Dr. Anil V. Rao

University Term Professor
Address Office MAE-A 314 Lab MAE-A 304 Phone: (352) 392-5523 Website:


Professor Rao earned his Ph.D. in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University, his M.S.E. in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan, and his B.S. in mechanical engineering and A.B. in mathematics from Cornell University.  Professor Rao’s research interests lie in the area of control and optimization of space and air vehicles and combine the development of new computational methods for optimal control with novel applications including space mission planning, performance optimization of atmospheric flight vehicles, and other vehicular control problems (for example, high performance ground and underwater vehicles).  He has pioneered the development of the latest state-of-the-art discretization methods for optimal control that has led to the MATLAB software program GPOPS-II which is being used worldwide in government, academia, and industry in all of the aforementioned application areas.   He has won numerous teaching awards in his career including MAE department teacher of the year.  Professor Rao is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and is also a member of the American Astronautical Society and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.


Ph.D., 1996, Princeton University,M.A., 1992, Princeton University,M.S.E., 1989, University of Michigan,A.B., 1988, Cornell University,B.S, 1988, Cornell University

Professional Memberships and Fellowships

American Astronautical Society, Fellow 2021

Teaching Interests

Dynamics, optimal control, orbital mechanics, and vibrations.

Research Interests

Optimal space mission design and control, atmospheric flight performance optimization and control, computational methods for optimal control, guidance and control of aerospace vehicles, performance optimization of ground and underwater vehicles.