Defense Technology Training
Dr. Patrick Gardner is Department Head for Engineering and a Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering at Western Carolina University (WCU), NC. Patrick 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 control systems, electro-optical sensors, directed energy systems and chemical, biological, radiological, and explosives detectors. From 1999-2003 Dr. Gardner was assigned to the U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill AFB FL as a liaison officer for both the U.S. 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 worldwide fielding needs for Special Operations forces. In late 2003 Dr. Gardner moved to General Dynamics Corporation as Chief Scientist for Detection and Countermeasures. He led a team 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. From 2009-2012 he assisted the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory with the establishment of a new R&D center to support military special operations before returning to WCU in his current role. He is a member of the University of North Carolina Strategic Initiatives Panel, a group charged with addressing technology needs for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.