I received my Ph.D. from the University of Nevada at Reno in 1972. My doctoral research was in the area of surface physics, using the tools of field-ion microscopy. After one year of post doctoral research and teaching at U.N.R. I went to Michigan, where I taught at Southwestern Michigan College for 10 years.

Since I'm from Washington, I wanted to get back to the West Coast. I'm currently a professor emeritus of physics at Eastern Washington University, where I taught from 1983 through 2008.

In August of 2005 I purchased a Prius hybrid, which occupied much of my spare time until December 2009. After August of 2008 (when I retired) I started a plug-in conversion of that Prius following the work done by Norm Dick of www.hybridinterfaces.ca. Although I'd made some mistakes along the way, and destroyed several of the battery packs during testing, the conversion was practically complete and I was pleased with the results. I'd driven at least 15,000 miles with extra batteries installed and driven up to 18 miles under pure electric mode. All that remained were some final "cosmetic" changes, including installing a plug in the rear bumper. Not doing so sooner was a severe mistake on my part. After several days of single digit weather in early December, the extension cord, into which the charger for the battery packs was plugged, developed a short and set the car on fire. The car was engulfed in flames before the fire department could arrive and the car was totaled. Evidence suggests that flexing of the cord while cold and stiff resulted in cracking of its insulation.

If you wish to contact me for any reason, my e-mail address is mckinstr@dmmsw.org.