Professor Garris was born in Pomona, California and grew up in Little Neck, Long Island, NY. He received a BS in Marine Engineering at SUNY Maritime College, and a MS and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at SUNY Stony Brook. He then did postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in mechanical engineering. He has taught mechanical engineering at SUNY Stony Brook, MIT, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Universidad Simon Bolivar, and at GWU. His research specialty is fluid mechanics and thermal systems with particular current interest in supersonic flow induction and its application to energy systems. He has sailed in the Merchant Marine as a 3rd Assistant Engineer for Sea Land Service, Inc., and served as the Chief of the Mechanical Engineering Lab at the Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research (IVIC). He has also served as a Program Director for the Energy and Heat Transfer Program of the National Science Foundation, and as a Senior Scientist for the U. S. Navy at United Technologies Center. He has been a Professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at GWU since 1978. He is the author of numerous publications, the sole inventor in seven U. S. patents, and has been the Principal Investigator in many grants from sponsors including NASA, AFOSR, NSF, DOE, DARPA, etc. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a member of the American Intellectual Property Lawyers Association, American Society of Engineering Education, Sigma Xi, Pi Tau Sigma, and others. He is the recipient of the Thomas Edison Patent Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Trachtenberg Prize for University Service from GWU. He is registered in Virginia as a Professional Engineer, and with the United States Patent and Trademark Office as a Patent Agent. Professor Garris was elected Chair of the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate from May 1, 2014 through April 30, 2017.