Lab Director Pringle Named GTRI Deputy Director for Research

Published: October 4, 2013

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The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has named Dr. Lon Pringle its deputy director for Research (DDR), effective Oct. 1, 2013. Pringle was formerly director of its Advanced Concepts Laboratory (ACL).

“Lon brings many strengths to this important role at GTRI. We will be well-served by his experience as a lab director and by his outstanding technical capabilities,” said Georgia Tech Senior Vice President and GTRI Director Bob McGrath. “Lon solves tough technical problems, but he is also a consummate team player. I know that GTRI will benefit from the many contributions that he will provide.”

Responsibilities for the DDR are split between establishing a long-term vision for research operations and short-term support for GTRI’s eight labs. In turn, GTRI’s lab directors report directly to the DDR.

“I’m excited to work with GTRI Director Bob McGrath to expand our customer base to include government agencies outside of the Department of Defense, including commercial industry,” Pringle said. “This will help to diversify our sponsor base, as well as increase GTRI’s and Georgia Tech’s economic impact.”

For the short term, Pringle said it is most important that GTRI’s research operation continues to grow through these uncertain times, and that GTRI successfully meets the challenges posed by expected federal spending cuts. “Because of the excellent work done by our researchers, we have, so far, thrived in these tumultuous times,” he said. “Much of my immediate concern is to make sure this continues.”

In taking the reins, Pringle said he will be busy familiarizing himself with each of the laboratories, learning what each is doing and what directions each wants to go. “In doing so, I hope to ‘connect the dots’ between the labs so that we, as a team, continue to address larger and more important problems,” Pringle said.

Director of ACL for a little more than 5 years, Pringle joined GTRI 25 years ago as a graduate student. In 2000, he was named a principal research scientist. As director of ACL, he was instrumental in 2010 in standing up the Cyber Technology and Information Security Laboratory (CTISL), now one of GTRI’s fastest growing laboratories.  During this time, he also oversaw the transition of the Signature Technology Laboratory into ACL, which accounted for a new research focus for personnel and a new business model for the lab itself.

Pringle’s personal research interests focus on infrared phenomenology, such as advanced infrared measurements and simulations; detection and tracking of low, observable targets in clutter; management and control of optical energy through passive and active techniques; advanced radio frequency beam forming using phase-only control; development of physics-based electronic protection (EP) and offensive techniques; and the design of wideband, multi-function reconfigurable apertures.

He has fulfilled the role of technical and programmatic leader on efforts advancing development of nonlinear scattering theory; GTRI’s current adaptive aperture antenna (A3) useful on numerous unmanned platforms; pioneering a new class of wideband conformal array antennas that have helped make GTRI a global leader in this field; and large-scale employment of high-impedance surfaces in antenna design.   

Pringle earned his bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech in 1979, and his doctorate in theoretical physics from the University of South Carolina in 1988. During the weeks and months ahead, ACL John Schultz has kindly agreed to serve as Interim Laboratory Director for ACL.