Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Celebrates Opening of GTRI Cobb County Research Facility – South Campus

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) celebrated the grand opening of their Cobb County Research Facility (CCRF), May 8, 2019, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Several members from the Georgia Institute of Technology’s community spoke, including the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) President G.P. “Bud” Peterson, Interim Director of GTRI Lora Weiss, and executive director of Real Estate Development Tony Zivalich. Furthermore, industry partners Rod McLean of Lockheed Martin and the Chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, Mike Boyce, spoke during the ceremony.

Located on Lockheed Martin’s Marietta campus and adjacent to Dobbins Air Reserve Base, the south campus, named CCRF-South, now houses four newly renovated buildings – plus 20-acres of undeveloped land – which have been developed into large testing and research spaces, as well as renovated offices.

The highly anticipated, over 700,000-square-foot, 52-acre acquisition was approved in November 2017, allowing the Georgia Institute of Technology to close a yearlong negotiation process for the property. The estimated $42 million expansion has allowed GTRI – the only dedicated applied research division of the Institute – to expand to fit their growing portfolio and staffing needs, doubling its original footprint that was established in 1978.

“When we moved next door to Lockheed Martin almost 40 years ago,” President Peterson stated at the ceremony, “it marked the beginning of a great partnership. A partnership that involved researchers, individuals from Lockheed Martin, and people from Georgia Tech and GTRI, who were all interested in developing new technologies, new techniques, and new production and manufacturing processes.” These interests will expand and continue to be fulfilled across laboratories moving into the new GTRI Cobb County campus.

CCRF-South will be home to four out of the eight GTRI laboratories including the Aerospace, Transportation and Advanced Systems Laboratory (ATAS); the Cybersecurity, Information Protection, and Hardware Evaluation Research Laboratory (CIPHER); the Electronic Systems Laboratory (ELSYS); and the Sensors and Electromagnetic Applications Laboratory (SEAL). Laboratories on this campus will continue to research solutions and engineer technologies that support national security, economic development, health analytics, and food processing.

The labs and support units moving into the redeveloped 350,000 square feet of space will experience a sleek, modern design, which includes traditional office spaces, open area collaborative spaces, an auditorium with open breakout space that doubles as a communal lunch area, multiple coffee bars, and extra space for future expansion to address GTRI’s needs in the years to come. A second building, connected to the first through an indoor walkway to provide easy access between office and lab space, contains a large high bay space, which will allow tractor trailer trucks to drive directly into the building’s lab spaces for assembly.

 “GTRI is excited to move into this renovated, high-end technical and modern office space, with research labs and high-bay facilities on the Cobb County South Campus,” stated Interim Director Lora Weiss, Ph.D. “This expansion will allow GTRI to grow its existing work in Cobb County as well as move work from the overcrowded main campus in mid-town. The new office building can house up to 600 personnel, enough room to grow for at least 5 years.”

For over 40 years, GTRI and Lockheed Martin have collaborated on several groundbreaking projects. The expansion of GTRI’s campus facilitates an even closer relationship between the two organizations. GTRI, in partnership with Lockheed Martin, are building a community that will change not only the economic landscape of South Cobb, but will also continue to strengthen their impact on the nation’s technological advances.