Dr. Robert Yates

Dr. Robert YatesDr. Yates joined Gleason Research Associates, Inc. in 1995 as the Vice President of Huntsville Operations. In 2006, Dr. Yates became Chief Executive Officer of GRA and remained in that position as an experienced and well-respected leader of the company until his death in July 2013.

Prior to joining GRA, Dr. Yates was the Director of the Guidance and Control Directorate, now known as AMRDEC, and was a member of the Senior Executive Service. He was best known for leading the team of engineers that developed the technology for what is now the Hellfire missile. His pioneering efforts in the development of laser semi-active homing guidance ushered in a new era of overwhelming capability for the U.S. warfighter. Dr. Yates was an engineer's engineer - he demanded and inspired technical excellence from all of those around him. A long-time colleague put it this way: "He trusted me in everything I did and that made me work all the harder to not let him down. He said that if I was here for the warfighter, then he was here for me."

Dr. Yates redesigned the lateral autopilot for the F111 aircraft and designed the autopilot for the Saturn IV B space booster. He was extensively involved in acquisition system planning, serving as a consultant to the MICOM Commander, Program Executive Offices (PEOs), Project Managers (PMs) and Department of Army staff personnel. He consulted congressional members and their staff on a variety of Army programs. As a member of the Source Selection Advisory council for the IEW/UAV, Dr. Yates re-wrote the RFP and changed the acquisition strategy to allow the Army to avoid purchase of a non-functioning, non-developmental item system.

Dr. Yates led the development of the first instrumentation system for testing of semiactive laser (SAL) seekers. He conceived and managed the development of the Battlefield Environments Weapons System Simulation (BEWSS) program. He also had extensive experience in the design of a variety of guidance systems.

Dr. Yates' military career began as an officer in the U.S. Army. He served as a Signal Company Commander, Battalion Operations Officer, Battalion Executive Officer, Signal Battalion Commander, and Signal Brigade Operations Officer in the Alabama National Guard. Additionally, he filled an individual mobilization augmentee position at Headquarters, TRADOC, and retired from the Army Reserve as a Colonel.

Dr. Yates was selected by the Department of the Army to lead Army Red Team investigations of the Aquila, SINCGARS, and AFATDS Programs. The results of these investigations resulted in significant program changes. Dr. Yates was awarded a presidential level SES performance approval with stipend based on his last year of Government service.

Dr. Yates was a graduate of the University of Tennessee, where he was awarded both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering. Dr. Yates earned his Electrical Engineering Ph.D. from the University of Houston. He received his Military education through Command and General Staff College.

Dr. Yates was the recipient of multiple patents over the years and was widely published in the areas of linear control systems and missile design. He had approximately forty Government publications in the various aspects of missile system design and published more than thirty-five papers in the open referred literature.