Gas turbine engines for aero-propulsion systems are found to be highly optimized machines after over 70 years of development. Still, additional performance improvements are sought while reduction in the overall cost is increasingly a driving factor. Control systems play a vitally important part in these metrics but are severely constrained by the operating environment and the consequences of system failure. The considerable challenges facing future engine control system design have been investigated. A preliminary analysis has been conducted of the potential benefits of distributed control architecture when applied to aero-engines. In particular, reductions in size, weight, and cost of the control system are possible. NASA is conducting research to further explore these benefits, with emphasis on the particular benefits enabled by high temperature electronics and an open-systems approach to standardized communications interfaces.