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Dr. Patrick Gardner

Patrick Gardner

College of Engineering and Technology

Engineering and Technology

Contact Information

Phone: 828.227.2435
Office: 209 Center for Applied Technology Building


Dr. Patrick Gardner is Director of the Rapid Center and the Mountaintop Distinguished Professor in the College of Engineering and Technology 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. Dr. Patrick Gardner is a retired Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force, with 25 years of active-duty service where he led research, development, acquisition and test of aircraft control systems, sensors, and directed energy 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 Special Operations. In 2003 Dr. Gardner joined General Dynamics Corporation as Engineering Director and Chief Scientist for Detection and Countermeasures. In 2007 Dr. Gardner joined Western Carolina University, Center for Rapid Product Realization, as Principal Scientist where he led the development and commercialization of intellectual property for a diverse set of technologies and markets. He assumed the position of Director in 2012.


  • Ph D, Air Force Institute of Technology
  • MS, Air Force Institute of Technology
  • BS, University of Florida

Teaching Interests

Digital Signal Processing; Digital Image Processing; Laser Imaging (LADAR/LIDAR); Electro-optics; Chemical and biological detection; Advanced Manufacturing; Project Management

Research Interests

Sensor modalities for vapor and small particulate detection. Multi sensor development for object detection and identification. Optical imaging and object recognition.

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