About Dr. Patrick Gardner
Associate Professor and Technical Director for the Center for Rapid Product Realization
Western Carolina University
Dr. Patrick Gardner is Director, Center for Rapid Product Realization, and a distinguished professor of electrical engineering at Western Carolina University. He received a B.S. from the University of Florida and a M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology. He is a retired Lt. Colonel, U.S. Air Force, with 25 years of active-duty service where he led research, development, acquisition and test of aircraft sensors and control systems. From 1999-2003 Dr. Gardner was assigned to the U.S. Special Operations Command as a liaison officer for both the Air Force and the U.S. Dept. of Energy. He represented 10 Air Force labs and 14 National labs, providing rapid response technology solutions to meet urgent fielding needs for military Special Forces. In 2003 Dr. Gardner joined General Dynamics Corporation as Chief Scientist for Detection and Countermeasures. He led a team of engineers and scientists in the research, development and test of chemical, biological and explosives detection systems; chemical and biological countermeasures and decontamination systems; and infrared threat detection and countermeasures systems. In 2007 Dr. Gardner joined Western Carolina University, After a 3-year assignment from 2010-2012 to assist the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory establish a new R&D center in Tampa Florida, Patrick returned to WCU to lead the product development center. Dr. Gardner is founder of the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives Sensing Conference, part of the annual International Society of Optical Engineering Defense & Security Symposium which draws over 6000 international attendees. He is author and instructor for numerous professional short courses.
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