Alan Papalia

Alan Papalia

PhD Student | Autonomy | Robotics | Design

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

I am a PhD student in Robotics with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Joint Program. I’m fortunate to be working alongside great people in the Marine Robotics Group, under Prof. John Leonard.

I’m excited about the potential of collaborative multi-robot systems in the future of our society. My research seeks to leverage graph theory, probability, and optimization to develop algorithms for multi-robot systems that allow for robots to robustly accomplish tasks in uncertain environments.

Before working in robotics I spent my undergraduate years working with a great group of people on the Illini Motorsports Formula SAE team. Here I oversaw a team of over 40 members, engaged in a number of mechanical design projects, and took part in a number of international competitions.

I’m always open to opportunities! Send me an email or reach out over LinkedIn if you think our interests match.


  • Automation
  • Robotics
  • SLAM
  • Path Planning


  • PhD Robotics, 2024

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • BS Mechanical Engineering, 2019

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign