Kip Kendrick, Ph.D.

Principal Research Scientist VI,


301 Sparkman Drive
Optics Building
Room 400
Huntsville, AL 35899
Campus Map



Dr. Kendrick is a Principal Researcher for High Energy Laser Research & Development at the University of Alabama in Huntsville in the Center for Applied Optics.

From 2020-2022, Dr. Kendrick was the Director, Directed Energy (DE) Weapons Technologies and later the Director, Joint DE Transition Office in the Critical Technologies Office under the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering (OUSD R&E), Research & Technology.  In this position he oversaw strategic planning for DE Science & Technology investment across all domains in the Department of Defense.  He was the Acting Principal Director for DE from May through November of 2022.

Prior to his retirement from the government civilian service in October 2018, Dr. Kendrick served as the Chief, High Energy Laser (HEL) Division within the U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command, Technical Center. The HEL division provided technology development in the area of high energy laser systems for the Army. For the last two years in that position, he was on a special detail to OUSD (R&E) in support of the development of the DoD High Energy Laser Roadmap.

From 2010 to 2011, Kip was the Director for Research and Development at L-3 Coleman Aerospace where he oversaw the Advanced Technology Product Line. He was responsible for all technology exploration and development efforts and was the principal science advisor to the president of Coleman Aerospace.
Dr. Kendrick was the Deputy Director, Advanced Technology for the Missile Defense Agency, Office of the Secretary of Defense from 2008 to 2010. He was the principal advisor to the director for advanced technology regarding science and technology development. Dr. Kendrick oversaw the planning and execution of MDA’s advanced technology development efforts.

From 2006 to 2008, he was the Chief of the Maui Space Surveillance Systems Branch, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Directed Energy Directorate, Maui, Hawaii. The Maui Space Surveillance Site (MSSS), atop Mount Haleakala, houses the largest telescope in the Department of Defense. MSSS is the primary Directed Energy Directorate R&D Space Situational Awareness asset and is a contributing sensor to the Space Surveillance Network. In addition, the branch oversees the Maui High Performance Computing Center, the second largest supercomputing center in the DoD, which serves a variety of DoD customers under the auspices of the High-Performance Computing Modernization Program Office. MSSS also supports Missile Defense System Test and Evaluation, and is a test-bed for laser-active tracking technology development. In addition, MSSS serves Air Force Space Command, NASA, and various intelligence agencies.

Dr. Kendrick earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Southern Oregon University, Ashland, Ore., in June 1991. From there, he attended graduate school at Washington State University, Pullman, Wash., where in May 1997 he earned his Ph.D. in chemistry. After receiving his degree, he was awarded a National Research Council Research Associateship at the High-Power Gas Lasers Branch, Directed Energy Directorate, AFRL. In September 1998, he accepted a permanent position at AFRL and became the principal investigator and test engineer for RADICL, a 10-kW Class Supersonic COIL (chemical oxygen-iodine laser). From 1999 to 2004, he was program manager for the High Energy Laser Joint Technology Office Advanced Tactical Laser Test (ATL) Program, and the laser portion of the AFRL Airborne Laser Advanced Technology Demonstration. In addition, he was a government technical lead for the U.S. Special Operations Command during the ATL Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration. In 2004, he was appointed Chief of the High-Power Gas Lasers Branch, where he served until 2006.

From 1974 to 1988, Dr. Kendrick was an enlisted member of the U.S. Coast Guard. He served as a deck department supervisor, a maritime law enforcement officer, and a small boat operator for search and rescue. He specialized in small-boat operations in heavy weather and sea conditions. In 1984, he attended the USCG National Motor Lifeboat School and graduated top of his class for demonstrating expert seamanship, and command and control in extremely hazardous weather and sea conditions.


  • Ph.D., Chemistry, Washington State University, 1997
  • M.S., Chemistry, Washington State University, 1994
  • B.S., Chemistry, Southern Oregon University, 1991


  • April 2023: NATO Science and Technology Organization Excellence Award honored a Research Task Group (SCI-264) focused on the integration of high-energy laser (HEL) weapons in future coalition operations. Six NATO Nations were represented on the team, which began work in 2014 and concluded in 2018. (U.S. Army Representative)
  • October 2018: Department of Army Meritorious Civilian Service Award; For outstanding leadership in the US Army high energy laser research & development efforts
  • January 2008: Annual Supervisor Award; For leadership of the Maui Space Surveillance Systems Branch; Air Force Research Laboratory, Directed Energy Directorate, Kirtland AFB, NM
  • March 2003: Program Manager/Team Quarterly Award; Alternative Laser Fuels for the Airborne Laser Program (ABL); Air Force Research Laboratory, Directed Energy Directorate, Kirtland AFB, NM
  • January 2001: Program Manager of the Quarter Award; Technology Enhancement and Operational Optimization of the Boeing 20-kW Advanced Tactical Chemical Laser; Air Force Research Laboratory, Directed Energy Directorate, Kirtland AFB, NM
  • May 1999: Leadership Award; Lethality Data Collection for the Airborne Laser Program; Air Force Research Laboratory, Directed Energy Directorate, Kirtland AFB, NM
  • Dec 1996 & May 1998: National Research Council Research Associateship

Recent Publications

  • When Beams Combine; Kendrick, Kip R. U.S. Army Acquisition, Logistics &Technology Magazine, January-March 2018, 69;

  • Contamination monitoring in a laser system using a surface acoustic wave device; Stewart, Alan F.; Dass, Shiv C.; Kendrick, Kip R. Proc. SPIE 5991, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2005, 59910K (February 07, 2006); doi:10.1117/12.637676

  • Fiber optic beam homogenizer and resonator design for 5-kW class supersonic chemical oxygen-iodine laser (COIL); Shiv C. Dass; Kip R. Kendrick; Charles A. Helms; Vincent A. Valdez; Proc. SPIE 4270, Laser Resonators IV, 29 (April 24, 2001); doi:10.1117/12.424671

  • Progress report on the development of a repetitively pulsed frequency-shifted COIL; Gordon D. Hager; Brian T. Anderson; Kip R. Kendrick; Ralph F. Tate; Charles A. Helms; Richard J. Adler; Charles H. Fisher; Andrew J. Brown; David N. Plummer; Proc. SPIE 4065, High-Power Laser Ablation III, 646 (August 16, 2000); doi:10.1117/12.407385

  • Applications of the chemical oxygen-iodine laser; W. Pete Latham; Kip R. Kendrick; Brian Quillen; Proc. SPIE 3887, High-Power Lasers in Civil Engineering and Architecture, 170 (January 14, 2000); doi:10.1117/12.375178

  • Cutting performance of a chemical oxygen-iodine laser on aerospace and industrial materials; W. Pete Latham; Kip R. Kendrick; James A. Rothenflue; Aravinda Kar; David L. Carroll; Proc. SPIE 3887, Osaka, Japan, High-Power Lasers in Civil Engineering and Architecture, 200 (January 14, 2000); doi:10.1117/12.375181

  • Determination of Singlet-Oxygen Generator Efficiency on a 10-kW Class Supersonic Chemical Oxygen-Iodine Laser (RADICL); Kip R. Kendrick; Charles A. Helms; Brian Quillen; R. J. Copland IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics 35(12):1759 - 1764 · December 1999

  • Quantitative determination of oxygen yield in a chemical oxygen-iodine laser; Kip R. Kendrick; Charles A. Helms; Brian Quillen; R. J. Copland; Proc. SPIE 3268, Gas and Chemical Lasers and Intense Beam Applications, 125 (May 12, 1998); doi:10.1117/12.308058