The Georgia Institute of Technology has named James J. Hudgens to be the new director of the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), Georgia Tech’s applied research division. Currently director of the Threat Intelligence Center (TIC) at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Hudgens will become a Georgia Tech senior vice president and GTRI’s director effective September 2, 2019.
Hudgens holds a Ph.D. in ceramic engineering from Iowa State University. He has led research and development programs in national security, cybersecurity, quantum information science, and photonic microsystems. He also led programs in data analytics, synthetic aperture radar, and airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) systems before becoming director of the $265 million-per-year TIC, which has a staff of 550 professionals working in six states and 136 different laboratories.
A senior technology executive with 23 years of experience in national security research, Hudgens has also held positions at optical networking firm Mahi Networks, defense contractor Raytheon Electronic Systems, and semiconductor company Texas Instruments. In 2013, he won the Department of Energy Secretary’s Honor Award for Achievement for leading the Copperhead counter-IED program.
“Jim Hudgens has extensive experience building and leading federally sponsored programs that are at the center of GTRI’s core research areas,” said Chaouki Abdallah, Georgia Tech’s Executive Vice President for Research. “His experience developing and managing programs at Sandia National Laboratories and major private-sector defense contractors will support GTRI’s continued growth in service to our nation’s defense agencies and other important state and federal sponsors.”
GTRI has more than 2,300 employees conducting nearly $500 million worth of research across a broad range of technology areas that focus on solving critical challenges for government and industry sponsors. GTRI is one of the world’s leading applied research and development organizations, and is an integral part of Georgia Tech’s research program.
“Georgia Tech, through GTRI, is entrusted with a vital role in our national security,” Hudgens said. “I know firsthand that GTRI and other Georgia Tech researchers are known for the exceptional quality of their work in delivering innovative solutions to the most complex national security challenges.
“It is a great privilege for me to join the combined University System of Georgia and Georgia Tech family to develop a shared vision for how we will build on this reputation to advance one of the nation’s leading technological research universities,” he added. “I thank Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson, Provost Rafael Bras, and Executive Vice President Abdallah for the honor of becoming part of GTRI’s 85-year legacy of service to the state of Georgia and our nation.”
In congratulating Hudgens, Peterson emphasized GTRI’s important role in the nation, region, state – and Georgia Tech itself.
“For decades, the U.S. government and industry have looked to Georgia Tech – in particular GTRI – as they seek to find and develop effective, creative solutions in national security and other mission-critical areas,” Peterson said. “We are pleased to welcome Jim Hudgens to lead one of Georgia Tech’s most important missions in support of our nation, region, and state.”
Hudgens’ selection came after a five-month national search during which he was one of four finalists to make presentations to Georgia Tech faculty and staff.
Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-mission laboratory operated for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Sandia has major research and development responsibilities in nuclear deterrence, global security, defense, energy technologies, and economic competitiveness, with main facilities in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Livermore, California. Sandia is the largest of the country’s 17 national laboratories.
GTRI conducts research through eight laboratories located on Georgia Tech’s midtown Atlanta campus, in a research facility near Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Smyrna, Georgia, and in Huntsville, Alabama. GTRI also has more than a dozen locations around the nation where it serves the needs of its research sponsors. GTRI’s research spans a variety of disciplines, including autonomous systems, cybersecurity, electromagnetics, electronic warfare, modeling and simulation, sensors, systems engineering, test and evaluation, and threat systems.
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