Georgia Tech Research Institute

Georgia Tech Research Institute

company_name = Georgia Tech Research Institute
company_type = Nonprofit
foundation = Atlanta (1934)
location = Atlanta, Georgia, USA
key_people = Stephen Cross, Director, GTRI [cite news|first=Chelsea|last=Paxton|url=|title=GTRI names Cross as new director|work=The Technique|date=2003-06-13|accessdate=2007-04-04]
industry = Research and development
Public policy
revenue = $112.7 million USD (2006)cite web|url=|pages=35|title=2006 Annual Report|publisher=Georgia Tech Research Institute|format=PDF|accessdate=2007-04-03]
parent = Georgia Institute of Technology
num_employees = 1,290 (June 2006) [cite web|url=|pages=39|title=2006 Annual Report|publisher=Georgia Tech Research Institute|format=PDF|accessdate=2007-04-03]
homepage = []
The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit applied research arm of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. GTRI employs around 1,300 people, and is involved in approximately $100 million in research annually for more than 200 clients in industry and government. GTRI's research spans a variety of disciplines, including national defense, homeland security, public health, education, and economic development. Major customers for GTRI research include United States Department of Defense agencies, the state of Georgia, non-defense federal agencies, and private industry. Overall, contracts and grants from Department of Defense agencies account for approximately 80% of GTRI’s total expenditures.


The GTRI Mission: "Serve the university, the state, the nation, and the world by maturing selected technologies and developing innovative engineering solutions to important and challenging problems of society." [cite web|url=|pages=1|title=2006 Annual Report|publisher=Georgia Tech Research Institute|format=PDF|accessdate=2007-04-03]

GTRI conducts applied research to solve specific problems, including the development of hardware and software, performing tests and evaluations, and conducting experiments. GTRI's clients include government, industry, and academia.


In its first decades of its existence, Georgia Tech slowly grew from a trade school into a university. However, there was little state initiative to see the school grow drastically until 1919.cite paper|author=Combes, Richard|url=|title=Origins of Industrial Extension: A Historical Case Study|publisher=School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology|date=1992|format=PDF|accessdate=2007-05-28] That year, coinciding with federal debate about the establishment of Engineering Experiment Stations in a move similar to the Hatch Act of 1887's establishment of Agricultural experiment stations, the Georgia General Assembly passed an act entitled "Establishing State Engineering Experiment Station at the Georgia School of Technology."cite web|url=|title=Tech Timeline: 1910s|work=Georgia Tech Traditions|publisher=Georgia Tech Alumni Association|accessdate=2007-04-03] This station was established with the goal of the "encouragement of industries and commerce" within the state. Unfortunately, the federal effort failed and the state did not finance the organization, so the new organization existed only on paper.

In 1929, some Georgia Tech faculty members belonging to Sigma Xi started a Research Club at Tech that met once a month.cite book|first=Robert C.|last=McMath|coauthors=Ronald H. Bayor, James E. Brittain, Lawrence Foster, August W. Giebelhaus, and Germaine M. Reed|title=Engineering the New South: Georgia Tech 1885-1985|publisher=University of Georgia Press|location=Athens, GA] One of the monthly subjects, proposed by W. Harry Vaughan, was a collection of issues related to Tech, such as library development, and the development of a state engineering station. This group investigated the forty existing engineering experiments at universities around the country, and the report was compiled by Harold Bunger, Montgomery Knight, and Vaughan in December 1929.

In 1933, S. V. Sanford, president of the University of Georgia, proposed that a "technical research activity" be established at Tech. President Marion L. Brittain and Dean William Vernon Skiles asked for and examined the Research Club's 1929 report, and moved to create such an organization. Vaughan was selected as its acting director in April 1934, and $5,000 in funds were allocated directly from the Georgia Board of Regents. EES's initial areas of focus were textiles, ceramics, and helicopter engineering.cite web|url=|title=History|publisher=Georgia Tech Research Institute|accessdate=2007-01-29] The early work of the station was conducted in the basement of the Shop Building, and Vaughan's office was in the Aeronautical Engineering Building.

By 1938, the Engineering Experiment Station was producing useful technology, and the station needed a method to conduct contract work outside of the state budget. Consequently, the Industrial Development Council (IDC) was formed. The new organization was created as a non-profit contract organization for the EES, allowing the EES to receive federal contracts while retaining their relationship with Georgia Tech and the State of Georgia. It was created by the Chancellor of the University System and the president of Georgia Power Company, and the Engineering Experiment Station's director was a member of the council. The IDC later became the Georgia Tech Research Corporation, which currently serves as the sole contract organization for all Georgia Tech faculty and departments. In addition, the contract organization manages the intellectual property that results from research.

In 1948, the Industrial Development Council was renamed to the Georgia Tech Research Institute. In 1984, the Georgia Tech Research Institute became the Georgia Tech Research Corporation, and the Engineering Experiment Station became the Georgia Tech Research Institute. Since it was established, GTRI has expanded its engineering focus to include science, economics, policy, and other areas that leverage GTRI's partnership with Georgia Tech.


