Faculty member

 rvc Raghvendra V. Cowlagi is an Associate Professor in the Aerospace Engineering Department at WPI. Previously, he obtained a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech in 2011 (advisor: P. Tsiotras); worked as a postdoctoral researcher at MIT (sponsor: E. Frazzoli); and worked as a researcher at Aurora Flight Sciences Corp., Cambridge, MA. He is a recipient of the 2016 AFOSR Young Investigator award, the 2017 Sigma Xi Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, and the Student Best Paper award at the 2009 American Control Conference. He serves as Associate Editor on the IEEE Control Systems Society Conference Editorial Board and is a member of the AIAA Guidance, Navigation, & Control Technical Committee.

Profile; CV

Current Graduate Students


Chase St. Laurent is a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering. He obtained his B.S. in Robotics and Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2017. His research focuses on sensor network configuration for information theoretic path planning which optimizes the trade-off in measurement quality and quantity. He applies machine learning for field estimation and fusion and additionally studies unsupervised learning for qualitative sensor configuration. His research further explores situations in which data fusion is required from heterogeneous sensors.

Planned graduation: May 2022

Former Graduate Students

 jfang Jie Fang completed her Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering in June 2020. Previously she obtained her M.S. degree from University of Florida and B.S. degree from Shandong University. Her doctoral research addresses path planning and task allocation for multiple autonomous vehicles system.

Current whereabouts: Mathworks Inc., Natick MA

 bsc Benjamin Cooper completed his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering in May 2019. Before coming to WPI he obtained his B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Ben’s doctoral research focuses on the intersection of path planning and estimation using a network of mobile sensors, deemed interactive planning and sensing. He also explores the consequences of time dependent path planning on algorithmic complexity. He was awarded first prize in WPI’s 2017 GRIE poster competition in the Engineering category.

Current whereabouts: BAE Systems, Woburn MA

 rdu Ruixiang Du completed his M.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering in May 2019. He received a bachelor’s degree in Automation from North China Electric Power University in 2011 and a master’s degree in Robotics Engineering from WPI in 2013.  Ruixiang has general interests in robotics and in real-time and embedded systems. His current research focus is on the motion planning of autonomous mobile robots in dynamic and cluttered environments.

Current whereabouts: Weston Robot, Singapore

Personal website

 zetian Zetian Zhang completed his Ph.D. degree in Aerospace Engineering in May 2019. He received two B.S. degrees in Energy and Thermal Engineering and in Computer Science at University of Shanghai for Science and Technology in 2011. In 2013, he graduated from WPI with an M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering. Now his research addresses optimal motion planning algorithms for satisfying linear temporal logic specifications. He is interested in integrating tools from artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms with control algorithms to enable autonomous vehicles to achieve complex tasks.

Current whereabouts: Waymo LLC, Mountain View CA

Personal website

Undergraduate students

Undergraduate students at WPI participate in research in two ways: (1) Major Qualifying Projects (MQPs), which are senior-level capstone design projects advised by faculty members, and (2) Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF), which fund selected students to work with faculty advisers during summer.

Former MQP students

Students MQP Title Year
Benjamin English, Anthony Gosselin, Jonathan Lazo, Trevor Shrady Multi-point Autonomous Aerial Delivery Vehicle

Sponsored by Army CCDC Soldier Center, Natick MA

Akul Agarwal, Antonio Calcagni, Nicolas Hesel, Martin Runquist Low-cost Quadrotor MAV Sensing Teams 2021-22
Terrance Cooper, Thierry de Crespigny, Scott D’Attilio, Rebecca Debski, Christopher Ferrari, Kiernan Joyce, William Schwend, Mackenzie Warren Long-Range Precision Aerial Delivery System

Sponsored by Army CCDC Soldier Center, Natick MA

Duncan Driscoll, Brian Ferrarotti, Jason Karlin, Rushab Patil Quad-plane Design for Autonomous Cargo Delivery


Cameron Collins, Josue Contreras Albuja, Neel Dhanaraj, Hannan Liang, Trevor A. Lizzo, Caleb Wagner 3D Swarm Construction

Co-advised with Prof. Carlo Pinciroli and Gregory Lewin

Quintin Barker, Troy Bergeron, Jacob Goldsberry, Romelle Jack, Benjamin Pasculano, Bailey Waterman, Tyler Weiss, Zachary Zolotarevsky Vertical Take-off and Landing Autonomous Aircraft Design

Co-advised with Prof. David Olinger

Diana Celaj, Heather Cummings, Nicholas Cunha, Adam Frewin, Zachary Hearl, Nicholas Manos, Michael Oswald, Amelia Wilson Design of an MAV for the 2019 SAE Aero Design Competition

Co-advised with Prof. David Olinger

Ryan Capozzi, Emily Chretien, Shintaro Clanton, Elio Daci, Timothy Jones, Andrew Libby, Stephen Peccerillo, Blake Rice, John Russell, Kamyar Sajjadi, Clifford Smith, Nabeel Tokatli SAE Aircraft Design Competition

Co-advised with Prof. David Olinger

Roger Aiuidi, Augustine Kelty, Maria Sierra Rossi, Mary Vierling, Rose Whittle, Thomas Stilwell Interactive Planning and Sensing (4) 2017-18
Nicholas Green, Jonathan Griffin, Christopher Mastrangelo, Keith Rockwood, Aaron Vien Coordinated Quadrotor Unmanned
Aerial Vehicles
Zachary Edelman, Victor Levorse, Brendan Sullivan, Zachary Wingerter Classroom Experiment in
Longitudinal Stability and ControlCo-advised with Prof. David Olinger
Jonathan Blythe, Krzysztof Borowicz, Alyssa Hollander Autonomous Quadrotor Navigation
and Guidance (3)
Binxin Liu, David Moore, Dylan Shields Heterogeneous Network of
Autonomous VehiclesCo-advised with Prof. Michael Demetriou
Joseph Sperry, Dusty Cyr, Radu Morar Active Control for Helicopter Sling Load Stabilization (2)

Co-advised with Prof. David Olinger

James Hitchen, Peter Guarino,Wesley Morawiec Passive Control for Helicopter Sling
Load StabilizationCo-advised with Prof. David Olinger
Sam Friedman, Cy Ketchum, Kevin Hancock Autonomy Package for Unmanned
Aerial Vehicles (1)
Travis Austin, Gabriel Diaz, Zhaolong Li Helicopter Landing Platform

Co-advised with Prof. Michael Demetriou


(4) Aerospace Engineering MQP Honorable Mention, 2017-18.

(3) Winner of 2nd prize, Team Category, 2016 AIAA Region 1 Student Conference, April 22-23, Worcester, MA.

(2) Winner of the Provost MQP Award in Aerospace Engineering, 2014-15. This MQP resulted in a conference paper
published and presented at the AIAA SciTech 2016 conference, San Diego, CA.

(1) Winner of the Aerospace Engineering MQP award, 2014-15.

Former SURF students

  • Jonathan Griffin, 2016
  • Joseph Sperry, 2014

The combined work of these two SURF students resulted in a journal article published in the Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics.