Short Bio

Dengfeng Sun is a Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. Before joining Purdue, he was an Associate Scientist with University of California Santa Cruz at NASA Ames Research Center. He received a bachelor's degree in precision instruments and mechanology from Tsinghua University in China, a master's degree in industrial and systems engineering from the Ohio State University, and a PhD degree in civil engineering from University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Sun's research interests include distributed control and optimization: theory, algorithms, and computation; cyber-physical systems; unmanned aerial vehicle systems; air traffic control and air transportation; intelligent transportation systems.

Dr. Sun is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) and a Senior Member of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). Currently, he is an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems. Dr. Sun is a Co-Director of NEXTOR III, the FAA Consortium in Aviation Operations Research, and serves the Technical Committee on Guidance, Navigation, and Control in the AIAA. He is the faculty advisor of Sigma Gamma Tau, the national honor society for Aerospace Engineering.

Dr. Sun is a Private Pilot and a Drone Pilot. He was the faculty advisor of PPI (Purdue Pilots, Inc.) from 2012 to 2021.

Professional Experience

  • Purdue University (08/2009–Present): Assistant Professor/Associate Professor/Professor

  • NASA Ames Research Center (05/2005–08/2009): Visiting Scientist/Associate Scientist


  • M.S. '02 The Ohio State University

  • B.S. '00 Tsinghua University (China)