John Kent Smith’s Bio


I did a BSEE at U.of Pa., spent a Junior Year abroad at St. Andrews in Scotland studying Philosophy, and got a Thouron scholarship to do a PhD EE at Cambridge (which is why I have an English wife, Marion). I have worked my entire career in research and development of sensor systems, primarily radar, but sometimes branching way out. I worked as a civilian for the Navy from 1971-96, but took an early retirement from the job of Microwave Technology Division Head when the lab moved to Maryland in 1996. Then I worked as Principal Staff at the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins, on assignment to the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency in Washington, DC as a Program Manager. A great place to work. I retired again in 2001, and have been working since then as a consultant, primarily to DARPA, but also to a variety of other agencies and companies. I have worked or consulted on a variety of really difficult and interesting problems. I keep doing it because it is fun for me. But I haven’t retired for a while, so who knows what is next. Marion has retired from teaching Chemistry at Muhlenberg College.

We have two children, one living near Reading, PA with her husband and our two grandchildren. Our son is not married and has been living almost continuously in LA since he attended college at USC. We live near New Hope, Pennsylvania, with plenty to keep busy with on our property.

The great advantage of consulting is that it allows you to take vacations, so we have been doing lots of travel. We downhill and XC ski, and like to walk/hike. And I still race my Hobie 17 sailboat, which I encourage all class members to start: maybe I will be able to beat you for a while.


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