Saturday, February 10, 2007

Close Up: Dr. Michael Murphy, Chief of the Human Effects Directorate's Radio Frequency Radiation Bioeffects Branch, Air Force Research Lab

Dr. Michael R. Murphy works at the Air Force Research Laboratory's Human Effectiveness Radio Frequency Radiation Branch (HEDR) at Brooks-City Air Force Base, near San Antonio, TX. He has "an extensive research career in radio-frequency (RF) bioeffects research and international collaboration for RF bioeffects," according to AFRL's Human Effectiveness Directorate Newsletter for November, 2006.

Dr. Murphy is apparently an associate of the Dr. Kenneth Boff, the Chief Scientist of the Human Effectiveness Directorate in 1998.


Biographical notes are scanty, but some information can be gathered from the following source:

He earned a BS in psychology from Occidental College, Los Angeles, and a PhD in neuroscience from MIT. In 1982 he returned to his home town for a position with the U.S. Air Force, first working on prophylactics/treatments for chemical warfare agents, and then moving to radio frequency bioeffects in 1992. From 1994-2004 he was Chief or the USAF Radio Frequency Radiation Branch. He is a member of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, the Directed Energy Professional Society, the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, and the IEEE Standards Board. He is active is the IEEE International Committee for Electromagnetic Safety, for which he serves as International Liaison.
The photograph of Dr. Murphy (above right) and the biographical information (below) are taken from the announcement of the Air Force Science and Engineering award he received in 2003:


"The United States Air Force presented Dr. Michael R. Murphy, Chief of the Human Effects Directorate's Radio Frequency Radiation Bioeffects Branch, the U.S. Air Force 2002 Science and Engineering Annual Award for Achievement in Areas of Exploratory or Advanced Technology Development. Dr. Murphy directed efforts to document human effects data in support of Non-Lethal Weapons (NLWs) and is the Chair of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Technology Group on the Human Effects of Non-Lethal Technologies.

"Dr. Murphy provided Air Force capabilities and expertise in support of the Department of Defense (DoD) Executive Agent for NLWs through the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD). Dr. Murphy led research and risk communication efforts in support of the human effects of a unique microwave-based, anti-personnel, non-lethal weapon called an Active Denial System (ADS).

". . . . Due to his technical expertise and support of expanded human effects research of non-lethal weapons, his group earned the designation and funding as the Joint Non-Lethal Human Effects Center of Excellence in the DoD."

In October, 2004, Dr. Murphy spoke at the "75th Shock and Vibration Symposium" hosted by SAVIAC, the Shock and Vibration Information Analysis Center.

He is listed as an employee of Lawrence Livermore National Lab, which suggests he left AFRL. However, Dr. Murphy apparently still occupies a post of some importance at the HECOE. In August 2006, he was granted a fellowship award, one of AFRL's "highest honors."

As recently as November 2, 2006, he spoke at the Ninth Annual Directed Energy Symposium of the Directed Energy Professional Society. See:

The list of corporate sponsors for this event reads like a "Who's Who" of defense contractors with an interest in people-zapping:

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