Rusty Blue, Ph.D.

Technical Leader

Rusty Blue, Ph.D., is a technical leader on Kitware’s Computer Vision (CV) Team located in Clifton Park, New York. He has been leading a team of developers on Kitware’s efforts across several government programs in visual content analysis, with a focus on object detection in satellite imagery. Working closely with David StoupRusty leads a team that develops detection and tracking solutions for wide-area motion imagery (WAMI).

Rusty has worked extensively with the Sensors Directorate at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in Dayton on several efforts over the past several years. A significant component of that work has been the AFRL Global Surveillance program, for which Kitware has been developing The Visual Global Intelligence and Analytics Toolkit (VIGILANT). Rusty has led the VIGILANT effort for the past several years. During this time, AFRL and Kitware have worked with a variety of government partners to deliver object detection, patch-based search, and object-based change detection capabilities on aerial and satellite imagery. Kitware’s recognized expertise has led to other related efforts, including another effort led by Rusty to do AI-based analysis of satellite and aerial imagery for bomb damage assessment of buildings.

Rusty’s earlier work as a technical leader for the CV Team leveraged his experience developing advanced visualizations in scientific and medical computing based on Kitware’s open source Visualization Toolkit (VTK). He led a team that developed visualization tools and applications for a variety of CV programs, including AFRL Sentinel Hawk, DARPA VIRAT, and DARPA PerSEAS.  

Before joining Kitware, Rusty worked at General Electric’s Corporate Research and Development Center in the Computer Graphics and Visualization Program. He focused on developing innovative technology solutions in the area of industrial visualization, principally for GE Aircraft Engines. This included automated path planning and haptic path planning techniques for maintainability analysis. He also developed a virtual reality system and automated sequencing algorithms for determining assembly and disassembly sequences for service applications. 

During his time at GE, Rusty briefly worked with Kitware co-founders Lisa Avila, Bill Hoffman, Will Schroeder, Ken Martin, and Charles Law before they departed to start Kitware. He joined them at Kitware approximately six years later.

Rusty received his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in 1997. His research involved real-time reconstruction algorithms for three-dimensional electrical impedance imaging, parallel programming techniques, and high performance computing platforms. In 1995, Rusty also received his master’s degree in biomedical engineering from RPI. He received his bachelor’s degree in bioengineering from Texas A&M University in 1991.


Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1997

M.S. in biomedical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1995

B.S. in bioengineering from Texas A&M University, 1991

Get to Know Rusty

What is your favorite thing about working at Kitware? What I like best is that Kitware cares about its employees, which is reflected in a variety of policies – from being paid for every hour worked to a flexible work environment and schedule to the free snacks that are provided. 

What do you love most about what you do? It is exciting to work with very smart people who are pushing the boundaries of what can be done in the deep learning revolution that has been occurring during the last decade. I like that the work I do is important, that it makes a difference beyond improving another company’s bottom line. Working on government, generally defense-related, efforts means that the work that I’m doing helps protect our country and our allies from threats.

Share something interesting about yourself that is not on your resume. My wife and I fell in love with Wyoming during a vacation there in 2010 and decided to buy some land to live there in our retirement. A couple of years later we decided we didn’t want to wait to enjoy it and built a log cabin with the help of family and friends. We have been spending as much time there as possible ever since – mostly summers. In 2020 we decided to add some additional space to more comfortably accommodate the many guests we have, so we built a second log cabin, again with the help of family and friends.



Rusty’s publication list is below. To see all of Kitware’s computer vision publications, please visit the Computer Vision Publications page.

