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Dr. Andrea L'Afflitto

Associate Professor
Andrea L' Afflito
123 Durham Hall
(MC 0118)
1145 Perry Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060

Personal website       

Research Areas

Main Area:  Manufacturing Engineering

  • Autonomous robots and unmanned systems
  • Control theory
  • Lightweight robotics


  • B.S. Aerospace Engineering, University of Napoli 'Federico II', September 2004
  • M.S. Aerospace Engineering, University of Napoli 'Federico II', September 2006
  • M.S. Mathematics, Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech, May 2011
  • Ph.D. Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, April 2015

Professional History

Before joining the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech, Dr. L'Afflitto served as an assistant professor at the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma from 2015 to 2019. His research in autonomy, aerial robotics, and control theory is being supported by multiple funding agencies, including the Army Research Lab (ARL), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Office of Naval Research (ONR). Since 2017, Dr. L'Afflitto has also been serving as a Summer Faculty Fellow at the Army Research Lab, where he has been investigating the use of autonomous and unmanned aerial robots to support of ground troops. From 2007 to 2008, Dr. L'Afflitto worked as a systems and operations engineer for the International Space Station at the German Aerospace Agency and also worked as an intern at the FermiLab, the Italian Space Agency, and Thales Alenia Space. Dr. L'Afflitto's publication record includes 1 monograph, 2 book chapters, and more than 40 peer reviewed journal and conference papers.

Awards and Honors

  • Recipient of the DARPA Young Faculty Award, 2018
  • Domenica Rea D'Onofrio Scholarship, 2011-2015
  • Wolfe Fellowship, 2012. Pratt Fellowship, 2009
  • Top 5% reviewer for IET Control Theory and Applications, 2016

Selected Publications

  • A. L'Afflitto. A Mathematical Perspective on Flight Dynamics and Control, Springer, London, UK.
  • A. L'Afflitto. Barrier Lyapunov Functions and Constrained Model Reference Adaptive Control, IEEE Control Systems Letters - Vol. 2, 3, May 2018, pp. 441-446
  • A. L'Afflitto, R. B. Anderson, and K. Mohammadi. An Introduction to Nonlinear Robust Control for Unmanned Quadrotor Aircraft, IEEE Control Systems Magazine - Vol. 38, 3, May 2018, pp. 102-121
  • A. L'Afflitto. Differential Games, Partial-State Stabilization, and Model Reference Adaptive Control, Journal of the Franklin Institute - Vol. 354, 1, Jan. 2017, pp. 456-478