Dr. Litwhiler is an Associate Professor of Engineering at Penn State Berks. His teaching interests include the areas of sensors and instrumentation, analog and power electronics circuits, data acquisition hardware and software, and embedded controllers. Dr. Litwhiler is currently engaged in research projects involving advanced lead-acid battery energy storage for low-voltage DC microgrids as well as low-power energy harvesting technology and applications.
Prior to coming to Penn State Berks, Dr. Litwhiler had significant industrial experience with IBM Federal Systems Division and Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems. While with IBM, he designed power electronics hardware for military mission-computer applications including the F-117A Stealth Fighter. At Lockheed Martin, Dr. Litwhiler developed test hardware and software for commercial satellite programs including Ecostar spacecraft used for Dish network television services.
Dr. Litwhiler brings his industrial experience to the classroom and laboratory to provide his students an environment that closely resembles what they will encounter after graduation. He initiated the use of computer-connected test hardware and software in the engineering labs that mirrors what is currently used in the field. He continually updates the tools and technology used by his students to keep pace with those used by industry.
Dr. Litwhiler has been responsible for installation and continual upgrading of several alternative energy projects on campus. One large project is the grid-tied solar array located behind the Gaige building. This project also includes an electric vehicle charging station located near the Luerssen building. Data from these installations is monitored, analyzed, and published on the campus website.
Another major project is the 24VDC microgrid system installed in a classroom / laboratory space in the Gaige building. With help from students and industry partners, the system has evolved to include energy-efficient fluorescent and LED lighting solutions, a rooftop solar array, and battery energy storage. System performance data is continually collected and analyzed to help improve this and other similar installations.
A spinoff from the microgrid project is a 24VDC system installed in a repurposed intermodal shipping container located on campus. The system includes a solar array and battery energy storage to power lighting, ventilation, and mobile device charging ports.
Dr. Litwhiler is a licensed Professional Engineer in Pennsylvania and a member of ASEE. He is an avid cyclist and aviation enthusiast. He in an instrument-rated private pilot and an active member of the Reading Aero Club.