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John Rhodes Thomas

John Rhodes Thomas
Affiliate Assistant Professor
Analytic and computational electromagnetics
Box 352500
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: (206) 616-5606

University of Washington PhD 2006
University of Washington MS 1998
California Institute of Technology B.S. (Physics) 1957



John R. Thomas was born in Seattle, Washington, and has lived in this area most of his life.  He worked for The Boeing Company from 1958 to 1995.  His work prior to 1973 was in the Physics Technology organization and included particle radiation hazard analysis for Lunar Orbiter and Mariner Venus/Mercury.  In 1973 he transferred to work on survivability and vulnerability of military weapon systems (mostly airplanes and helicopters) relative to electromagnetic effects.

During this period he gained a Professional Engineer’s license in electrical engineering.  He designed instrumentation systems for system level tests of the Advanced Airborne Command Post (designated E-4B, a 747 derivative), for the B-52 with updated electronics (circa 1980), and 2 helicopter programs, the VH-1 and VH-60.  He designed and conducted numerous development tests of hardening designs, such as measuring transfer impedances in full-scale fixtures for large transparencies (windows) with embedded copper screen.  He worked on the electromagnetics hardening design of the B-2 stealth bomber, and as an outgrowth of that has maintained a consulting position with SARA Corporation, a small business headquartered in Cypress, California.

After retirement from Boeing in 1995, he returned to graduate school in the Electrical Engineering Department of the University of Washington.  His Ph.D. research, done under the supervision of Professor Akira Ishimaru, concentrated on the topic of negative refraction as provoked by some controversial papers of Pendry and others.  Upon graduation in 2006, he wanted to continue to work with the electromagnetics group here and expressed a desire to try teaching a class.  He is pleased to have received an appointment that allows these opportunities.

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