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Faster and Farther: MTO in the EM spectrum
Dr. Dev Palmer

Deputy Director - DARPA MTO

Abstract: The rapid growth of the information and intelligence-based economy faces severe challenges from the explosion of data that must be moved, stored, processed, communicated, and converted to end-user information. Military electromagnetic spectrum systems face many of the same challenges, requiring innovations in hardware that push on every axis of the design space to enable us to go faster and farther. The Microsystems Technology Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is attacking these challenges through a portfolio of research and development programs on topics ranging from materials to devices to circuits to new computing and communications architectures. This talk will provide a brief introduction to DARPA and MTO, highlight EM spectrum program achievements, and reveal how to engage the organization with your innovative ideas.

Dr. Dev Palmer was named Deputy Director of the Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) in April 2020. Prior to his appointment, he was Chief Technologist at the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories, where he directed the independent research and development program and worked with the senior leadership team to define and execute technology strategy.


He served tours as a program manager in MTO from 2012 to 2017 and at the US Army Research Office Electronics Division from 2001 to 2012. In both positions, he directed a portfolio of research and development programs driving innovation for next-generation systems for radio communications, sensing, and electronic warfare. His career in defense-related research and development began at the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina, where he worked on a number of microsystems technologies and applications from 1991 to 2001, ultimately serving as director of the Optical and Electronic Packaging Group.


Palmer earned a Bachelor of Arts in physics and a Master of Science and Doctorate of Philosophy in electrical engineering from Duke University. He was elected Fellow of the IEEE in 2012 “for leadership and contributions in microwave and millimeter wave systems and sources.” His work in guiding research and technology transition for national security has been recognized by the 2010 Army Research Laboratory Award for Program Management, the 2011 Army Superior Civilian Service Medal, the 2013 Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence, and the 2017 DARPA Meritorious Service Medal.

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