Rod Perala was born in Grand Rapids, northern Minnesota on August 25, 1943. He was first licensed with the novice call KNØPWO as a 14 year old in the spring of 1958. Shortly thereafter he upgraded to the conditional class license KØPWO.
He graduated from high school in Grand Rapids in 1961, and spent the next 5 years at the University of Minnesota, where he earned BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering. He upgraded to Extra Class in 1968. He later earned the PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Denver in August of 1971. His thesis was based on his interest in amateur radio, and included a numerical solution of the VLF scattering from an anisotropic magneto-ionic ionosphere. After teaching for two years, he joined a small company in Albuquerque in 1973. In 1973, his call was changed to W5TYZ, and in 1975 he obtained the call W5CZ. Since 1978, he has been with the Company Electro Magnetic Applications (EMA), and moved to the Denver area in September of that year. He is the president and sole owner. EMA is dedicated to the solution of the problems associated with the interaction of electromagnetic fields with complex electronic systems, such as aircraft, missiles, railroads, and other critical systems. More information on EMA is found at www.electromagneticapplications.com.
He is married and has two adult children.