Dr. Robert August is an internationally recognized nuclear detection expert with decades of experience developing technology and methods for addressing the clandestine nuclear attack issue. He has advised the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) on policy development and has served on National committees concerning nuclear detection issues like the Nuclear Defense Working Group (NDWG) that developed recommendations for the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO). Currently he works on these issues at Applied Research Associates (ARA). Previously he served as Chief Scientist and Deputy Director of the Homeland Security Institute (HSI), an institution created by the US Congress to advise the Department of Homeland Security. Prior to this, for 21 years, Dr. August was a physicist with the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), where he invented, developed, and deployed nuclear detection systems and provided expert analysis and interpretation of nuclear intelligence data, much of which has had policy impacts for current nuclear antiterrorism concerns. Highlights include being one of the developers of the HELGA System, which provided best-in-the-world passive identification of covert nuclear weapons for the DOD. This remains the most capable system ever transitioned to field deployment for the detection/ identification of clandestine nuclear devices. He has published numerous research and analysis papers in journals and government reports.
Dr. August earned a Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics and an M.S. in Physics from Duke University. Prior to this he earned a B.S. in Physics from Rutgers University, Camden College of Arts and Sciences. He was born in Camden, NJ and raised in the area by Robert and Pauline August as one of five children (sitting on Dad’s lap in the above photo during an early stage of physics education: experimenting with Newton’s laws of motion). He currently lives in Solomons, MD with his beloved wife, Katherine. They have three children and multiple grandchildren, who they endeavor to spoil at every opportunity. They live with two other miniature children, Plucky and Bugsy, who are often mistaken for small dogs.