Rogers Named Director of MSU-led UAS Center of Excellence

March 29, 2017

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Photo by Russ Houston
A nationally recognized aerospace authority has joined Mississippi's leading research university on a full-time basis after serving in an interim role.

Effective March 1, Marty W. Rogers is now the new director of the Mississippi State-led Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE), which is the Federal Aviation Administration's Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

"We're confident that Marty will help lead the university forward into a new chapter of advanced aerospace R&D, and that he will play a key role in developing partnerships with peer institutions, government agencies and industry," said David Shaw, MSU's vice president for research and economic development.

"MSU is well known for its long and distinguished history in manned and unmanned aircraft flight, successful relationships with companies around the world, and providing hands-on research experience for our undergrad and grad students. I fully expect those contributions to accelerate in the coming years as ASSURE's work for the FAA and with industry grows," he said.

In addition to leading ASSURE as interim director, Rogers was the business director for the Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration and the Pacific UAS Test Range Complex, both of which are part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

"For the last four years, I've been fortunate to have led and been a member of the largest university UAS program in the country. That experience of growing the UAF program and transitioning it into a stable revenue generating professional UAS aviation program will be valuable as we further develop ASSURE into the world's premier center for UAS research and operations," Rogers said.

In addition to advancing ASSURE's international status, he will continue to pursue his passion for UAS operations in the Arctic in conjunction with his UAF colleagues.

A Mississippi native, Rogers also has an extensive corporate background, serving in several roles in industry — including vice president of the international division of a large research and development corporation. He served in the U.S. Air Force, retiring in 2000 as a member of the Headquarters Staff at Air Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.

"ASSURE will work with our partners in Mississippi, the Southeast, and beyond to grow UAS capabilities in support of low-altitude safety and beyond line-of-sight operations," he said.

According to Rogers, ASSURE's priorities are to support the safe integration of UAS into the national airspace, including air-to-ground and air-to-air kinetic energy research, UAS maintenance standards, counter UAS, and command and control.

From an operational perspective, he said ASSURE is focused on emergency response; energy extraction, production, and distribution infrastructure; precision agriculture; and environmental monitoring and assessment support, among other mission-critical projects.

Learn more about ASSURE at

MSU is Mississippi's leading university, available online at

Written by Jim Laird.