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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 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?). 

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 45 peer-reviewed papers, 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.

  • 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)

Predicting automation surprise using attentional modeling

Designing Effective Intervention Points for Adversarial Influence Operations

Tools for Implementing Speech Agents in Crew Resource Management Training Systems


Spring 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
HSE 492Honors Directed Study
HSE 494Special Topics
HSE 499Individualized Instruction
HSE 592Research
HSE 593Applied Project
HSE 594Conference and Workshop
HSE 598Special Topics
HSE 599Thesis
HSE 792Research
HSE 799Dissertation
Fall 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
HSE 225Human Systems Integration
HSE 592Research
HSE 599Thesis
HSE 792Research
HSE 799Dissertation
Summer 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
HSE 592Research
HSE 792Research
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
HSE 494Special Topics
HSE 590Reading and Conference
HSE 592Research
HSE 594Conference and Workshop
HSE 598Special Topics
HSE 599Thesis
HSE 792Research
HSE 799Dissertation
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
HSE 494Special Topics
HSE 592Research
HSE 593Applied Project
HSE 594Conference and Workshop
HSE 598Special Topics
HSE 599Thesis
HSE 792Research
HSE 799Dissertation
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: 
  • Lightning Bolt Innovation Team Award, for project work on DAISEY, 2019, Naval Information Warfare Center (U.S. Navy Research Lab).
  • 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: 


As chair:

  • Chelsea Johnson (Arizona State University) – Cybersecurity and biases in decision making. Fall 2020.
  • David Wallace (Arizona State University) -- Design and test of a quick catch medical apparatus. Spring 2021.
  • Raghav Bhatt (Arizona State University) -- Undecided Topic.

As member:

  • David Stinson (Arizona State University) – Team multitasking. Spring 2021.
  • Verica Buchanan (Arizona State University) – Cybersecurity and human factors. Fall 2020.
  • Glenn Lematta (Arizona State University) – Human machine teaming. Spring 2022.
  • ‡ Hansol Rheem (Arizona State University) – Completed Fall 2019. Exploration of methods of implicit bias detection.
  • ‡ Mollie McGuire (Claremont University) – Completed Fall 2016. Prospective memory, stress and unmanned system command and control.


As chair:

  • Garrett Zabala (Arizona State University). Spring 2020.
  • Christina Lewis (Arizona State University). Spring 2021.
  • Jimin (Joy) Kim (Arizona State University). SPring 2021.

As member:

  • R. J. Curley (Arizona State University). Summer 2021.
  • Akuadasuo Ezenyilimba (Arizona State University). Summer 2021.
  • Matthew Willett (Arizona State University). Fall 2021.
  • Craig Johnson (Arizona State University). Fall 2020.
  • Shawaiz Bhatti (Arizona State University). Spring 2021.
  • Christopher Lieber (Arizona State University). Spring 2021.
  • ‡ Earl Radina (Arizona State University). Completed Spring 2019
  • ‡ Alyssa Thompson (Arizona State University). Completed Spring 2019

*for more on my mentorship experience, please view my CV.

Work History: 

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



Establishing Chair, Cybersecurity Technical Group, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (2019-present). See more information here.

Grant Reviewer

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

Journal Reviewer


Acta Psychologia

Computational Brain & Behavior


IEEE Presence

IEEE Systems, Man, & Cybernetics

IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems

International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction

International Journal of Human-Computer Studies

International Journal of Social Robotics

Human Factors Journal

Human Performance

Journal of Applied Research in Memory & Cognition

Journal of Cognitive Engineering & Decision Making

Journal of Cyber Security Technology

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied

Memory & Cognition


Reviewer for Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES): including society awards, best paper competitions, technical group awards, workshops, panels, and general conference submissions:

  • * Jerome H. Ely Best Journal Article Award (2018 reviewer)
  • Augmented Cognition Technical Group
  • Cognitive Engineering & Decision Making Technical Group
  • Computer Systems Technical Group
  • Cybersecurity Technical Group
  • Human Performance Modeling Technical Group
  • Internet Technical Group
  • Perception and Performance Technical Group
  • Training Technical Group

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Member, Active voting member, Held 2016 – 2018. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR) Pacific, U.S. Navy.

Track Leader, Organizer -- Cybersecurity ERGOX Conference. (2020, 2021) Organized conference and workshop sessions over several days for an entirely new track, Cybersecurity. 


InnoVenn - medical device design

Industry Positions: 

Civilian Scientist, US Navy (2014-2018)