Faculty Directory

Paley, Derek A.

Paley, Derek A.

Willis H. Young Jr. Professor of Aerospace Engineering Education
Director, Maryland Robotics Center
Director, Collective Dynamics and Control Laboratory
Aerospace Engineering
The Institute for Systems Research
Electrical and Computer Engineering
3150 Glenn L. Martin Hall


  • B.S., Yale University, 1997 (Applied Physics)
  • Ph.D., Princeton University, 2007 (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering)


  • Received NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program Award, 2010
  • Elected AIAA Associate Fellow (highest grade below fellow), 2010
  • Elected IEEE Senior Member (highest grade below fellow), 2011
  • Selected as Fellow in the 2013-2014 Office of Naval Research Sabbatical Leave Program
  • Received Willis H. Young Jr. Faculty Fellowship, Department of Aerospace Engineering, 2013-2016
  • Received the 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)
  • E. Robert Kent Teaching Award for Junior Faculty, Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland, 2014
  • Engineer of the Year, AIAA National Capital Section, 2015


  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA Associate Fellow)
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE Senior Member)
  • Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM Member)

Professional Service

  • Member, AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Technical Committee, 2008-2013
  • Member, IEEE Control Systems Society, Aerospace Controls Technical Committee, 2013-present
  • Associate Editor, AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
  • Associate Editor, American Control Conference, 2013 & 2014
  • Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Control of Network Systems
  • Guest Editor, Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, Special Issue on Bioinspired Soft Robotics (to appear)

Research in nonlinear dynamics and controls, cooperative control of autonomous vehicles, adaptive sampling with mobile networks, and spatial modeling of biological groups Engineering Experience Analyst, Metron Inc., Reston, VA. Federal Division (July 1997 to October 2000) Software Engineer, Bluefin Robotics, Cambridge, MA. (October 2000 to August 2002)


"N. J. Kasdin and D. A. Paley. Engineering dynamics: A comprehensive introduction. Princeton University Press, 2011.”

Refereed Journal Articles (Since 2008)

