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Stephen D. Roberson is originally from Fort Worth, Texas. He graduated high school from the High School for Science and Engineering Professions at Paul Lawrence High School in Fort Worth, Texas. He attended Florida A&M University in Tallahassee Florida and graduated magna cum laude while earning his bachelors degree in mechanical engineering. He then attended Michigan State University and earned a masters degree in physics before returning back Florida A&M University to earn a doctorate in physics.

After finishing from Florida A&M University with his doctorate in physics, he earned a National Research Council Research Associateship to do laser based explosive detection at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) in 2007. In 2009, he transitioned to Dr. Paul Pellegrino’s laboratory at ARL where his research group was looking to utilize ultrafast pulsed lasers to investigate quantum control of molecules using shaped laser pulses at that time. During his tenure at ARL, he investigated quantum controls, filamentation dynamics, femtosecond spectroscopy using multiplex coherent anti-Stokes spectroscopy (MCARS), and spectral and spatial characterization of nanosecond and femtosecond laser induced breakdown spectroscopy. While at ARL, he developed much of the hardware (FROG, pulse shaper) as well as the data acquisition and procession routines needed to characterize and control the laser pulses.

Although his research has been primarily experimental in nature when he began his career, he has started to use more computational tools in his research. While at ARL, he also developed algorithms to remove nonresonant background from MCARS spectra using a Fourier filtering technique. Before this algorithm was developed, my colleagues would remove this nonresonant background manually which required a knowledge of the material being tested. Once the algorithm was finished, there was no longer a need to manually remove nonresonant background and were able to produce clean Raman spectra of unknown materials for identification.

After leaving ARL, Dr. Roberson is a senior scientist at C5ISR (Command, Control, Computers, Communications, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) center at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds (APG) studying ultrafast pulsed lasers and their nonlinear interactions on materials of interest. His current research involves generating and parameterizing the desired nonlinear interactions, including filamentation and supercontinuum generation. Additionally, while working at C5ISR, he has constructed algorithms in MATLAB that utilizes the nonlinear Schrodiner equation and nonlinear envelope equation techniques to model ultrafast beam propagation. He also uses the generalized unidirectional pulse propagation equation (gUPPE) code developed by researchers at the University of Arizona to solve more sophisticated beam propagation problems. 

After leaving C5ISR, he worked as the lead physicist for the Applied Physics Division of 4S Siilversword Software and Services. There he continued to do work of interest to DoD in developing optical communication hardware. Currently, Dr. Roberson works as an image scientist and quality assurance engineering advisor as a contractor with the Peraton Corporation at the National Geospatial Intellligence Agency.