Faculty and Staff Directory

Leifur Leifsson

  • Assistant Professor

Main Office

2231 Howe Hall
Ames, IA 50011-2271
Phone: 515-294-6549


  • Ph.D. Aerospace Engineering, Virginia Tech, 2006
  • M.Sc. Mechanical Engineering, University of Iceland, 2000
  • C.Sc. Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Iceland, 1999

Interest Areas

  • Simulation-Driven Design
  • Surrogate-Based Modeling and Optimization
  • Multidisciplinary Design Optimization
  • Aerodynamic Shape Optimization


Present research involves the development and application of surrogate-based modeling and optimization techniques for computationally expensive engineering problems. Emphasis is on physics-based, multi-fidelity approaches. Aerospace engineering application problems include aerodynamic and aeroacoustic shape optimization, robust design, and fluid-structure interaction. Problems from other engineering fields are also considered, such as microwave and antenna design, and mechanical gear analysis and design.

Brief Biography

Dr. Leifsson received his undergraduate and master degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Iceland in 1999 and 2000, respectively, and a doctoral degree in Aerospace Engineering from Virginia Tech in 2006. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Iowa State University (ISU).

Prior coming to ISU, Dr. Leifsson was a faculty member of Mechanical Engineering at Reykjavik University (RU) in Iceland. He is the recipient of the RU Research Award in 2014. Dr. Leifsson previously held positions at Airbus UK Ltd. and Hafmynd ehf. (now Teledyne-Gavia ehf.). Dr. Leifsson is a senior member of the AIAA and serves on the organizing committee for the AIAA Aerodynamic Shape Optimization Discussion Group.

Selected Publications

  • L. Leifsson and S. Koziel, Simulation-Driven Aerodynamic Design Using Variable-Fidelity Models, Imperial College Press, London, UK, 2015.
  • H. Shah, S. Hosder, S. Koziel, Y. A. Tesfahunegn, and L. Leifsson, “Multifidelity robust aerodynamic design optimization under mixed uncertainty,” Aerospace Science & Technology, vol. 45, 2015, pp.17-29.
  • L. Leifsson, and S. Koziel, “Surrogate modeling and optimization using shape-preserving response prediction: A review,” Engineering Optimization, May 6, 2015, pp. 1-21.
  • L. Leifsson, A. Ko, W. Mason, J. Schetz, B. Grossman, and R. Haftka, “Multidisciplinary Design Optimization of Blended-Wing-Body Transport Aircraft with Distributed Propulsion,” Aerospace Science & Technology, vol. 25, issue 1, 2013, pp. 16-28.
  • S. Koziel, and L. Leifsson, “Surrogate-Based Aerodynamic Shape Optimization by Variable-Resolution Models,” AIAA Journal, vol. 51, no. 1, 2013, pp. 94-106.
  • S. Koziel, L. Leifsson, I. Couckuyt, and T. Dhaene, “Robust variable-fidelity optimization of microwave filters using co-kriging and trust regions,” Microwave and Optical Technology Letters, vol. 55, no. 4, 2013, pp. 765-769.
  • L. Leifsson and S. Koziel, “Multi-fidelity design optimization of transonic airfoils using physics-based surrogate modeling and shape-preserving response prediction,” Journal of Computational Science, vol. 1, no. 2, 2010, pp. 98-106.