Dr. Wheat joined the Computing and Mathematics faculty at ORU in January 2018. Prior to his arrival at ORU, he spent 38 years in the High-Performance Computing (HPC) industry. His work contributed to the search for oil, the enhancement of telephony, the hunting for submarines, the means to comply with a nuclear forces treaty, the means to maintain the nuclear stockpile without the need for full-scale testing, to advancements in all industries. His roles spanned from researcher to General Manager.
Dr. Wheat is the recipient of a Gordon Bell Prize (1994) as well as the Intel Achievement Award (1997), both associated with his advancing the technology in HPC. He has twice been recognized by a major HPC publication as a “Person to Watch”. He was recognized as one of NASA AMES 25 most influential people in their 25-year history for his contributions to NASA’s return to flight post the Columbia space shuttle disaster, even though he did not work for NASA.
Dr. Wheat brings his broad experience in Computer Science to ORU where he enriches the course material with decades of real-life experience, bringing life and relevance to even the most basic concepts, “my technical skills matched with my faith-lived-out frequently gave me opportunity to share the story of God’s grace and love through Jesus Christ with people that confided in me because they saw more there. It is my daily goal to enable students to excel in their careers with the means to be missionaries within the technical community.”
Having lived as a youth in Tulsa and attending his first two years of university at ORU, he and his wife of 38 years have relocated back to Tulsa. He and she are the parents of four and the grandparents of 12. Dr. Wheat is a Commercial Pilot and a Certified Flight Instructor for Multi-Engine Airplanes in Instrument conditions. He also enjoys photography, cycling, and running.