Skip to main content

Russel Philbrick

Emeritus Professor

102 Riddick Hall


Professional Experience
2009-present    Professor in Physics and MEAS Departments, North Carolina
State University,  Raleigh, NC, and Penn State University Emeritus Professor
1987 – 2009     Professor of Electrical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, also Senior  Scientist at the Applied Research Laboratory, University Park, PA
1980 – 1987    Supervisory Physicist – AF Geophysics Laboratory (previously AFCRL),
1969 – 1980    Research Physicist – Air Force Cambridge Research Lab, Hanscom AFB, MA
1966 – 1969    Research Physicist – 1st Lt and Captain, USAF, AFCRL, Hanscom AFB, MA

Prof. Philbrick’s early career focused on development and research with mass spectrometer and accelerometer experiments as PI for nine satellite instruments (1967-1974) and PI for several major rocket programs. He prepared payloads (1969-1986) that obtained the earliest data on the upper atmosphere and mesosphere gas composition, density, and dynamics. He began developing Raman lidar in mid-1970s and has since developed and conducted research with five-generations of Raman Lidars and several other types of lidar during the past 40-years. His research has included serving on committees and leading many different special studies aimed at finding solutions for a wide range of technical problems for DOD organizations during his 21 years at AFCRL, and many of those types of projects have continued at PSU and NCSU. He has also carried out many scientific research programs for the DOD (Navy, USAF, and Army), DOE, DARPA, NASA, EPA and others during the past 50 years.  While at Penn State University (1988-2009) and NC State University (2009-present), he has taught courses in E&M, electro-optics, remote sensing, ionospheric physics, atmospheric physics and space physics. He was committee chairman for more than 50 graduate degrees, 20 senior honors theses, served eight years as chairman of the Graduate Committee at PSU, and served as member of many graduate committees, while authoring several hundred papers and reports.

Prof. Philbrick created two endowments for funding the NC State Physics Philbrick Outstanding RA and TA Awards, which are given yearly.


Ph.D. Physics NC State University 1966

MS Physics NC State University 1964

BS Physics NC State University 1962


View all publications