Max Z. Li smiles and poses for a portrait.

Max Z. Li

Assistant Professor


3029 François-Xavier Bagnoud Aerospace Building
1320 Beal Avenue Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2140


Personal Pronouns


Additional Title(s)

  • Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering

Max is an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering (starting August 2022) at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, with a 0% appointment in Industrial and Operations Engineering. Max received his PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2021. He earned his MSE in Systems Engineering and BSE in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics, both from the University of Pennsylvania, in 2018. Broadly, he is interested in the analysis, control, and optimization of networks and networked processes, signal processing over irregular domains and manifolds, and geometric/topological data analysis, with an eye towards applications in air transportation systems and other societal-scale networks. Max is the recipient of the Federal Aviation Administration RAISE Award (2018), a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2018), and the Wellington and Irene Loh Fellowship from MIT (2019), as well as several best paper awards from ICRAT and the ATM R&D Seminar, two joint FAA-Eurocontrol conferences.


  • PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Aerospace Engineering, 2021
  • MSE, University of Pennsylvania, Systems Engineering, 2018
  • BSE, University of Pennsylvania, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, 2018

Research Interests

  • Air transportation systems
  • Airport and airline operations
  • Networked systems
  • Optimization and control

Research areas:
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Professional Service

  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  • Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS)
  • Airline Group of the International Federation of Operational Research Societies (AGIFORS)
  • Transportation Research Board (TRB)


  • Best Paper Award (System Performance), ICRAT 2020
  • Aviation Applications Section Best Presentation, 2020 INFORMS Annual Meeting
  • Best Paper Award (Performance Analysis and Metrics), ATM R&D Seminar 2019
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, 2018
  • Federal Aviation Administration RAISE Award, 2018