Dr. Ronald Phillips is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Central Florida. Dr. Phillips is also a member of the Department of Mathematics and an associate member of the College of Optics/CREOL at UCF. He has also held positions on the faculties Arizona State University and the University of California, San Diego. He received a Doctoral Degree in Electrical Engineering in 1970 from Arizona State University. Dr. Phillips has been an active researcher in wave propagation through random media for more than 28 years. He was awarded a Senior NATO Postdoctoral Fellow in 1977 and the American Society for Engineering Education 1983 Medal for outstanding contributions in research. Dr. Phillips is co-author of two textbooks on wave propagation through random media and mathematical techniques for engineers. In addition to optical wave propagation, his research interests include optical communications and imaging through atmospheric turbulence.
Dr. Larry Andrews is Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the University of Central Florida and an associate member of the Townes Laser Institute in the College of Optics/CREOL. Previously, he held a faculty position at Tri-State University and was a staff mathematician with the Magnavox Company, antisubmarine warfare(ASW) operation. He received a doctoral degree in in theoretical mechanics in 1970 from Michigan State University. Dr. Andrews has been an active researcher in optical wave propagation through random media for more than 30 years and is the author or co-author of twelve textbooks on topics of differential equations, boundary value problems, special functions, integral transforms, wave propagation through random media, and mathematical techniques for engineers. He is a Fellow of the SPIE Optical Society and also author of three Field Guides on Atmospheric Optics and Special Functions. Along with wave propagation through random media, his research interests include special functions, random variables, atmospheric turbulence, and signal processing.
Robert F. Crabbs is currently the Project Manager for the Wave Propagation Research Group, a unit of UCF's CREOL Colloege of Optics and Photonics, and the Facility Manager for the UCF-managed Townes Institute Science and Technology Experimentation Facility (TISTEF) at the Kennedy Space Center. He has spent his entire career as an aerospace professional, first as a researcher at The John Hopkins University, then as a designer, engineer, manager, and owner of several small companies actively engaged in the development of instrumentation for space research programs, with customers through the DOD, and the commercial research sector.
Later, at the University of Central Florida's Florida Space Institute, Mr. Crabbs was responsible for the creation of proposals and budgets for the various projects, management of the programs, scheduling, vendor and sub-contractor selection and monitoring, development and maintenance of the facilities and infrastructure, customer liaison, staff management and personnel issues.
All of these functions carry over to the current role in the Townes Institute. Additionally, Mr. Crabbs functions as the primary UCF interface to NASA/KSC and the Air Force 45th Space Wing, dealing with badging issues, security, laser safety, planning and infrastructure.
Christopher Smith is a research engineer with a broad range of skills and knowledge that make him an important asset to the Wave Propagation Research Group. Christopher is completing his Bachelors of Science in Electronics Engineering at Valencia College and is set to graduate at the end of 2016. He possesses three AS degrees in Electrical Engineering, Wireless and Telecommunications, as well as Lasers and Optics. In addition, he possesses multiple Valencia certifications in these fields also including computer repair. Furthermore, Christopher has thorough experience in commercial electrical construction and as a electronic device technician which greatly helps the team as he implements and maintains TISTEF equipment. He is largely responsible for experimentation and test planning in addition to data analysis. Christopher's interests encompass everything that is science and technology, ranging from embedded systems programming, Linux administration, software development, signal processing, and automation.
Frank is a senior research engineer in the Wave Propagation Research Group. Frank is currently developing the PASS (Programmable Aperture Scintillometer System) and the Radiometric Infrared Extinction Imager. He is a graduate from the University of Florida with a BSEE holding multiple patents for a laser-based 3D and computer-controlled volumetric display, communication test device and signal error detection for advanced rail based applications. Frank's skill set includes: Infrared systems design and development, Analog / Digital / RF circuit design and analysis, laser and electro-optics systems design and development.
Joseph received his BSEE and MSEE from the University of Central Florida. Joseph Coffaro is currently a PhD student at the University of Central Florida. His area of research is free space optical communication through atmospheric turbulence. While being an active PhD student, Joseph is also employed by the Wave Propagation Research Group as an engineer and researcher. Joseph has experience in optical design, hardware and software development
Melissa Beason is a PhD student in Electrical Engineering at the University of Central Florida. Her education includes a Master of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Central Florida as well as a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of Florida. Melissa brings unique abilities and experiences to the Wave Propagation Research Group including her experience as a research scientist with Litton Laser Systems where her specialty included modeling of laser systems. She also worked as a physicists with the Naval Research Laboratory, Underwater Sound Reference Detachment and was the Principal Investigator over a major sonar research and development project.
Jonathan Spychalsky is a Master's student in Optics at CREOL at the University of Central Florida. His education includes a Bachelor's of Science in Electrical Engineering from the UCF. He has previously interned at Harris Corporation as a lab assistant and at Pangolin Laser Systems as an embedded programmer. Jon is a graduate research assistant with the Wave Propagation Research Group providing assistance with instrumentation, experimental testing, documentation, and programming.
Franklin Titus is an undergraduate research assistant for the WPRG. He is a Computer Engineering Technology student at Valencia college. Franklin provides assistance with instrumentation, experimental testing, documentation, and programming.