Bio


Grace Gao is an assistant professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. She leads the Navigation and Autonomous Vehicles Laboratory (NAV Lab). Before joining Stanford University, she was faculty at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She obtained her Ph.D. degree at Stanford University. Her research is on robust and secure perception, localization and navigation with applications to manned and unmanned aerial vehicles, autonomous driving cars, as well as space robotics.

Prof. Gao has won a number of awards, including the NSF CAREER Award, the Institute of Navigation Early Achievement Award and the RTCA William E. Jackson Award. She received the Distinguished Promotion Award from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has won Best Paper/Presentation of the Session Awards 14 times at ION GNSS+ conferences. She received the Dean's Award for Excellence in Research from the College of Engineering, University of Illinois. For her teaching, Prof. Gao has been on the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students at University of Illinois multiple times. She won the College of Engineering Everitt Award for Teaching Excellence, the Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising, and AIAA Illinois Chapter’s Teacher of the Year.

Academic Appointments


Honors & Awards


  • Best Paper/Presentation of the Session Award (17 times in total), ION GNSS+ Conference (2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008, 2007)
  • Campus Distinguished Promotion Award, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2019)
  • List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2018, 2017, 2015, 2014)
  • Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2018, 2017)
  • CAREER Award, National Science Foundation (2018)
  • Dean's Award for Excellence in Research, 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, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2015)
  • Summer Faculty Fellow, Air Force (2014)
  • 50 GNSS Leaders to Watch, GPS World Magazine (2009)
  • William E. Jackson Award (for outstanding PhD thesis), Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) (2009)
  • Early Achievement Award, Institute of Navigation (2008)

Professional Education


  • Ph.D., Stanford University

Stanford Advisees