Lyle I. Gilbertson worked at Columbia University for the duration of the Manhattan Project.
Before working on the Manhattan Project, Gilbertson attained a Ph.D. from Indiana University in electrochemistry. He also taught in the chemistry departments of both Carleton College and Washington State University. In 1942 he headed to New York to help with tests during the making of the first atomic bombs.
After the conclusion of the war, he taught for nearly twenty years before establishing a consulting business in New Jersey in 1962. Later he would serve as both the Executive Vice-President of the Aerospace Placement Corporation and the Director of Research for Comprehensive Designers, Inc. He also worked in various capacities for the Atomic Energy Commission for fourteen years.