July 6. 2009 -Michael Barker received his B.S. and M.S. in civil engineering from Purdue University and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. Before completing his degree studies, he worked for a firm designing nuclear power plants. He was a civil engineering faculty member at the University of Missouri-Columbia for 13 years before joining the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering at the University of Wyoming in 2003. Michael teaches courses in statics, dynamics, structural analysis, building system design and steel and steel bridge design. His primary research pertains to steel bridges, experimental testing, bridge field testing and high performance steel. He has advised over 40 graduate students and has published many papers and made many presentations based on his student’s research.
In addition, Michael has been involved in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) program since 1992. He arrived at the World Trade Center Disaster on September 12, 2001, and contributed to rescue and recovery efforts for nine days. In 2005, he was deployed to Hurricane Katrina for 19 days to support search and rescue operations. He also teaches Structures Specialist US&R training courses across the country for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Michael and his wife Susan run Windy Springs Ranch, a small ranch just south of town with miniature donkeys, a quarter horse, dogs and lots of cats. They have four grown children (one in engineering at UW) that all live near Laramie and they became grandparents for the first time in February. In his spare time, he enjoys fly-fishing the waters of Wyoming, hunting the mountains on horseback and other outdoor activities. He also teaches Junior High Sunday School and is the Youth Leader at First Christian Church in Laramie.