Dr. John Gilmer started his career serving five years in the U.S. Navy. He spent fourteen years at BDM Corporation working in a number of capacities, including as a developer of simulations used for military analysis during the Cold War. He joined the Wilkes University faculty in 1991, focusing on electrical and computer engineering topics while still pursuing military simulation interests.
Dr. Gilmer usually teaches the courses of the computer engineering minor, including Digital Design, Computer Organization and Microcontrollers, along with courses such as Electronics 2 lab and others. An electronics hobbyist in his youth, he especially likes being in the laboratory with his students. That is where theory meets reality, and a good test of your mastery is whether you can get your project to work. "You can't fool the electrons." Committed to helping his students improve their writing, he is developing further resources to assist in the preparation of laboratory reports.
Other interests include military simulations and wargames, in both computer simulation and hobby "cardboard and paper" format. Most of Dr. Gilmer’s publications are in the simulation area, where he focuses on methods to improve decision-making by objects in computer simulations representing human command and control. He tinkers with electronics, and has been working with some students to develop a system to characterize toy train locomotive performance. His old electric train collection doesn’t just sit on a shelf—he also analyzes the trains’ technical characteristics.
A life of varied experiences and interests has ranged from being a navigator, to computers, to military history, to electronics, to games, and to writing about them, made Dr. Gilmer who he is and opened doors to possibilities others might not have imagined.