Russell L. Roberts

Russell L. Roberts
Laboratory Director
Georgia Tech Research Institute
Aerospace, Transportation & Advanced Systems Laboratory (ATAS)
(404) 407-7826

Russell L. (Rusty) Roberts began his career at GTRI working in the Cobb County Research Facility in 1988. Since January 2009, he has been director of GTRI's Aerospace, Transportation and Advanced Systems (ATAS) laboratory, one of two units headquartered at the Cobb facility near Dobbins Air Reserve Base.

Previously, Roberts served for eight years as the associate director for business development in GTRI's Information Technology and Telecommunications Laboratory, 12 years as program manager in the Systems Development Laboratory that was merged to create ATAS, and ten years as an officer in the U.S. Army Signal Corps.

Under Robert's leadership, GTRI has grown the laboratory's unmanned autonomous systems capability, aided by a contract awarded to Roberts and GTRI Technical Director for Autonomous Systems and Lab Chief Scientist Lora Weiss to support development of a roadmap designed to improve the testing and evaluation of unmanned and autonomous systems for the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Defense. GTRI also participates in other UAV programs, including a multi-organization effort aimed at developing very small autonomous devices.

A nationally recognized expert in test and evaluation, Roberts is a former vice president and executive committee member of the International Test and Evaluation Association (ITEA). He also started and presently leads a GTRI-wide test and evaluation initiative that brought together the Joint Systems Integration Command and the Defense Test Resource Management Center. The resulting collaboration directly led to a $1.9 million research award. 

Roberts has also worked with U.S. government officials to establish key requirements for the testing of U.S. electronic countermeasures against surface-to-air missile threats and has been able to provide solutions developed by GTRI. 

During his time in the Systems Development Laboratory from 1988-2000, Roberts led several projects that provided threat assets to major U.S. test ranges. One system, still in use today at China Lake's Electronic Combat Range, replicated a high-density electronic environment used to test electronic countermeasures.

Roberts also led the efforts that developed the Missile-on-a-Mountain program at the Electronic Combat Range in China Lake, Calif. This one-of-a-kind simulation facility has been called a key national asset in testing electronic countermeasures against surface-to-air missile systems. The facility is in high demand by the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and allied air forces.


M.B.A. 1987, Long Island University
M.S. 1985, Georgia Institute of Technology
B.S. 1978, West Point
Research Areas