The University of Tennessee Space Institute’s Support Council will hold a full council meeting on Thursday, Aug. 9 at 5:30 p.m. in the UTSI cafeteria. Support Council Chairman Dick Farrar requests that all Support Council members come and bring a prospective member to the meeting. The guest speaker for the evening’s meeting will be Dr. W. Michael Farmer, Western historical fiction author, noted atmospheric scientist, and UTSI graduate.
Born in Nashville in 1944, Dr. Farmer holds a Ph.D. in Physics from UTSI. While completing his graduate work under J.D. Trolinger, he worked as a graduate research assistant and engineer at Arnold Air Force Base on a number of programs involving particle field holography and laser velocimetry. In that capacity, he obtained three patents that were assigned to the Air Force and produced a number of refereed technical papers that appeared in Applied Optics, the Journal of the Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers, and the Journal of the Optical Society of America.
He later joined the UTSI faculty, first as a research associate, and then as an associate and full professor of physics. At UTSI, he conducted research in the measurement of atmospheric aerosols and military countermeasures to electro-optical weapons sensors, conducted short courses, and taught graduate level optics and classical electromagnetic theory. Also, while at the Space Institute, he served as an advisor to NATO for the U.S. Army and designed tests and evaluated test results for the PG-16 Trials.
As a private consultant, he has supported government agencies, universities, and commercial companies in the development of analytical models, data analysis, and the design and development of advanced aerosol instrumentation. In 2001, he produced a two-volume guide for understanding atmospheric effects on remote sensoroperation in the atmosphere and has lectured at numerous Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers’ short courses on this subject.
Dr. Farmer now serves as the Independent Development Evaluator for the Army Distributed Learning System in Newport News, Virginia. During his career he has produced 34 modeling publications and presentations, 91 test and evaluation publications and evaluations, 15 NATO-related publications and presentations, 92 instrumentation publications and presentations, and developed eight major instrumentation systems.
Dr. Farmer has traveled widely in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Pacific Rim countries. He now lives and writes in the Tidewater area of Virginia. Dr. Farmer is the author of the Western novel Hombrecito’s War Still Rages and several short stories.