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 Collective Dynamics and Control Laboratory 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, and the Applied Mathematics & Statistics, and Scientific Computation Program. 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 received the National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2010, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2012, the E. Robert Kent Teaching Award for Junior Faculty in 2014, and is co-author of Engineering Dynamics: A Comprehensive Introduction (Princeton University Press, 2011). Paley was a 2013–2014 Sabbatical Fellow at the Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research at the Naval Research Laboratory. He teaches introductory engineering 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, and spatial modeling of biological groups. His research is based on support by the U.S. Army, the Office of Naval Research, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the National Science Foundation. Paley is an Associate Fellow of AIAA and a Senior Member of IEEE. He is Associate Editor of the AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Control of Network Systems, and a member of the IEEE Control Systems Society Aerospace Controls Technical Committee.


  • PhD
    Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, 2007
  • BS
    Applied Physics, Yale University, 1997
Research Interests
Nonlinear Control and Dynamics
Mobile Sensor Networks
Dr. Derek Paley
3150 Martin Hall
Neuroscience and Cognitive Science
dpaley [at]
Office Hours
By appointment