Dr. M. Ryan Bales is a Senior Research Engineer in the Sensors and Electromagnetic Applications Lab (SEAL) at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). He specializes in FPGA and embedded system design, and real-time signal processing for electronic warfare applications. His work has been the subject of 19 scholarly refereed publications, and he is an IEEE Senior Member and a professional engineer licensed in the state of Georgia.
Dr. Bales is passionate about community and professional service. He has served as treasurer of the Atlanta IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society / Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society joint chapters since 2013, and is engaged with the leadership of the Atlanta Section. He is a member of the Association of Old Crows, Eta Kappa Nu, and the Order of the Engineer. He was a very active member of the Gamma Theta chapter of Eta Kappa Nu for four years as an undergraduate and graduate student, having served as President, Vice President, Bridge Correspondent, and Marketing Chair. He received the Gamma Theta Advisor’s Leadership Award and the Founder’s Award for Service for his work in these roles. He continues involvement with HKN today, having served on the Professional Membership Committee since 2017. At GTRI, he represents SEAL on the GTRI Faculty Senate for the 2017-2020 term, acting as a liaison between over 220 SEAL research faculty and the Georgia Tech governing body. In 2018, he helped organize a petition to increase GTRI representation on the Georgia Tech Presidential Search Committee. He regularly volunteers in K-12 and collegiate STEM activities. Since 2006 he has served as a judge at more than 30 local, regional, and state science fairs in three states. Dr. Bales is certified by the state of Georgia to test and report water quality in Georgia watersheds, and collects data on the Etowah River.
At GTRI, Dr. Bales’ work has focused on jamming technology and radar target generation for national defense. He has led digital system development for the Angry Kitten advanced electronic attack suite since its inception in 2011, resulting in delivered products to 15 sponsored programs and over 20 sponsored field tests. These programs have resulted in over $40 million in funding. He was promoted to Senior Research Engineer at GTRI in recognition of his technical acumen, project leadership, mentorship of junior engineers, and service to the Institute and his community.
His research interests include FPGA-based embedded systems, radar and electronic warfare applications, machine vision, real-time signal processing, and STEM education. Dr. Bales has published in the areas of machine vision, embedded video surveillance and engineering education in IEEE and ASEE-sponsored conferences, and in the areas of radar and electronic warfare digital design in IEEE RadarCon and the Tri-Service Radar Symposium. In 2016, he co-developed Georgia Tech’s Radar Systems Engineering short course, and delivers the lectures for the Digital Subsystems portion. He also developed and routinely presents courses on GTRI’s DRFM Target Generator architecture and Technique Description Language.
Dr. Bales received his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering as an Honors Academy Fellow in 2004 and his Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 2006, both from the University of Missouri – Rolla. He received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2011.