Patrick Gardner

Director, Center for Rapid Product Realization

Mountaintop Distinguished Professor

Phone: 828-227-2435
Office Address: CAT 209


  • Ph.D., Air Force Institute of Technology
  • M.S., Air Force Institute of Technology
  • B.S., University of Florida

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 Chief Scientist for Detection and Countermeasures.  He led a team of program managers, engineers and scientists in the research, development and manufacture 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, Center for Rapid Product Realization, as Principal Scientist where he leads the development, productization, and commercialization of intellectual property for a diverse set of technologies and markets.  He assumed the position of Director in January 2012 along with the Mountaintop Distinguished Professor in the Kimmel School, Department of Engineering & Technology.


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