Grace X. Gao


Assistant Professor

Department of Aerospace Engineering

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Email: gracegao at illinois dot edu

Affiliate Appointments

Coordinated Science Laboratory

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Department of Computer Science

Information Trust Institute

Computational Science and Engineering

Research Areas

GPS/GNSS-based positioning, navigating and timing with applications to manned and unmanned aerial vehicles, robotics and power systems.

Joint GPS and 3D-vision direct position estimation Multi-receiver direct positioning tested on a C12 plane (Video)
Deep coupling of GPS-LiDAR-IMU for UAVs (Video) Robust GPS-based timing for phasor measurement units in power systems (Video)
iBQR: Quadrotor platform for robust and reliable navigation ShinerBot: robot swarm navigation inspired by Golden Shiner fish
Mobile UAV testing platform for safe flight tests (Video) Field testing under real-world complex interference


  • Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, 2008

  • M.S. Electrical Engineering, Tsinghua University, China, 2003

  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Tsinghua University, China, 2001

Selected Honors and Awards

  • NSF CAREER Award (2018)

  • Best Paper/Presentation of the Session Award, ION GNSS Conference+ (2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008, 2007)

  • Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2018, 2017)

  • List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2018, 2017, 2015, 2014)

  • Dean's Award for Excellence in Research, College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2017)

  • Fellow of Center for Advanced Study, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2017)

  • AIAA Teacher of the Year, AIAA Illinois Chapter (2016)

  • Best Paper Award, IEEE/ION PLANS Conference (2016)

  • Everitt Award for Teaching Excellence, College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2015)

  • Air Force Summer Faculty Fellow (2014)

  • William E. Jackson Award (for outstanding PhD thesis), Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) (2009)

  • 50 GNSS Leaders to Watch, GPS World Magazine (2009)

  • Early Achievement Award, Institute of Navigation (2008)

  • Student Paper Award, ION GNSS Conference (2007)

  • Exceptional Graduate of Tsinghua University (2001)