  • L. DeVries and D. A. Paley. Wake Sensing and Estimation for Relative-Position Control of Autonomous Aircraft in Formation Flight. AIAA J. Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 2015. http://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/1.G001138.
  • L. DeVries, F. D. Lagor, H. Lei, X. Tan, and D. A. Paley. Distributed Flow Estimation and Closed-Loop Control of an Underwater Vehicle with a Multi-Modal Artificial Lateral Line. Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, 10(2):1–15, 2015. Special issue on “Hybrid and multi-modal locomotion”.
  • T. Seversonand, D.A.Paley. Distributed Multi-Target Search and Track Assignment with Consensus-Based Coordination. IEEE Sensors J., 15(2):864–875, 2014.
  • T. Severson and D. A. Paley. Optimal Sensor Coordination for Multi-Target Search and Track Assignment. IEEE Trans. Aerospace and Electronic Systems, 50(3):2313–2320, 2014.
  • D. Shishika, N. C. Manoukis, S. Butail, and D. A. Paley. Male motion coordination in anopheline mating swarms. Scientific Reports, 4(6318):1–7, 2014.
  • A. Chicoli, S. Butail, J. Lun, J. Bak-Coleman, S. Coombs, and D. A. Paley. The effects of flow on schooling Devario aequipinnatus: school structure, startle response and information transmission. J. Fish Biology, 84(5):1401–1421, 2014.
  • N. C. Manoukis, S. Butail, M. Diallo, J. M. Ribeiro, and D. A. Paley. Stereoscopic video analysis of Anopheles gambiae behavior in the field: Challenges and opportunities. Acta Tropica, 132(1):1–6, 2014.
  • N. Sydney and D. A. Paley. Multivehicle Coverage Control for Nonstationary Spatiotemporal Fields. Automatica, 50(5):1381–1390, 2014.
  • F. D. Lagor, L. DeVries, K. Waychoff, and D. A. Paley. Bio-inspired flow sensing and control: Autonomous rheotaxis using distributed pressure measurements. J. Unmanned System Technologies, 1(3):78–88, 2013.
  • J. Bak-Coleman, A. Court, D. A. Paley, and S. Coombs. The spatiotemporal dynamics of rheotactic behavior depends on flow speed and available sensory information. J. Exp. Biology, 216:4011–4024, 2013.
  • S. Butail, N. Manoukis, M. Diallo, J. M. Ribeiro, and D. A. Paley. The dance of male Anopheles gambiae in wild mating swarms. J. Medical Entomology, 50(3):552–559, 2013.
  • C. Peterson and D. A. Paley. Distributed estimation for motion coordination in an unknown spatially varying flowfield. AIAA J. Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 36(3):894–898, 2013.
  • S. Napora and D. A. Paley. Observer-based feedback control for stabilization of collective motion. IEEE Trans. Control Systems Technology, 21(5):1846–1857, 2013.
  • S. Sherman, D. A. Paley, and N. M. Wereley. Parallel simulation of transient magnetorheological direct shear flows using millions of particles. IEEE Trans. Magnetics, 48(11):3517–3520, 2012.
  • L. DeVries, S. J. Majumdar, and D. A. Paley. Observability-based optimization of coordinated sampling trajectories for recursive estimation of a strong, spatially varying flowfield. J. Intelligent and Robotic Systems, 67(3-4):527–544, 2012.
  • S. Butail, N. Manoukis, M. Diallo, J. M. Ribeiro, T. Lehmann, and D. A. Paley. Reconstructing the flight kinematics of swarming and mating in wild mosquitoes. J. Royal Society Interface, 9(75):2624–2638, 2012.
  • L. DeVries and D. A. Paley. Multivehicle control in a strong flowfield with application to hurricane sampling. AIAA J. Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 35(3):794–806, 2012.
  • S. Butail and D. A. Paley. Three-dimensional reconstruction of the fast-start swimming kinematics of densely schooling fish. J. Royal Society Interface, 9(66):77–88, 2012.
  • R. Mellish, S. Napora, and D. A. Paley. Backstepping control design for motion coordination of self-propelled vehicles in a flowfield. Int. J. Robust and Nonlinear Control, 21(12):1452–1466, 2011.
  • C. Peterson and D. A. Paley. Multivehicle coordination in an estimated time-varying flowfield. AIAA J. Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 34(1):177–191, 2011.
  • S. Hernandez and D. A. Paley. Three-dimensional motion coordination in a spatiotemporal flowfield. IEEE Trans. Automatic Control, 55(12):2805–2810, 2010.
  • L. Techy, D. A. Paley, and C. A. Woolsey. Unmanned aerial vehicle coordination on closed convex paths in wind. AIAA J. Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 33(6):1946–1951, 2010.
  • N. E. Leonard, D. A. Paley, R. E. Davis, D. M. Fratantoni, F. Lekien, and F. Zhang. Coordinated control of an underwater glider fleet: An adaptive ocean sampling field experiment in Monterey Bay. J. Field Robotics, 27(6):718–740, 2010.
  • D. A. Paley. Stabilization of Collective Motion on a Sphere. Automatica, 45(1):212–216, 2009.
  • D. A. Paley, F. Zhang, and N. E. Leonard. Cooperative control for ocean sampling: The Glider Coordinated Control System. IEEE Trans. Control Systems Technology, 16(4):735–744, 2008.
  • R. Sepulchre, D. A. Paley, and N. E. Leonard. Stabilization of planar collective motion with limited communication. IEEE Trans. Automatic Control, 53(3):706–719, 2008.
  • D. A. Paley, N. E. Leonard, and R. Sepulchre. Stabilization of symmetric formations to motion around convex loops. Systems and Control Letters, 57(3):209–215, 2008.

Clark School student teams sweep MAV competition

FIRE freshmen, AE undergrads and MEng Robotics students take first place in both categories at VFS Micro Air Vehicle Student Challenge.

Bioinspired robotics REU students present final projects

The REU was led by Hugh Bruck and Sarah Bergbreiter, along with Clark School faculty and graduate student mentors.

Inspired by Nature: Autonomous Underwater Robotics

Clark School Prof. Derek Paley wants autonomous underwater vehicles to have the same capabilities as fish.

Derek Paley interviewed for WYPR's 'On the Record'

Paley talks about how understanding the fluid movements of fish can help improve underwater vehicles.

Paley Promoted to Professor

Aerospace Engineering Associate Professor Derek Paley promoted to rank of professor.

Aerospace Engineering Student Wins NDSEG Fellowship

Senior Patrick Washington Receives National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship

Four UMD Aerospace Engineering Students Named Penton Aviation Week Network’s 20 Twenties

Free, Kumar, Ng and Weinstein recognized as tomorrow’s engineering leaders.

Paley is Principal Investigator for $2M 'SEA-STAR' grant

Researchers will create soft underwater robot appendages that mimic functionality found in sea stars; Werley is a co-PI.

Alumni Frontin and Stebbins Awarded NASA Fellowships

Two B.S. 2014 UMD aerospace engineering alums, Cory Frontin and Spencer Stebbins, receive NASA fellowships.

