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Paley, Derek

Willis H. Young Jr. Professor of Aerospace Engineering Education
Director, Collective Dynamics and Control Laboratory
3150 Glenn L. Martin Hall

Research Interests 

Nonlinear dynamics and controls, cooperative control of autonomous vehicles, autonomous underwater vehicles, and modeling of animal aggregations.



Derek A. Paley is a Professor 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, 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 and is co-author of Engineering Dynamics: A Comprehensive Introduction (Princeton University Press, 2011). Dr. Paley teaches introductory engineering dynamics, advanced dynamics, aircraft flight dynamics and control, and nonlinear control. His 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, and the National Science Foundation. Paley is an Associate Fellow of AIAA and a Senior Member of IEEE. He is an Associate Editor of the AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics and is a member of the IEEE Control Systems Society Aerospace Controls Technical Committee.

Honors and Awards 

Young Faculty awards
PECASE (Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers), 2013
NSF CAREER for Dynamics and Control of Motion Coordination for Information Transmission in Groups, 2010

Selected Publications 

Paley Engineering DynamicsEngineering Dynamics: A Comprehensive Inroduction by N. Jeremy Kasdin (Princeton University) and Derek Paley (AE/ISR) Princeton University Press, 2011

Related News 

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. May 20, 2019

Maryland Robotics Center Demonstrates Robots at Maryland Day 2019
Maryland Robotics Center Demos on Maryland Day 2019 April 29, 2019

Ghodssi gives distinguished lecture on devices for gastrointestinal health at EPFL in Switzerland
Trip also included visits to the Wyss Center and Imperial College London. March 7, 2019

University names Zhang, Goswami outstanding graduate assistants
The Outstanding Graduate Assistant Award recognizes important contributions to the university. January 8, 2019

Maryland Robotics Center launches a new postdoctoral fellowship program
The program will foster multidisciplinary collaborations among Maryland Robotics Center faculty. September 14, 2018

Five recipients of ISR Graduate Student Travel Award announced
Eight graduate students have received funding through the award since 2017. August 24, 2018

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. August 15, 2018

Inspired by Nature: Autonomous Underwater Robotics
Clark School Prof. Derek Paley wants autonomous underwater vehicles to have the same capabilities as fish. June 21, 2018

Derek Paley interviewed for WYPR's 'On the Record'
Paley talks about how understanding the fluid movements of fish can help improve underwater vehicles. March 6, 2018

ISR faculty leading bio-inspired robotics and transportation electrification REUs
NSF's REU program provides undergraduate students with hands-on exposure to scientific research. July 17, 2017

Paley, Abshire, Martins promoted to full Professor by UMD President Wallace Loh
The faculty members' new rank will become effective on July 1. April 6, 2017

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. December 9, 2016

Khaligh wins Clark School junior faculty teaching award
Khaligh will receive the Robert E. Kent Teaching Award for Junior Faculty at winter commencement. December 1, 2016

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. November 30, 2016

Paley presents at NAE 2016 Frontiers of Engineering Symposium
Three Clark School faculty attend NAE 2016 Frontiers of Engineering Symposium. November 7, 2016

Four ISR students named to Clark School Future Faculty Fellow program
The program prepares Ph.D. students for academic careers in top-50 engineering schools. April 19, 2016

Derek Paley to speak at 2016 US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium
NAE-sponsored event brings together emerging engineering leaders. January 29, 2016

White Symposium to Examine Collective Animal Behavior and Control of Robotic Networks
November 9, 2015 October 29, 2015

Alumnus Xiaobo Tan promoted to full professor at Michigan State
Tan earned a 2002 Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland. July 13, 2015

New ONR grant for bio-inspired underwater sensing and control
Derek Paley is PI; alum Xiaobo Tan is one of the co-PIs. May 11, 2015

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. May 1, 2015

Maryland Robotics Center presents demonstrations at Maryland Day
Visitors meet bio-inspired, miniature, networked, underwater robots, and more. April 29, 2015

Six ISR Ph.D. students selected as Future Faculty Fellows
Program prepares students for academic careers in top-50 engineering schools. December 15, 2014

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. December 11, 2014

UMD President Loh hosts robotics demonstrations at University House
Maryland Robotics Center shows a variety of robotic platforms. November 16, 2014

Alum Xiaobo Tan developing robotic fish to 'stalk' real fish in the Great Lakes
The MSU professor's fish will track the movements of lake trout, walleye and lake sturgeon. September 29, 2014

Students present final projects for 2014 NSF Microrobotics REU
Research ranged from robotic skin to leg designs, inertial tail actuators, and more. August 10, 2014

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). April 16, 2014

Robotic fish research profiled in Baltimore Sun
Derek Paley, Sean Humbert and alumnus Xiaobo Tan are collaborators on the project. April 7, 2014

Aerospace Faculty Recognized at 15th Annual Research Leaders Luncheon
15 Department of Aerospace Engineering's faculty honored for successful research funding efforts. January 23, 2014

Intelligent Automation Inc. continues sponsorship of colloquia series
First colloquium on Feb. 5 features Derek Paley. January 23, 2014

Derek Paley wins PECASE Award
ISR/AE faculty member has research interests in dynamics and control. December 23, 2013

Sarah Bergbreiter wins PECASE Award
ISR/ME faculty member specializes in microrobotics. December 23, 2013

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. November 18, 2013

UAE students, Northrop Grumman engineers tour robotics laboratories
Visitors were in town for the annual AUVSI conference. August 14, 2013

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. August 14, 2013

Derek Paley is PI for new AFOSR grant
Paley will work on "Optimized Routing of Intelligent, Mobile Sensors for Dynamic, Data-Driven Sampling." March 25, 2013

Six ISR students named to Future Faculty Fellows program
Clark School program prepares students for academic careers in Top-50 engineering schools. January 18, 2013

Miniature Robotics REU students give final presentations
Ten undergrads from around the country give talks on their summer projects. August 10, 2012

Derek Paley leads 'Robots and Roaches' workshop
Event for high school students introduces concepts of neurophysiology and robotics. July 27, 2012

Five additions to faculty
ISR welcomes four new joint appointments and one new affiliate faculty member. July 13, 2012

ISR welcomes 10 REU microbotics students for the summer
Students will develop interdisciplinary research projects in 10-week program. June 4, 2012

Maryland Robotics Center featured on live TV broadcast
Robots from five research groups help promote Maryland Day activities. April 30, 2012

Derek Paley featured in new NSF research video
Video explains how unmanned aircraft could help determine hurricane strength. October 14, 2011

Synchronized Swimming for Submarines
Paley studies schooling fish to improve motion coordination in unmanned vehicle teams. May 4, 2010

Six Clark School faculty become affiliates of ISR
ISR welcomes Desai, Humbert, Jacob, Paley, Qu and Smela. April 20, 2010

Derek Paley wins NSF CAREER Award
Paley will study information transmission in biological groups. March 15, 2010