Dr. Panitz is an Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of New Mexico. He began his microanalytical career at the Pennsylvania State University under the supervision of the esteemed Dr. Erwin Wilhelm Müller, the inventor of the field electron emission and field ion emission microscopes.

In 1967, Dr. Panitz and Dr. Müller introduced the concept of the atom-probe field ion microscope at the 14th Symposium of the International Field Emission Society. Dr. Panitz joined the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratory in 1970, where he invented the 10 cm atom probe, the first 3D atom probe and the progenitor of atom probe tomography. In 1975, he received a landmark patent for the field desorption spectrometer, now known as the imaging atom probe. In 1982, Dr. Panitz developed a point-projection microscope technique that obtained the first images of unstained biomolecules on a metal substrate. Four years later, he invented and patented the first liquid field emission detector for immunochemical sensing. Using these new technologies at Sandia, he pushed the boundaries of implantation depth profiling and biomolecule imaging. In 1988, he joined the faculty at UNM, where he was a professor in the Physics and Material Science departments and the School of Medicine. While at UNM, he developed a novel curriculum for his undergraduate electricity and magnetism laboratory.