Derek Paley named Maryland Robotics Center director

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Clark School of Engineering Dean Darryll Pines has named Professor Derek Paley (AE/ISR) the sixth director of the Maryland Robotics Center, effective July 1, 2019. The text of the dean's statement is as follows:

"I am pleased to announce that I have appointed Professor Derek Paley as the director of the Maryland Robotics Center. He succeeds Professor Miao Yu, who has served as the center’s director since July 2017.

Dr. Paley is the Willis H. Young Jr. Professor of Aerospace Engineering Education in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and the Institute for Systems Research (ISR) at the University of Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering. He is the founding director of the Collective Dynamics and Control Laboratory, the Autonomous Micro Air Vehicle Team, and the FIRE Autonomous Unmanned Systems Stream. 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, and the Brain and Behavior Initiative. Dr. Paley received his B.S. degree in applied physics from Yale University in 1997 and his 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 has authored more than 130 peer-reviewed publications, including one textbook: Engineering Dynamics: A Comprehensive Introduction (Princeton University Press, 2011).

As you know, the Maryland Robotics Center is an interdisciplinary research center housed in ISR within the Clark School. The center’s mission is to advance robotic systems, underlying component technologies, and applications of robotics through research and educational programs that are interdisciplinary in nature and based on a systems approach. The center's research activities include all aspects of robotics including development of component technologies (e.g., sensors, actuators, structures, and communication), novel robotic platforms, and intelligence and autonomy for robotic systems. Research projects in the center are supported by the major federal funding agencies including NSF, ARO, ARL, ONR, AFOSR, NIH, DARPA, NASA, and NIST.

The center is now nine years old and has gained national and international visibility for the University of Maryland in both research and education. During Dr. Yu’s tenure as director, the center's Professional Master of Engineering and graduate certificate program in robotics more than tripled in size and have become among the fastest growing programs in the college. Under Dr. Yu's leadership, the Robotics Realization Lab has developed into a multi-user research and educational lab providing access to state-of-the-art equipment for students and researchers. In addition, the University of Maryland is a member of $253 million federal Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Institute for the use of collaborative robotics in manufacturing environment. Finally, Dr. Yu has overseen the robotics laboratories that will be housed inside of the Brendan Iribe Computer Science and Engineering Building, and the plans for new robotic laboratories inside of the IDEA Factory.

I have no doubt that under Dr. Paley's leadership, the center and its influence will continue to grow into exciting new areas such as autonomy, artificial intelligence and machine learning, modeling and simulation, novel sensors and devices, and augmented and virtual reality. 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, and spatial modeling of biological groups. 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. Dr. 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.

Thank you, Dr. Yu, for guiding the center over the past 24 months. Congratulations, Dr. Paley! We know you will serve the Clark School with distinction in this new role."


Published June 25, 2019