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Paley, Derek A.

Derek Paley
Willis H. Young Jr. Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering Education
Director, Collective Dynamics and Control Laboratory
Department of Aerospace Engineering
3150 Glenn L. Martin Halll

Research Interests 

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)


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

Selected Publications 


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

Refereed Journal Articles (Since 2008)

  1. 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.
  2. 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”.
  3. T. Seversonand, D.A.Paley. Distributed Multi-Target Search and Track Assignment with Consensus-Based Coordination. IEEE Sensors J., 15(2):864–875, 2014.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. N. Sydney and D. A. Paley. Multivehicle Coverage Control for Nonstationary Spatiotemporal Fields. Automatica, 50(5):1381–1390, 2014.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. S. Hernandez and D. A. Paley. Three-dimensional motion coordination in a spatiotemporal flowfield. IEEE Trans. Automatic Control, 55(12):2805–2810, 2010.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. D. A. Paley. Stabilization of Collective Motion on a Sphere. Automatica, 45(1):212–216, 2009.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.

Honors and Awards 

  • 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

Professional Memberships 

  • 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)

Related News 

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. January 6, 2014

Professor Derek Paley Publishes New Book!

Dr. Paley Has Co-Authored a New Textbook with Princeton Colleague March 4, 2011

Professor Derek Paley elected as AIAA Associate Fellow

Paley Elected as AIAA Associate Fellow October 20, 2010

Dr. Paley joins aerospace faculty

Dr. Derek A. Paley joins the aerospace faculty in Fall 2007 August 21, 2007