Col Paul K. Harmer, PhD

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering

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Comm: 937-255-2195
DSN: 785-2195
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Prior to his retirement from active duty in 2022, Col. Paul K. Harmer served as the Commander, Air University Detachment 1 and Director of Staff, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. As Commander, he was the senior military leader with responsibility over good order and discipline for approximately 1,800 active duty faculty, staff, and students. As the Director of Staff, Col. Harmer led the strategic vision and tactical decisions of the Institute. 
Col. Harmer entered the Air Force in 1996 as a distinguished graduate of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. He has served the Air Force and Joint warfighting community in a broad array of air, space, and cyberspace assignments. This included overseeing upgrades to America’s space launch capabilities at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., and Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla.; leading weapons integration and electronic warfare testing of the B-1B, B-2A, and B-52H aircraft; and developing advanced cyber capabilities for U.S. Cyber Command. He previously commanded the 57th Intelligence Squadron, at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Col. Harmer also served as Air Force Materiel Command’s Deputy Director of Engineering and Technical Management, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. 

A graduate of the Air Force Test Pilot School, Col. Harmer has flown over 35 aircraft types including F-15D/E, F-16B/D, T-38A/C, B-17G, B-52H, and KC-135R.


  • 1996 Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering, California State University Long Beach, Calif.
  • 1996 Distinguished Graduate Air Force ROTC, Loyola Marymount University, Calif.
  • 2000 Master of Science, Computer Engineering, Distinguished Graduate, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
  • 2002 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
  • 2004 U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, Edwards AFB, Calif.
  • 2006 Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.
  • 2013 Doctor of Philosophy, Electrical Engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
  • 2014 Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.


Legion of Merit
Defense Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Joint Service Achievement Medal
Air Force Achievement Medal
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with oak leaf cluster

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Air Force Institute of Technology
2950 Hobson Way
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH 45433-7765
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