Virginia (USA). She published widely during her studies, co-authoring seven articles in Q1-ranked journals focussed on Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering as well as Physics and Astronomy (Atomic and Molecular Physics and Optics), along with 14 peer-reviewed papers at conferences held by premiere aerospace organisations, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and NASA.