Faces of Research: Meet Michael Grady

Michael Grady graphic

The Advanced Concepts Laboratory at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is tasked with finding innovative, custom-made solutions to address some of the biggest challenges confronting its portfolio of clients, which include the U.S. Department of Defense, intelligence agencies, and private industry.

This installment of the Faces of Research Q&A series is with Michael Grady, a senior research engineer in the Advanced Concepts Laboratory's Electromagnetics Division at GTRI.

What is your field of expertise and why did you choose it?
I am a Radio Frequency (RF), microwave, and antenna engineer. I specialize in designing antennas and electronic circuits. I was first introduced to electrical engineering by an organization called the Future Engineers of America (FEA). FEA is a diverse group of engineers gathered on behalf of the Central Alabama Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. Their central mission is to introduce engineering disciplines, via hands-on concepts, to high school students in Birmingham, Alabama. I was very fortunate to receive this mentoring, and I quickly realized that electrical engineering was best suited for me. I eventually discovered that electrical engineering got even cooler because there was a very interesting sub-field called RF engineering.

What makes GeorgiaTech research institutes unique?
The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) offers an individual numerous opportunities to develop both their technical and soft skills. One day you may be focused on your technical stature (writing papers, developing patents, obtaining an advanced degree, or contributing to technical projects). On another day you could be concentrating on program management (planning, executing, and controlling the strategic direction of a program) and program development (writing proposals for funding). You could also teach courses (college or short courses) and perform outreach and service (mentoring or participating in professional organizations). Every day has the potential to be different, but your personal and professional growth is almost guaranteed!

What impact is your research having on the world?
I design antennas, electronic circuits, and sensors that support the U.S. warfighter. I also work on teams to help enable technologies that improve the human condition.

What do you like to do in your spare time when you are not working on your research or teaching?
In my spare time, I enjoy playing basketball, improving my time and technique while cycling, reading self-help books, and attending Bible study with my friends. Cutting my 1/8-acre lawn is pretty satisfying. I also play competitive dominoes. So far, I’ve won a couple of minor domino championships, and I now have my sights set on winning the major gold! Additionally, I like to pay it forward, in that, I participate on several advisory boards and also provide support to the professional development of underrepresented groups in STEM.

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Péralte C. Paul