Faculty Directory

Paley, Derek A.

Paley, Derek A.

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

Derek A. Paley is Director of the Maryland Robotics Center and Willis H. Young Jr. Professor of Aerospace Engineering Education in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and the Institute for Systems Research at the University of Maryland. He is the founding director of the UMD Collective Dynamics and Control Laboratory and the UMD Autonomous Micro Air Vehicle Team. Paley is an Affiliate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and a member of the Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center, the Maryland Robotics Center, the Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, the Burgers Program for Fluid Dynamics, the Applied Mathematics & Statistics, and Scientific Computation Program, the Brain and Behavior Initiative, and the Maryland Transportation Institute. Paley received the B.S. degree in Applied Physics from Yale University in 1997 and the Ph.D. degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University in 2007. He is the recipient of the Yale University Henry Prentiss Becton Prize for Excellence in Engineering and Applied Science in 1997, the Princeton University Harold W. Dodds Honorific Fellowship in 2006, the National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2010, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2012, the University of Maryland E. Robert Kent Teaching Award for Junior Faculty in 2014, and the AIAA National Capital Section Engineer of the Year in 2015. Paley was a Fellow in the 2013–2014 Office of Naval Research Sabbatical Fellowship Program, a Fellow in the 2019–2020 UMD ADVANCE Leadership Fellows Program, and has been selected as a 2020-2021 UMD Distinguished Scholar-Teacher. Paley has authored more than 140 peer-reviewed publications including one textbook: Engineering Dynamics (Princeton University Press, 2011). He teaches introductory dynamics, advanced dynamics, aircraft flight dynamics and control, and nonlinear control. Paley’s research interests are in the area of dynamics and control, including cooperative control of autonomous vehicles, adaptive sampling with mobile networks, spatial modeling of biological groups, and bioinspired robotics. His research is based on support by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Army Research Office, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research. Paley is Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He serves as Associate Editor of AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics and IEEE Control Systems Magazine.

  • Dynamics, estimation, and control: Cooperative control of autonomous vehicles
  • Mobile sensor networks: Adaptive sampling of spatiotemporal processes
  • Biocomplexity and bioinspiration: Quantitative modeling of animal groups and behavior

UMD Student Team Advances in UAS Competition

High endurance design could be a boon for emergency responders.

Engineering Robotic Starfish

Echinoderm-inspired robots could perform many difficult, dangerous tasks.

UMD Student Wins First Place in AIAA Region I Student Conference Paper Competition

Aerospace engineering senior Charles Flanagan takes first place in Undergraduate Category.

Two Engineers Among 2020-2021 Distinguished Scholar-Teachers

Professors Thomas Murphy and Derek Paley have been selected by the University of Maryland as Distinguished Scholar-Teachers.

UMD names Derek Paley as a 2020–2021 Distinguished Scholar-Teacher

The program recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding scholarly achievement along with equally outstanding accomplishments as teachers.

Justin Lidard Receives 2020 Outstanding ASPIRE Student Research Award

Award recognizes the most outstanding performance on a semester-long ASPIRE engineering research project during the past year.

Congratulations to the 2020 Aerospace Engineering Honors Class

Students complete final presentations to earn “Honors Citation.”

Two Clark School teams take top spots in VFS micro air vehicle competition

The electric-powered, vertical take-off and landing, micro air vehicle competition encourages student interest in autonomous/unmanned aircraft technology and small air vehicle design and fabrication.

Nonlinear control design for a school of robotic fish

New paper presents control laws that stabilize planar formations of mobile agents.

A cooperative control algorithm for robotic search and rescue

The algorithm can guide a team of autonomous quadrotors to simultaneously build an occupancy graph of an uncertain environment and detect a single target moving on this graph.

Aerodynamic interaction model improves quadrotor flight stability in gusty winds

Work by Paley, Craig and Yeo equips quadrotors with custom flow probes that measure wind velocity.

UMD's Paley Wins Grant for Micromobility Study

Quantitative research will help better assess risks and benefits, while providing a foundation for planning.

Student autonomous drone racing team takes 2nd place at IROS

'TurboTerps' flew their drone autonomously through a set of gates, completing 14 runs in 4:42.

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