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Robert Gutzwiller

Asst Professor
Faculty, POLY Campus, Mailcode 2880

Robert Gutzwiller studies the critical role of the human in complex systems. His work scientifically applies cognitive engineering to healthcare, cyberspace, transportation, and defense. His recent research focuses on studying and engineering attention (How do humans select what task to do when they are multitasking and overwhelmed, and can models predict this behavior?), human-automation interaction (How do humans learn to interact with complex systems, particularly those which use automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning?), and defensive cyberspace operations (How does a cyber analyst protecting networks develop awareness? Could properties of attention be used against would-be attackers to make defenses more robust?). Interested persons or media should contact him directly to discuss his work.

Gutzwiller has been funded and worked on projects for the Army Research Office, Assistant Secretary of Defense, DARPA, NASA, and the Office of Naval Research, among others.

He is the author of more than 30 peer-reviewed papers, and recently received the Human Factors Society’s Jerome H. Ely Award for the most outstanding journal article in 2016, and the Marc Resnick best paper award in 2018. Gutzwiller has been recognized for exceptional leadership and mentoring across several multi-disciplinary engineering projects in cyberspace and ship defense systems, receiving leadership and exemplary achievement awards from the United States Navy in 2017 and 2018. 

Interested in the lab as a student or professional? Gutzwiller heads the Applied Attention Research (AAR) Laboratory. If you are affiliated with ASU, you can watch an advertisement talk for my laboratory here - given 09-19-2018

  • Ph.D. Cognitive Psychology, Colorado State University 2014
  • M.S. Cognitive Psychology, Colorado State University 2011
  • B.S. Psychology, Baylor University 2008

Gutzwiller's academic lineage includes Paul Fitts, Dick Pew, Mike Posner, Chris Wickens and Ben Clegg. 

Research Interests

attention, human-automation interaction, human-interactive machine learning, multitasking, modeling attention in overloading conditions, human factors in cyberspace defense & cybersecurity


Multitasking, Task Switching, and Attention Modeling under Mental Overload (STOM)


Human Automation Interaction, Supervisory Control, Training with Automation, and Interactive Machine Learning



Cyber Security, Situation Awareness in Cyber Defense, and Oppositional Human Factors


-- and check out the recent HFES webinar which featured Dr. Gutzwiller along with two other cyber researchers.

*italics denote student contribution


Research Activity

Oppositional Human Factors (OHF) Research (RFQ: H98230-18-P-2941)

Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
HSE 494Special Topics
PSY 560Advances/Theoretical Psych
HSE 592Research
HSE 593Applied Project
HSE 598Special Topics
HSE 599Thesis
HSE 792Research
HSE 799Dissertation
Honors / Awards
  • Marc Resnick Best Paper Award, 2018, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.
  • Exemplary Achievement Award, 2018, SPAWAR, U.S. Navy.
  • Jerome H. Ely Award for the best paper in the Human Factors Journal, 2017, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.
  • Distinguished Achievement in Leadership, 2017, Command and Control Department, SPAWAR, U.S. Navy.
  • David P. McCabe Excellence in Research Award, 2014, Colorado State University.
  • Science Mathematics And Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship Award, 2012-2014, U.S. Department of Defense.
  • Naval Research Enterprise Internship Award, 2012, Office of Naval Research.
  • Naval Research Enterprise Internship Award, 2011, Office of Naval Research.
  • Graduate Fellowship, 2008-2012, Department of Psychology, Colorado State University.
  • President’s Baylor Scholarship, 2004, Baylor University.
Professional Associations


  • Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (Full Member)
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition


Graduate Faculties / Mentoring History

Dissertation Committee Member

  • Chelsea Johnson (Arizona State University) – Situation awareness and augmented reality
  • Melissa Sheldrup (George Mason University) – Upcoming defense in 2018 on a project on training with automation.
  • Mollie McGuire (Claremont University) – Defended dissertation, 2016, on prospective memory and unmanned system command and control. Now an assistant professor at Naval Postgraduate School.

Formal Mentoring as Civilian Scientist (US Navy)

  • Josiah Bryan (SPAWAR) – Mentor over a three month tour in the user-centered design and engineering branch, with a cyber project emphasis.
  • Emmanuel Orozco (SPAWAR) – Mentor over a three month tour as a software and virtual machine developer for a human factors cyber testbed.
  • Liz Wanic (Naval Postgraduate School) – Mentor during her internship at SPAWAR in cyberspace application design and human factors.
  • Anu Venkatesh (University of California - Riverside) – Advisor for internship and career development in the Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship program.

*for more on my mentorship experience, please check out my CV.

Work History

For information on my work experience, please check out my CV


Institutional Review Board (IRB) Member

  • Active voting member, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR) Pacific, U.S. Navy, 2016 – 2018.

Journal Reviewer

  • Acta Psychologia
  • IEEE - Systems, Man, & Cybernetics
  • IEEE - Transactions on Human-Machine Systems
  • Human Factors 
  • Human Performance 
  • Journal of Applied Research in Memory & Cognition
  • Journal of Cognitive Engineering & Decision Making
  • Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied
  • Memory & Cognition

Grant Reviewer

  • DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)
  • ONR Global (Office of Naval Research)

Conference Reviewer

  • ACM SIGCHI Conference
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) conference papers, best paper competitions, and technical group grant awards:
    • Augmented Cognition Technical Group
    • Cognitive Engineering & Decision Making Technical Group
    • Computer Systems Technical Group
    • Human Performance Modeling Technical Group
    • Training Technical Group

InnoVenn - medical device design

Industry Positions

Civilian Scientist, US Navy (2014-2018)