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George E. Piper, Ph.D., P.E.
George E. Piper, Ph.D., P.E.

Professor and Chair

Photo of George E. Piper, Ph.D., P.E.


Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering, 1990
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, 1986
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, 1984 (Honors)
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA



Dr. Piper is a Professor of Systems Engineering and the Chair of the Weapons, Robotics and Control Engineering Department at the U. S. Naval Academy.  He teaches courses in robotics, automatic control systems, and mechatronics.  Along with teaching, Dr. Piper conducts cooperative research with the Naval Research Laboratory and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in the areas of unmanned aerial vehicles, robotic aircraft, and space vehicle dynamics and control.  He is a licensed Professional Engineer.  In 2003 Dr. Piper received the Naval Academy’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Engineering.


United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD

  • Development of unmanned aerial vehicles, 2002-Present.
  • Control strategies for spacecraft formation maneuvers, 2003.
  •  Active noise control in rotating machinery using magnetic bearings, 1994-2003.

Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC

  • Flight control development for novel micro air vehicle configurations, 2003 - Present
  • Supported the development of NRL’s robotic spacecraft motion simulator, 1999

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Green Belt, MD

  • Investigated the impact of cross-link delays on spacecraft formation control, 2002.
  • Investigated control strategies for the Disturbance Reduction System (DRS) of the LASER Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA), 2001
  • Supported the Hubble Space Telescope Zero-Gyro Sun Point Control Mode, 2000
  • Stability analysis for the Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP), 2000

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Annapolis, MD

  • Supported the development of quiet shipboard machinery utilizing electronic controls, 1994-1998.
  • Active noise control in rotating machinery using magnetic bearings, 1994-1998.

Martin Marietta Astro Space, East Windsor, NJ

  • Investigated variable structure control of spacecraft attitude dynamics, 1993.
  • Designed a novel reaction jet control system, 1992.

Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

  • Investigated complex nonlinear behavior of a spacecraft attitude control system involving multiple limit cycles and strange attractors, 1986-1990.
  • Developed an algorithm that identifies Hopf bifurcation conditions in the frequency‑domain, 1986-1990.
  • Studied parametric instabilities in electric power networks associated with Hopf bifurcations, 1986-1990.


ES403 Engineering Design Methods
ES304 Advanced Control Systems
ES413 Digital Control Systems
ES450 Intro to Robotics
ES451 Mobile Robotics
ES452 Advanced Topics in Robotics

Selected Publications

Piper, G.E., and Watkins, J.M., “Investigating the Effects of Cross-Link Delays on Spacecraft Formation Control”, The Journal of the Astronautical Sciences, vol. 53, no. 1, January-March 2006.

Piper, G.E., Watkins, J.M., Thorp III, O.G., “Active Control of Axial-Flow Fan Noise Using Magnetic Bearings”, Journal of Vibration and Control, vol 11, no. 9, pp. 1221-1232, September 2005.

Kellogg, J., Foch, R., Kahn, A., Baur, M., Srull, Cylinder, D., and Piper, G., “Design and Development of the Samara Stop-Rotor Hybrid Micro Air Vehicle”, Proceedings of the 20th Bristol International UAV Systems Conference, Bristol, United Kingdom, 2005.

Piper, G.E., Watkins, J.M., Leitner, J.A., and Markley, F.L., “On the Control Design of the Disturbance Reduction System for the LISA Mission”, Proceedings of the AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, Monterey, CA, 2002