John Alora


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John Alora

John is a graduate student at Stanford’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He completed his B.S. degree in electrical engineering at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) in 2014 and subsequently, his M.S. degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT in 2016 under the supervision of Professor Sertac Karaman. He was also a Draper Fellow at Draper Labs working on implementing task and motion planning algorithms for UAVs operating in contested environments. He is currently supported by the Secretary of the AF STEM PhD Fellowship.

John’s research interests lies at the intersection of robotics, control theory, and optimization. His current work involves development of computationally-efficient algorithnms for control of infinite-dimensional systems, with applications to soft robots and autonomous aircraft.

John is an Air Force pilot with over 1,000 flight hours; prior to Stanford, he flew the B-52H and deployed across the globe in support of the President’s strategic objectives.


  • SecAF STEM Fellowship (2021)
  • Draper Fellowship (2014-2016)
  • Distinguished Graduate (Top 10%), USAFA

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