Synchronized swimming: How startled fish shoals effectively evade danger

Understanding response dynamics of startled fish reveals how orientation within the group effects escape chances, may offer insights into emergency response planning.

Paley Presents at NAE 2016 Frontiers of Engineering Symposium

Three Clark School faculty attend NAE 2016 Frontiers of Engineering Symposium.

Shishika and Petro Selected for 2016 Future Faculty Program

Aerospace Engineering Ph.D. students Daigo Shishika and Elaine Petro selected for Clark School Future Faculty Program.

Aerospace Engineering Students and Alumni Receive NSF Fellowships

Students Brown and Free, and alumni Mills awarded National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.

Derek Paley to speak at 2016 US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium

NAE-sponsored event brings together emerging engineering leaders.

Barkley and Hersey Receive L-3 Graduate Scholarships

Aerospace Engineering graduate students Brett Barkley and Sean Hersey receive 2015-2016 L-3 Scholarships.

UMD Hosts Capitol Hill Panel on Autonomous Systems

Experts gathered to discuss UAVs in an event hosted by the Clark School on July 16.

New ONR grant for bio-inspired underwater sensing and control

Derek Paley is PI; alum Xiaobo Tan is one of the co-PIs.

Derek Paley is AIAA National Capital Section's Engineer of the Year

Award given for Paley's work in collective behavior in robotic and natural systems.

Paley Awarded 2014 E. Robert Kent Teaching Award for Junior Faculty

Paley to receive 2014 E. Robert Kent Teaching Award during Clark School Winter Commencement.

Aerospace Engineering Faculty Honored at University Celebration of Scholarship and Research

15 Aerospace Engineering faculty were recognized for their research and scholarly achievements.

Shrestha and DeVries Win 2014 Graduate Student Research Awards Competition

Elena Shrestha and Levi DeVries win Department of Aerospace Engineering Graduate Student Research Awards Competition.

Bergbreiter and Paley Honored at White House Ceremony

UMD researchers were honored yesterday at the White House as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

Robotic fish research profiled in Baltimore Sun

Derek Paley, Sean Humbert and alumnus Xiaobo Tan are collaborators on the project.

Aerospace Faculty Recognized at 15th Annual Research Leaders Luncheon

15 Department of Aerospace Engineering's faculty honored for successful research funding efforts.

Paley Awarded Willis H. Young Jr. Faculty Fellowship

Professor receives three-year fellowship and is named Willis H. Young Jr.  Professor of Aerospace Engineering Education.

Two Clark School Faculty Members Receive Presidential Early Career Awards

Bergbreiter and Paley honored by the White Houseas outstanding early-career scientists.

Engineering Dynamics textbook by Paley, Kasdin in use at top schools

The textbook introduces undergraduate students to engineering dynamics with an accessible, comprehensive and innovative approach.

REU in Miniature Robotics holds final project symposium

Nine projects range from wings for MAVs to vision sensors for small robots to small grasping hands.

DeVries Awarded Link Foundation Fellowship

DeVries Will Conduct Research on Bio-Inspired Unmanned Vehicles

Derek Paley is PI for new AFOSR grant

Paley will work on "Optimized Routing of Intelligent, Mobile Sensors for Dynamic, Data-Driven Sampling."

ENAE100 has Final Poster Presentations in Kim Building

ENAE100 students presented their final project posters on December 12th

Miniature Robotics REU students give final presentations

Ten undergrads from around the country give talks on their summer projects.

Derek Paley featured in new NSF research video

Video explains how unmanned aircraft could help determine hurricane strength.

AGRC is a Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence

Rotorcraft Center Garners VLRCOE Designation

Professor Derek Paley Publishes New Book!

Dr. Paley Has Co-Authored a New Textbook with Princeton Colleague

Professor Derek Paley elected as AIAA Associate Fellow

Paley Elected as AIAA Associate Fellow

Leishman, Schaler Named Goldwater Scholars

Aerospace, mechanical engineering students receive premier award for undergraduates.

Paley Wins NSF CAREER Award

Research will develop bio-inspired motion algorithms for autonomous vehicles.

Awais Raza Receives Golden Key Boeing Scholarship

Awais Raza Receives Golden Key Boeing Scholarship

Dr. Derek Paley Awarded NSF Grant

Dr. Paley Receives NSF Grant for Weather Related Research

Dr. Paley joins aerospace faculty

Dr. Derek A. Paley joins the aerospace faculty in Fall 2007

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)