UMass Boston


Rafael Valotta Rodrigues

Assistant Professor


I am the PI of the "Wind Energy Lab" at UMass Boston, which is an industry-oriented multidisciplinary research group. My mission is to leverage the next generation of wind energy systems. In my research, I focus on wind farms flow physics across multi-fidelities, design, and multidisciplinary optimization. Before joining UMass Boston, I spent 3 years working as Researcher in the Systems Engineering and Optimization, Wind and Energy Systems Department, Technical University of Denmark (DTU). During that time, I had the opportunity to work in multiple R&D in collaboration with wind energy companies that are leaders worldwide. Additionally, I have a Postdoctoral in Mechanical Engineering at Syracuse University.

I complete my academic background with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, a R1 university in Denver, Colorado (USA). Before than that, I did my undergrad in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Campinas, which is the top-2 among all Brazilian universities and the top-1 South American research institution. At the same university, I did an industrial Master in Agricultural Engineering, focusing on deploying and simulating a small hybrid solar-wind power system at the University of Campinas.

Area of Expertise


  • Multidisciplinary Optimization 
  • Wind Farms Wakes: Numerical Modeling 
  • AI for Wind Energy
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • Complex Fluid Systems
  • Cavitation in Biofluids


  • PhD in Mechanical Engineering (University of Denver)
  • MSc in Agricultural Engineering (University of Campinas)
  • Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering (University of Campinas)

Professional Publications & Contributions

  • Valotta Rodrigues, R., Pedersen, M. M., Schøler, J. P., Quick, J., & Réthoré, P. E. (2024). Speeding up large-wind-farm layout optimization using gradients, parallelization, and a heuristic algorithm for the initial layout. Wind Energy Science9(2), 321-341.
  • Risco, J. C., Rodrigues, R. V., Friis-Møller, M., Quick, J., Pedersen, M. M., & Réthoré, P. E. (2024). Gradient-based wind farm layout optimization with inclusion and exclusion zones. Wind Energy Science9(3), 585-600.
  • Quick, J., Rethore, P. E., Pedersen, M. M., Rodrigues, R. V., & Friis-Moller, M. (2023). Stochastic gradient descent for wind farm optimization. Wind Energy Science8(8), 1235-1250.
  • Ciavarra, A. W., Rodrigues, R. V., Dykes, K., & Réthoré, P. E. (2022, May). Wind farm optimization with multiple hub heights using gradient-based methods. In Journal of Physics: Conference Series (Vol. 2265, No. 2, p. 022012). IOP Publishing.
  • Rodrigues, R. V., Friis-Møller, M., Dykes, K., Pollini, N., & Jensen, M. (2022, May). A surrogate model of offshore wind farm annual energy production to support financial evaluation. In Journal of Physics: Conference Series (Vol. 2265, No. 2, p. 022003). IOP Publishing.
  • Valotta Rodrigues, R., Puryear, M., Sederstrom, D., & Lengsfeld, C. S. (2019). Parameters influencing cavitation within vials subjected to drop shock. Scientific Reports9(1), 19210.
  • Rodrigues, R. V., & Lengsfeld, C. (2019). Development of a computational system to improve wind farm layout, Part I: Model validation and near wake analysis. Energies12(5), 940.
  • Rodrigues, R. V., & Lengsfeld, C. (2019). Development of a computational system to improve wind farm layout, part ii: Wind turbine wakes interaction. Energies12(7), 1328.

Additional Information