John Norgard is a Professor in the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department at the Colorado Springs campus of the University of Colorado and is the Director of the Electromagnetics Laboratory, which includes a large broadband anechoic chamber. He also holds a joint appointment with the US Air Force Academy.
John received a BSEE (Coop) degree from Georgia Tech in 1966, and Master of Science and PhD degrees in Applied Physics from Caltech in 1967 and 1969, respectively. He worked as a co-operative student trainee at the Charleston Naval Shipyard while at Georgia Tech and as a Research Associate with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory while at Caltech. At the shipyard, John was involved in the design and testing of communication links with Polaris submarines and became interested in EM problems associated with the undersea propagation of EM waves. At Caltech, John was a NSF Fellow working for his advisor Dr. Papas. For his PhD thesis, he was involved in the design of the communication antennas for the Viking Lander, which soft-landed on Mars. During the landing, the aerodynamic drag on the blunt body capsule created a dense plasma flow field around the capsule (as in earth re-entry), causing potential communication blackout, as predicted by the thesis work.
After graduating from Caltech, John was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Oslo, working with the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment and the Auroral Observatory. John is Norwegian, his parents coming from a small farm on the northern edge of a high mountain lake in the fjord country of Norway. He is named after that "North Farm" in Norway (Nordgaard, shorten to Norgard in America). While in Norway, he developed a plasma model of the polar ionosphere that included the effects of the Aurora Borealis, and helped establish an experimental observation program that performed rocket soundings of the Aurora Borealis to measure the ion concentrations and temperature profiles of the disturbed polar ionosphere. He then moved back to the US and taught at Georgia Tech for 15 years before coming to the University of Colorado. While at Georgia Tech, he also worked part-time with the Bell Telephone Laboratories and enjoyed a sabbatical leave at the Tel-Aviv University. He relates that his most interesting project while at Georgia Tech was working for the Rome Air Development Center (RADC) on Project Semi at the White Sands Missile Range and at Sandia Laboratory. This project involved predicting and measuring the effects of rocket plumes on the coupling of EM energy into the guidance systems of missiles. Static tests were performed at an outdoor test site at White Sands with a lossy dielectric model of the plume attached to a spent rocket body. Later, dynamic tests were performed at Sandia with live firings of rockets flying through high power microwave jammers, while locked on to a flare attached to a moving cable car.
John was originally asked to come to the University of Colorado to design and construct a large broadband Microwave Anechoic Chamber (MAC) and to build an EM lab based on the extended measurement capabilities of the chamber. The "big MAC" has been used to support undergraduate instructional labs and graduate research work in electromagnetics at the university and to perform EM testing for the local high-tech community. Over the years, John has worked to extend the EM measurement capabilities of the lab, which have grown significantly with the help of equipment grants from NSF and equipment donations from the local Pikes Peak industrial community.
John has served as the Dean of the College of Engineering & Applied Science and as the Chair of the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. He also established a new department in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at the Colorado Springs campus and was the first chairman of that department. He has also received several Eta Kappa Nu teaching awards, the Outstanding Research Award, and the Chancellor's Award for service to the university. John is a registered Professional Engineer. He also serves as one of the Associate Editors of the IEEE Transactions on EMC in the area of antenna metrology. Until recently he was the chairman of Commission A (Metrology) of the International Union of Radio Scientists (URSI).
While at the University of Colorado, John has developed a new thermal imaging technique that can be used to measure the magnitude of EM fields using infrared images (IR thermograms) of the fields. This technique has been used to measure antenna patterns (near and far fields) to determine aperture coupling/cavity modes, and to map scattered/diffracted fields. The thermograms provide interesting false-color images of the fields being measured. The visualization of the fields has provided a better understanding of the properties of the fields. This work has been strongly supported by the EM Metrology Division at NIST/Boulder. John was elected Fellow of the IEEE for his work on developing this technique. He is now developing a holographic technique for retrieving the phase of the EM field from the magnitude-only thermograms.
John is now using this IR imaging technique to measure the fields generated by High Power Microwave (HPM) weapons that are being developed and tested by the Air Force Research Laboratory at the Phillips Research Site (AFRL/PRS) at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque, NM. This thermal imaging technique works well in HPM fields and is not damaged or interfered with by the high-intensity fields. He is also working on the design of new compact low-frequency broadband antennas for Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) applications for the Air Force Research Laboratory at the Rome Research Site (AFRL/RRS) at Griffiss AFB in Rome, NY.
John is a member of the Board of Directors of the EMC Society and is the Vice-President for Technical Services. He is also on the Board of Physics and Astronomy for the National Research Council and the National Academy of Sciences and has been the Chair of several NSF Graduate Fellowship Programs.
John has been married to Olivia, "Liv", for 36 years, who he met in Atlanta while he was a student at Georgia Tech. They have twin daughters, Tina and Turi, who both live in Colorado Springs. John and Liv live on a small farm north of Colorado Springs (the North Farm). EMC

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