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
Brain and Behavior Institute
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

New Microsoft/Maryland Robotics Center partnership to enhance diversity and innovation

Microsoft Robotics and Diversity Initiative will support Ph.D. fellowships, seminars, student diversity groups and more.

Packy, Suriyarachchi, Thompson, Weerakoon, and Young are 2022-2023 MRC GRA Recipients

The MRC Graduate Assistantship Program is open to mid-career UMD Ph.D. students with Maryland Robotics Center advisors.

Maryland Engineering Graduate Programs: Top 10 Public, Four Years in a Row

Maryland Engineering earns a top spot in the 2023 U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools rankings among over 200 colleges.

MRC and MAGE Earn ARM Institute Endorsement

Organizations that earn the ARM Institute’s Endorsement pass a rigorous assessment process by proving that they provide students the skills needed for a career in manufacturing working with robotics.

ArtIAMAS cooperative agreement receives $10.3M in second-year funding

The $10.3M second-year funding is one of the largest single-year sponsored research awards for the Clark School of Engineering.

Newly-Opened SMART Building to Spur Autonomy Research

Maryland engineering will benefit from state-of-the-art labs and facilities at USMSM.

Pamela Abshire is named UMD Distinguished Scholar-Teacher

She is one of six Clark School faculty honored at the university's annual convocation.

UMD, UMBC, ARL Announce Cooperative Agreement to Accelerate AI, Autonomy in Complex Environments

The agreement leverages Maryland's national leadership in engineering, robotics, computer science, operations research, modeling and simulation, and cybersecurity.

Maryland Graduate Engineering Ranked #10 Public in the Nation

From extreme batteries to windows made from wood, Clark School’s trendsetting work ranks it among the country’s Top 10 public engineering schools for the 3rd consecutive year.

Standing with our Asian-American Community

The Clark School community stands united with our Asian, Asian-American and Pacific Islanders colleagues.