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Bob McMillan





Dr. Robert W. McMillan has been a Prometheus Principal Scientist since 2012. Bob has extensive experience in building lasers and performing research on laser materials. While at Martin Marietta Aerospace in the 70s, he completed his Ph.D. research on energy levels in yttrium aluminum garnet doped with chromium, work published in the Journal of the Optical Society of America. He worked on erbium laser materials including both Er:glass and Er:YAG, and built a flashlamp-pumped Er:YAG laser for the US Army Atmospheric Sciences Laboratory. His final task with Martin before leaving in 1976 was responsibility for developing a high-performance Nd:YAG laser for a laser designator pod for the French Mirage fighter jet. While at Georgia Tech he worked on optically-pumped halide lasers and discovered several new laser transitions. He was also responsible for building and delivering millimeter wave radar systems at 94 and 140 GHz to the Army Missile Command and for building and delivering a pulsed coherent 225 GHz laser to the Army Night Vision Laboratory. While at Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, NY, he and colleagues did seminal work on concealed weapon detection, which has resulted in the development of the microwave scanning imagers common in airports today. While working for the Army Space and Missile Defense Command, he organized the National Radar Conference in Huntsville, AL and proposed, won, and directed a JIEDDO program tasked with fusing disparate sensors to detect improvised explosive devices. Bob was the recipient of an Outstanding Performance in Research Award from The Georgia Tech Research Institute in 1984, a Meritorious Presidential Rank Award in 2005, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Marquis Who's Who in 2020. He has remained active since retiring in 2011 from the Government by publishing several papers on statistically combining disparate probability distribution functions relevant for radar and communications systems. A paper on this topic was given in November 2017 in Tel Aviv, and a more extensive follow-up paper for submission to a journal is in preparation. Bob is a Life Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, a Senior Member of the Optical Society of America, and a Senior Member of the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.


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