David R. Whaley received his B.S. (1984), M.S. (1985), and Ph.D. (1989) degrees from the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Dr. Whaley’s doctoral work focused on the production and characterization of heavy ion charge state distributions in electron and ion cyclotron heated plasmas in magnetic mirror devices. During this time, he was a Fellow of the US Department of Energy Magnetic Fusion Energy Technology Program.
From 1989-1995, Dr. Whaley worked at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland developing and testing high-power high-frequency gyrotron oscillators, developing analytical and computational models of electron beam/RF interactions, and investigating efficient methods of RF heating of tokamak plasmas. During his tenure in Switzerland, Dr. Whaley also developed and experimentally validated theory on mode competition and startup in gyrotrons.
Dr. Whaley joined Northrop Grumman Corporation in 1995 and then L-3 Communications Electron Devices in 2003, where he currently serves as Chief Scientist. Here he was primarily responsible for TWT development, focusing on several categories of TWTs – high efficiency, wideband, and high-power pulsed TWTs for ECM, radar, and communications applications. Dr. Whaley also built the L-3 Vacuum Nanoelectronics Laboratory in San Carlos, CA which demonstrated a record 100 W of RF power from a C-Band Cold Cathode TWT and a record of over 1000 hours of operation in a series of X/Ku-Band Cold Cathode TWTs. He also demonstrated the first emission gated TWT operating with a field emission cathode while at Northrop. Dr. Whaley was a recipient of the R&D 100 Award and was Finalist for the Flight International Aerospace Industry Award, developing the TWT that resulted in the first 50% efficient microwave power module. He also received the US Pentagon Value Engineering Award for successful implementation of TWT technology advances in a challenging US Navy airborne ECM system, and was named an L-3 Engineer of the Year in 2013.
Over the past twenty years, Dr. Whaley has served on many conference committees and chaired many conference sessions for the IEEE International Vacuum Electronics Conference and the IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science. He has given 14 Invited/Keynote Speaker presentations at scientific conferences since 2000. He also served as Guest Editor for the 2010 Special Issue on High Power Microwave Generation of the IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science. Dr. Whaley served as General Chair and Technical Program Chair for the International Vacuum Electronics Conference in 2016 and 2014, respectively. Dr. Whaley is a member of the Association of Old Crows. He is also a Senior Member of the IEEE and member of the IEEE Electron Devices Society and Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society.