Ilan Kroo

Last Update 1/20/13

In a Paragraph...

Ilan Kroo is a Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. He received his B.S. degree in Physics from Stanford in 1978, then continued studies at Stanford in Aeronautics, leading to a Ph.D. degree in 1983. He worked in the Advanced Aerodynamic Concepts Branch at NASA's Ames Research Center for four years before returning to Stanford as a member of the Aero/Astro faculty. Prof. Kroo's research in aerodynamics and multidisciplinary design optimization includes the study of innovative airplane concepts. He has participated in the design of UAV's, flying pterosaur replicas, Americas' Cup sailboats, and high-speed research aircraft. In addition to his research and teaching interests, Prof. Kroo is founded Desktop Aeronautics, Inc. and is an advanced cross-country hang glider pilot. In 2011 Ilan took a leave of absence to start Zee.Aero, a bay area start-up company focusing on bringing new technologies to civil aviation. He remains a member of the Stanford faculty, but currently as Professor (research) at 20%.




CEO, Zee.Aero, Inc., Mt. View, CA


Professor, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University


Chief Scientist, Desktop Aeronautics, Inc., a software and consulting company.


Research Scientist, Advanced Aerodynamic Concepts Branch, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California.




B.S., Physics, Stanford University, June 1978.


M.S., Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University, June 1979.


Ph.D., Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University, June 1983.

and Awards

2009-2010 Stanford School of Engineering, Leland T. Edwards Professorship
2010 NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal
2008 AIAA Multidisciplinary Optimization Award
2007-present NASA Advisory Council, Aeronautics Committee
2005-present Member AIAA Technical Committee on Aircraft Design.
2005 Elected to National Academy of Engineering
2004 Dryden Lectureship in Research
2003-2007 Member Air Force Scientific Advisory Board
2001-2008 Member NRC Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board
2001 Fellow AIAA
1994 Stanford Outstanding Teaching Award
1992 Finalist, Discover Magazine's Discover Awards, SWIFT Sailplane Development
1992 Grand Award Winner, Popular Science Best of What's New, SWIFT Sailplane
1990 AIAA Lawrence Sperry Award.
1985 NASA Special Achievement Award.
1982 San Francisco section AIAA Young Engineer of the Year.


  Prof. Kroo is the author of more than one hundred technical publications, some of which can be viewed here.


In his spare time, Ilan enjoys hiking, skiing, windsurfing, hang gliding, and songwriting with Elliot, Laurel, and Annie.

A more formal C.V. and pictures are available here.

[ Aircraft Design Group ] [ Department of Aero/Astro ] [ Stanford University ]