Dr. Whittaker’'s research interests are in the area of the development of applications for novel semiconductor lasers for sensitive detection of molecules and for free space optical communications. He also studies quantum optics, transient optical spectroscopy and squeezed quantum states.

He leads the Photonics Science and Technology Lab, which focuses on the development and application of laser-based methods for remote sensing, chemical analysis, and optical communications. Techniques used include frequency modulation spectroscopy, laser vibrometry, and free space optical communications. The laboratory is equipped with a wide range of laser sources and detectors, high-frequency electronic test equipment, computer-controlled measurement systems, and a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer.

Dr. Whittaker was recently appointed a Senior Faculty Fellow to the 2008 ONR-ASEE Summer Faculty Research Program. Dr. Whittaker will be a guest researcher at the Naval Research Lab in Washington where he will work on development of laser spectroscopic methods for analysis of fire suppression for the Navy. He has also been awarded several patents, including; United States Patent # 5,267,019: Method and apparatus for reducing fringe interference in laser spectroscopy, Edward A Whittaker and Hoi Cheong Sun, Inventors, Issued November 30, 1993.United States Patent # 5,636,035: Method and apparatus for dual modulation laser spectroscopy, Edward A Whittaker and Hoi Cheong Sun, Inventors. Issued June 3, 1997, and United States Patent # 7,073,384: Method and apparatus for remote measurement of vibration and properties of objects, Dimitry Donskoy, Nikolay Sedunov and Edward A Whittaker, Inventors, Issued July 11, 2006.