Astronomer and Telescope Engineer
Gary joined the staff of MMA in July 2007 as a consultant. He has over 50 years of experience as a consultant, professional engineer, amateur and professional astronomer, and observer of the celestial sky. Mr. Walker is past President of the American Association of Variable Star Observers and has served for the past 11 years as its Secretary. He has also been the CCD Chairman for nearly 15 years and served on two Search Committees for new Directors.
Gary is retired as Director of Engineering of Navigation Products for Northop-Grumman Corporation where he enjoyed a 30 year career. He was in charge of all aspects of the Engineering Process in various capacities before taking the Directorship.
Gary was deeply involved in the selection of the Association’s RC-24 inch telescope purchased in 2007, and was instrumental in moving it from Texas and reassembling it at the Loines Observatory in Nantucket. He spearheaded the establishment of the CDK-17 Inch telescope at Vestal Observatory in 2008, restoring it to Research Status after a hiatus of over 20 years.
Mr. Walker holds a Bachelors and Masters Degree from MIT in the fields of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering.
Interest/Accomplishments or Research
Mr. Walker was the first amateur to submit a CCD Observations to AAVSO and currently has over 65,000 variable star observations pursuing research in this field. Gary is also actively involved with teaching the REU Summer students with aspects of Telescope Operation and Data Reduction. He holds 5 Patents in the diverse fields of Gyroscopes, Borehole Survey Tools, Full Range Ribbon Loudspeakers, and Turbulence Control Devices in Disk Drives
Gary operates two private observatories, one at his summer house in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts and one at his home in North Groton, New Hampshire. Both observatories are computer controlled and equipped for automation and are active in current research. Nantucket has always held a spot in Gary’s life. His wife Kathy of 41 years and he honeymooned here. His daughter also honeymooned in Nantucket Harbor aboard their sailboat “Puffin”.