Case Study

Board of Regents Names Harter, Melvin Regents Researchers

Published: August 29, 2016

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The University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents appointed GTRI's Dr. Alexa Harter its latest Regents Researcher and re-appointed GTRI Deputy Director William “Bill” Melvin, continuing his standing as a Regents Researcher, during its August 2016 meeting.

Harter, Associate Director and Chief Scientist with GTRI’s Advanced Concepts Laboratory (ACL), started with GTRI in 2001 as a Research Scientist II. In 2013, Harter was named ACL Chief Scientist, and in 2014, she was named ACL Associate Laboratory Director.

Harter initiated and led the research program at GTRI that became the ACL Quantum Systems Division.  She was recognized for this work with GTRI’s Outstanding Performance in Research and Development Award (2016) and Georgia Tech EVPR’s Outstanding Achievement in Research Program Development Award (2010). 

She was elected GTRI Fellow (2014) and named Nunn-MacArthur Security Fellow at the Center for International Strategy, Technology, and Policy in Georgia Tech’s Sam Nunn School of International Affairs (2013). Harter received her doctorate in physics from the California Institute of Technology.

“The contributions of these faculty members make a lasting impact on the research and education enterprise here at Georgia Tech,” said Stephen Cross, executive vice president for Research. “That impact also bolsters the Institute’s goals to serve as a driver of economic vitality in Atlanta, the state of Georgia and beyond.”

Melvin initially received the designation in 2013. As GTRI’s Sensors and Intelligent Systems deputy director, he oversees ACL, the Aerospace, Transportation and Advanced Systems Laboratory (ATAS) and the Sensors and Electromagnetic Applications Laboratory (SEAL).

Previously, Melvin was SEAL’s lab director. He is a recognized expert in radar and signal processing. His research led to three U.S. patents on adaptive radar technology, and he has authored more than 170 technical articles appearing in journals, conference proceedings and government reports.

He served in the U.S. Air Force at the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, N.Y., and at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, where he worked on airborne surveillance radar, fire-control radar, and other sensor technology projects. He joined GTRI in 1998. He earned his undergraduate, master of science and doctorate degrees from Lehigh University.

Harter joins Melvin, former Electro-Optical Systems Laboratory Director and Georgia Tech Associate Vice President for Research Faculty Interaction Dr. Gisele Bennett, Chief Scientist Dr. Lora Weiss, and Aerospace and Acoustics Technologies Division Chief Dr. Krish Ahuja, retired Georgia Tech Quantum Institute Director Dr. Richart Slusher, and inaugural Regents Researcher Dr. Jim Gallagher.

The distinction is given only upon the unanimous recommendation by the university’s president, chief academic officer and three faculty members, and upon approval of the Chancellor and the Committee on Academic Affairs of the USG.