GTRI is composed of seven laboratories organized by technical focus, which are further subdivided into divisions. Labs frequently collaborate with one another and outside groups based on the unique requirements of each project. GTRI performs research for clients at the local, regional, national, and international level, and employees are encouraged to present their work at conferences and consortia. At a given time, laboratories may work with 200 or more agencies simultaneously.

GTRI operates independently under the auspices of the Georgia Tech Applied Research Corporation (GTARC). [cite web|url=|title=Georgia Tech Applied Research Corporation|accessdate=2007-09-10] GTRI’s project directors are responsible for direction of all aspects of projects, including marketing, contract development, research, and fulfillment. Most projects are conducted on a cost-reimbursable basis and must comply with negotiated Federal Acquisition Regulations specific to the operation of university research organizations.

University affiliation

GTRI enriches the Georgia Tech research environment for faculty and students by conducting externally sponsored, applications-oriented research programs that benefit the state, region, and nation. These programs, led by GTRI research faculty, contribute to national defense, civilian needs, and industrial competitiveness, and provide students with career experience through graduate research assistantships, cooperative education programs, and undergraduate assistantships.

GTRI's contributions to the Georgia Tech community include collaborative research with academic faculty, courses originated by GTRI faculty, and joint service efforts. Collaboration is strong between the faculties of GTRI and the academic schools and departments. Many GTRI researchers hold appointments as adjunct faculty members in Georgia Tech academic departments, serve on thesis advisory committees, and teach both academic and continuing education courses.

GTRI reaches out to the academic side of Georgia Tech for collaboration on many research activities, building interdisciplinary teams that take advantage of the broad experience and expertise of Georgia Tech’s top-ranked programs.


GTRI conducts its research programs through seven laboratories that focus on specific subjects:
* Aerospace, Transportation and Advanced Systems Laboratory (ATAS): ATAS develops advanced systems concepts and performs research related to aerospace systems, power and energy systems, threat systems, intelligent autonomous systems, and systems engineering methodologies.
* Electronic Systems Laboratory (ELSYS): ELSYS focuses on systems engineering solutions in electronic defense; modeling, simulation and analysis; countermeasures technique development; sensors performance analysis; electronic warfare systems integration; standardized test procedures; flight test support; laboratory support stations and test systems; missile warning system improvements; technology insertion and human factors.
* Electro-Optical Systems Laboratory (EOSL): EOSL has technology thrusts in the areas of electro-optical modeling and analysis, microelectronic and nanotechnology development, remote sensing, acoustics, and mechanical systems.
* Huntsville Research Laboratory (HRL): This laboratory, located in Huntsville, Alabama, primarily supports the United States Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center (USA AMRDEC) in its aviation and missile R&D efforts.
* Information Technology & Telecommunications Laboratory (ITTL): ITTL conducts a broad range of research in areas of computer science, information technology, communications, networking, and the development of commercial products from university research.
* Sensors and Electromagnetic Applications Laboratory (SEAL): SEAL researchers investigate radar systems, electromagnetic environmental effects, radar system performance modeling and simulations, and antenna technology.
* Signature Technology Laboratory (STL): STL conducts research and development in electromagnetic materials and structures, electromagnetic apertures and scattering, optical and infrared physics and phenomenology, and secure information systems.

Interdisciplinary research centers

Many interdisciplinary research centers report through GTRI: [cite web|url=|pages=30|title=2006 Annual Report|publisher=Georgia Tech Research Institute|format=PDF|accessdate=2007-04-03]



GTRI is headquartered on the Georgia Tech campus in Midtown Atlanta, Georgia, where five of its seven research laboratories are located.

Warner Robins

GTRI has a field office in Warner Robins, Georgia. This office is in place to facilitate on-site needs for Robins AFB.

United States

Two GTRI laboratories operate at a major off-campus research facility approximately fifteen miles north of Atlanta in Cobb County adjacent to the Dobbins Air Reserve Base. Additionally, GTRI operates a laboratory in Huntsville, Alabama. On-site research and business services also take place at a number of GTRI offices around the nation with locations in Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, Virginia, Ohio, and Texas.


GTRI's first international office is located in Athlone, Ireland and opened in June 2006. [cite web|url=|title=March 16, 2006 Georgia Tech Press Release about GTRI Ireland|accessdate=2007-04-03] [cite web|url=|title=June 21, 2006 Georgia Tech Press Release about GTRI Ireland|accessdate=2007-04-03]


External links

* [ GTRI official website]
** [ Aerospace, Transportation and Advanced Systems (ATAS) Laboratory]
** [ Electronic Systems Laboratory (ELSYS)]
** [ Electro-Optical Systems Laboratory (EOSL)]
** [ Huntsville Research Laboratory (HRL)]
** [ Information Technology and Telecommunications Laboratory (ITTL)]
** [ Sensors and Electromagnetic Applications Laboratory (SEAL)]
** [ Signature Technology Laboratory (STL)]

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