Office of Alumni Affairs

Dr. Stephen E. Cross

Dr. Stephen E. Cross
M.S. Electrical Engineering, 1977, Distinguished Graduate
AFIT Distinguished Alumni, 2014

Dr. Stephen Cross is the Executive Vice President for Research, as well as a professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering and an adjunct professor in the College of Computing at the Ernest J. Scheller College of Business at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

He served as a Vice President and Director of the Georgia Tech Research Institute from 2003 to 2010. Previously, Dr. Cross was at Carnegie Mellon University as a research faculty member in computer science and Director and CEO of the Software Engineering Institute, a federally funded research and development center.

Dr. Cross retired from active duty with the United States Air Force in 1994 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. His military assignments included service as an engineer in acquisition program offices and flight test programs, a faculty member at AFIT, and a program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). His military decorations included the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal (2 Oak Leaf Clusters).

His association with AFIT spans time as a resident student in an engineering master’s program from 1976 to 1977, a doctoral program student through the civilian institute program from 1980 to 1983, and service as a faculty member in the Graduate School of Engineering and Management from 1983 to 1987. During his faculty assignment, he received the Stone Leadership Award as the outstanding faculty member for teaching, research, and leadership; the Air Force Research and Development Award, and a Dayton Engineer of the Year Award from the Engineering Affiliate Society.

Dr. Cross is past member of the Defense Science Board and the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. He is also the past chair of the DARPA Information Science and Technology Panel. He has supported studies by the National Research Council, testified to Congress, and served as a consultant to government and industry. He led studies on system-level experimentation and adaptive organizations.

He has published over 80 papers and book chapters on leadership, innovation, culture change, software engineering, and technology transition. Dr. Cross is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and a former Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Intelligent Systems, and a former Associate Editor of the Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Systems Management.

He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Cincinnati, his master’s degree in electrical engineering from AFIT, and his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is also a graduate of the Flight Test Engineer Program of the Air Force Test Pilot School and the resident program of the Air Command and Staff College, as well as the correspondence programs of the Marine Command and Staff College, the Air War College, and the National Defense University.

Commissioning - June 1974

AFIT Distinguished Graduate with wife Sue and daughter Stacey - 1977

Orientation flight at French flight  test center - 1978

AF R&D Award - 1986

ODS recognition with DEP SEC DEF and CSAF - 1991

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