Dr. Robert G. Mertens
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Mertens, Dr. Robert, Visiting Assistant Professor
Program/Dept: Applied Engineering and Technology
Degrees, Licensures and Certifications: PhD Electrical Engineering, MS Electrical Engineering, BS Electronics Engineering Technology, BS Physics
BioDr. Mertens received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Central Florida in 2012. He currently conducts research in Thin films and Silicon Nanowires. His past research has been in the area of spray cooling of high-power electronic, in which field, he holds the world record for the highest heat flux ever achieved through an electron device. This was 825 watts per square centimeter. He currently has four peer-reviewed journal articles, four conference papers and twelve citations.
He was born to a military family, grew up on U.S. Air Force bases across the country and around the world. As a young man growing up in, he was in the Cub Scouts and the Boy Scouts. His first foray from home was into the Air Force where he served for four years, and he is a veteran of the Vietnam War Era. After serving. he went to college and earned his first bachelor’s degree from UCF in Electronics Engineering Technology, during which time he did undergraduate research in solar water heating.
His first job out of college was as an Electronics Design Engineer at Lockheed –Martin Corporation, where he worked on the Patriot Missile. He recalls going to his sister’s house some years later during the first Gulf War and, hearing the TV going, he asked, “Whatcha watchin’?” to which his brother-in-law replied, “your handiwork.” It was a Patriot Missile shooting down an Iraqi SCUD.
Later he worked as a Systems Engineer with Singer-Link at NASA, Johnson Space Flight Center, where he worked on, and occasionally flew the Space Shuttle Simulator. After that he worked for General Electric as a Systems Engineer on the EA-6B Warthog simulator (a special version of the A-6 Warthog, a close-air ground support battle aircraft). He returned to college for a second bachelor’s degree, in physics. During this period, he went back to work part-time for Lockheed-Martin, to work on the AH-64 Apache helicopter/gunship.
He has an entrepreneurial streak and has been a small business owner for most of his life, enjoying the small rewards of “being your own person and working for yourself 18 hours a day.” He is the author of several books, fiction and non-fiction, and has several books in the works. One of his books, Angels and Demons, he stopped work on (or will have to rename) because some other author used the title before him.
He returned to college for his Master’s degree in Electrical engineering, but continued running his business and writing. During one semester, while conducting research in air-water spray cooling, he attended a regular load of classes (nine graduate hours), finished writing another book, broke the world record for heat flux and ran his business. He has been teaching for many years, beginning as a tutor, during his first college degree. He has taught K-12 as a substitute teacher in the local community, technical trade school courses, college and university courses. He has taught several courses in engineering at the undergraduate level and several laboratory classes at the undergraduate and graduate levels.