  1. C. Funk, J. Crall, W. Hicks, C. Law, P. Tunison, R. Blue, A. Hoogs, T. Rovito, and A. Maltenfort, "WEFT Feature Detection and Mensuration for Airplane Classification in Satellite Imagery," in MSS National Symposium on Sensor and Data Fusion, 2019.
  2. M. Phillips, R. Blue, M. Turek, A. Hoogs, and T. Rovito, "Deep Learning for Classification of Satellite Imagery," in Proceedings of the MSS National Symposium on Sensor and Data Fusion, 2018.
  3. C. Law, R. Blue, D. Stoup, P. Tunison, A. Hoogs, B. Vasu, J. Van Cor, J. Kerekes, A. Savakis, T. Rovito, C. Stansifer, and S. Thomas, "Deep Learning for Object Detection and Classification in Satellite Imagery," in Proceedings of the MSS National Symposium on Sensor and Data Fusion, 2018.
  4. J. Crall, J. Becker, P. Tunison, M. Dawkins, A. Basharat, R. Blue, M. Turek, and A. Hoogs, "Deep Learning for Small Object Detection in Satellite Infrared Imagery," in Proceedings of the MSS National Symposium on Sensor and Data Fusion, 2018.
  5. C. Law, J. Parham, M. Dawkins, P. Tunison, D. Stoup, R. Blue, K. Fieldhouse, M. Turek, A. Hoogs, S. Han, A. Farafard, J. Kerekes, E. Lentilucci, M. Gartley, T. Savakis, T. Rovito, S. Thomas, and C. Stansifer, "Deep learning for object detection and object-based change detection in satellite imagery," in Proceedings of the MSS National Symposium on Sensor and Data Fusion, 2017.
  6. A. Hoogs, A. Perera, R. Collins, A. Basharat, K. Fieldhouse, C. Atkins, L. Sherrill, B. Boeckel, R. Blue, M. Woehlke, C. Greco, Z. Sun, E. Swears, N. Cuntoor, J. Luck, B. Drew, D. Hanson, D. Rowley, J. Kopaz, T. Rude, D. Keefe, A. Srivastava, S. Khanwalkar, A. Kumar, C. Chen, J. Aggarwal, L. Davis, Y. Yacoob, A. Jain, D. Liu, S. Chang, B. Song, A. Roy-Chowdhury, K. Sullivan, J. Tesic, S. Chandrasekaran, B. Manjunath, X. Wang, Q. Ji, K. Reddy, J. Liu, M. Shah, K. Chang, T. Chen, and M. Desai, "An end-to-end system for content-based video retrieval using behavior, actions, and appearance with interactive query refinement," in Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Advanced Video and Signal Based Surveillance, 2015. [URL]
  7. K. Fieldhouse, M. Leotta, A. Basharat, R. Blue, D. Stoup, C. Atkins, L. Sherrill, B. Boeckel, P. Tunison, J. Becker, M. Dawkins, M. Woehlke, R. Collins, M. Turek, and A. Hoogs, "KWIVER: An open source cross-platform video exploitation framework," in Proceedings of the IEEE Applied Imagery Pattern Recognition Workshop, 2014. [URL]
  8. Z. Sun, M. Leotta, A. Hoogs, R. Blue, R. Neuroth, J. Vasquez, A. Perera, M. Turek, and E. Blasch, "Vehicle change detection from aerial imagery using detection response maps," in SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing Motion Imagery for ISR and Situational Awareness, 2014. [URL]
  9. E. Swears, A. Hoogs, and R. Blue, "Recognizing Activity Based Scene Elements in Video," in Automatic Target Recognition Working Group, 2013.
  10. R. Blue, A. Chaudhary, B. Payne, and M. Woehlke, "VisGUI: A visualization framework for video analysis," Kitware Source, no. 23, 2012.
  11. W. Jeong, J. Beyer, M. Hadwiger, R. Blue, C. Law, A. Vazquez-Reina, R. Reid, J. Lichtman, and H. Pfister, "Ssecrett and NeuroTrace: Interactive Visualization and Analysis Tools for Large-Scale Neuroscience Data Sets," IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 58-70, May 2010. [URL]
  12. A. Hines, S. Howington, B. White, O. Eslinger, C. Kees, M. Farthing, R. O'Bara, R. Blue, Y. Yuan, A. Bauer, and B. King, "Computational Model Builder (CMB): A Cross-Platform Suite of Tools for Model Creation and Setup," in DoD High Performance Computing Modernization Program Users Group Conference, 2009. [URL]
  13. J. Wampler, J. Bruno, R. Blue, and L. Hoebel, "Integrating maintainability and data development," in Annual Conference on Reliability and Maintainability, 2003. [URL]
  14. J. Bruno, R. Blue, and J. Wampler, "Achieving Re-Use Of Procedural Specifications," in Canadian Reliability and Maintainability Symposium, 2003.
  15. J. Newell, R. Blue, D. Isaacson, G. Saulnier, and A. Ross, "Phasic three-dimensional impedance imaging of cardiac activity," Physiological Measurement, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 203-209, Feb. 2002.
  16. R. Blue, A. Gilman, W. Turner, S. Linthicum, G. Ryon, J. Wampler, G. Wise, L. Hoebel, B. Yamrom, C. Volpe, B. Wilde, P. Rondot, and A. Kelly, "An automated approach and virtual environment for generating maintenance instructions," in CHI extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems, 2002. [URL]
  17. J. Wampler, J. Bruno, R. Blue, and L. Hoebel, "Service Manual Generation: an Automated Approach to Maintenance Manual Development," in Proceedings of the Human Factors in Aviation Maintenance Symposium, 2002.
  18. C. Volpe, J. Wampler, R. Blue, and G. Wise, "A Virtual Approach to Maintenance Manual Development," in Proceedings of the Ninth ISPE International Conference on Concurrent Engineering, 2002.
  19. C. Volpe and R. Blue, "Virtual Haptic Validation for Service Manual Generation," in Proceedings of the PHANToM User's Group Workshop, 2002.
  20. R. Blue, D. Isaacson, and J. Newell, "Real-time three-dimensional electrical impedance imaging," Physiological Measurement, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 15-26, Feb. 2000.
  21. J. Newell, Y. Peng, P. Edic, R. Blue, H. Jaia, and R. Newell, "Effect of electrode size on impedance images of two- and three-dimensional objects," IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, vol. 45, no. 4, pp. 531-534, Apr. 1998. [URL]
  22. J. Newell, D. Isaacson, and R. Blue, "Regional ventilation and perfusion assessed by electrical impedance imaging," in Proceedings of International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 1997. [URL]
  23. C. Pieper, R. Blue, and A. Pacifico, "Simultaneously Collected Monopolar and Discrete Bipolar Electrograms: Comparison of Activation Time Detection Algorithms," Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 426-433, Mar. 1993. [URL]
  24. C. Pieper, R. Blue, and A. Pacifico, "Activation Time Detection Algorithms Used in Computerized Intraoperative Cardiac Mapping: A Comparison with Manually Determined Activation Times," Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology, vol. 2, no. 5, pp. 388-397, Oct. 1991. [URL]
  25. C. Pieper, R. Blue, and A. Pacifico, "Influence of Time of Sampling Onset on Parameters Used for Activation Time Determination in Computerized Intraoperative Mapping," Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology, vol. 14, no. 12, pp. 2187-2192, Dec. 1991. [URL]

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