Ken Billman, PhD

About This Member:

Dr. Billman has 58 years of successful professional endeavor in all aspects of advanced technology development. He brought to this effort innovation and broad areas of scientific expertise as expected of a physicist, but with the care for detail and engineering realism that stems from his extensive experience as an experimentalist. He successfully performed at many advanced technology levels: research scientist (both theory and experiment) and PI systems engineer, PM project manager, GL group leader, PM/DPM program manager and deputy, CHSci Chief Scientist and BC branch chief. His experience is summarized below for his positions at the Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMC, 1989-2013), the TITAN Corporation (TC, 1984-89), the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI, 1979-84), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA, 1967-79), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, 1959-67) Physics Department.
After retiring from Lockheed Martin (LM) in 2013, Billman became an expert independent consultant to the Schafer Advanced Technology Group in Albuquerque, NM and in 2014 opened his own consulting and product development company, KB Energy & Photon Systems (KBE&PS).
 He joined LM in 1989 as a LM Fellow and first served as ChSci of the SDIO’s GBFEL-TIE pgm; later as PM/PI of its Neutral Particle Beam CEED pgm; then as PM of Laser Assisted Guidestar Optical System (LAGOS) which taught LLNL adaptive optics and installed, using our LM equipment, a system in Lick Observatory; then PM/PI of the LM Airborne Laser (ABL) Concept Design which provided an innovative design of laser beam control systems used even today. Billman served as Dep.PM/ChSci of the ABL PDRR weapon system development pgm, which in 2009 demonstrated the first long range laser kill of a boosting TBM.
Prior, he was manager/chief technologist of the San Francisco Bay Area (Photonics) office of TITAN Systems. Programs there included serving as PM/ChSci of SP-100 SETA to DoE San, and SETA to DOE San and Headquarters Inertial Fusion pgm; PM/ChSci of DARPA’s Ultra-High Efficiency Holographic Space Energy Conversion pgm; Invented and proposed to the SOR Director a Novel Nd-YAG Na Guidestar Laser; PM/PI chief designer for the NASA Langley Space-Qualified Laser Transmitter Module for the NASA LITE pgm which later was the first laser to successfully demonstrate orbital operation.
Prior to that position, he spent five years managing the Inertial Fusion Program at EPRI. Here he sponsored major contracts to develop concept designs for laser, heavy- and light-ion reactors. For the prior 13 years he was with NASA, first with the Electronics Research Center and when it closed, at the NASA Ames Research Center as manager of the Lasers Branch and the Advanced Space Energy Concepts Group. Here he led a group of 40 professionals in the NASA Laser Program in development of lasers, optics, and power systems to remotely power satellites using laser power transmission. He also developed the SOLARES system for world energy supply that consisted of orbital solar reflectors that provided continuous high-noon sunlight to selected solar conversion ground sites. Prior to that, he began his professional career with an 8-year appointment as a Physics Professor at MIT, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, directing theses, and performing research as lead of the Soft X-Ray Lab, performing charge neutrality and micro-eV electron experiments in the molecular beam lab, and concluding with a classic neutron neutrality experiment at the MIT reactor in collaboration with (later awarded) Nobel Laureate Dr. Clifford Shull.
 Awards and Honors:
Lockheed Martin
– Space Systems Consultant (older title for Lockheed Fellows) (1989-2005)
– Corporate NOVA Tech Excellence Award (1997) (only given to one/year)
– LM Corporate Senior Fellow (2006-2013 Retirement) ( given to only ~40 of the ~140,000 engineering staff)
– R&D Center Adv. Technical Award(1997)
– Numerous, for patents and super. performance from LM, Army, Air Force
– Lecturer for LM San Jose State Graduate Course in Optomechanics (2008)
National Academy of Sciences
– Member, Panel on Directed Energy
TITAN Systems Corp.
– Most Valuable Corp. Performer (1986)
– Outstanding Corp. Tech. Performer (1985)
Directed Energy Professional Society (DEPS)
– DEPS Fellow (2002) (one of first awarded)
Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
– Outstanding Program Manager Award (1982)
National Aero. & Space Administration (NASA)
– Branch Chief, Lasers & Gasdynamics
– Led NASA Lasers & Beam Conversion Pgms.
– Chairman, Basic Physics Planning Committee for selecting future Space Shuttle Experiments (1976)
– Many Patent & Performance Awards
– Chairman, 2 NASA Laser/ Energy Conf’s (‘76, ‘77)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
– Designated by Physics Chairman as “Best Experimentalist on our 75-member Physics Faculty,1962”
– Various citations for development of novel undergrad laboratory experiments
The Citation Index
– Publication (on Laser-Selected Multiphoton Isotope Excitation) ranked in top 10 of publications cited by other publications in the world during 1997
APS Annual Teaching Experiment Competition
– Forced Harmon. Oscillator Expts System
– Inverse Square Law Force Expts System
Thomas More College
– Professional Award for the Year (1973)
University of Cincinnati Graduate School
– Laws Research Fellow (1958)
– Hanna Fellow (1959)
Colorado State University:
– Adjunct Prof. of Physics (1975-1979)
Outstanding Men of Science, etc.
Billman was named throughout his career to various lists of outstanding professionals in teaching, science, etc.
Professional memberships and affiliations:
Former consultant to the Department of Energy Headquarters on issues related to Inertial Fusion and its San Francisco Office also on Space Energy Systems.
Former member of the National Academy of Sciences Panel on Directed Energy
Member and Fellow of the Directed Energy Professional Society