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Prof. Ron Brown



Prof. Kevin B. Smith

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Prof. Dragoslav Grbovic


Prof. Joseph Hooper

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Department of Physics
Spanagel Hall, Room 203
833 Dyer Road
Monterey, CA 93943-5216
(831) 656-2145
DSN: 756-2145

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Mission Statement

Ronald E. Brown
Research Professor of Physics
Ph.D. Chemistry, USC, 1972

Dr. Brown joined the NPS faculty in 2002, after 40 years of work in industry. His work has specialized in modeling explosive detonation processes, shaped charge jet formation, and high velocity impact phenomena. This work has led to the development of shaped charges for several NATO weapon systems, including the MK50 Torpedo and Mongoose and US Mine clearer, for which Dr. Brown holds a U.S. Patent. Professor Brown is a member of Sigma Xi, the American Chemical Society, the New York Academy of Sciences, and an executive member of the International Ballistics Committee and the steering committees of two National Defense Industrial Association divisions.

Phone: 831-656-2635, Email:

Ronald E. Brown
Research Professor
Mail Code: PH/Br
Department of Physics
Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Monterey, CA 93943
Phone: 831-656-2635
Email: rebrown (at)
PhD - University of Southern California, 1972
Physical Organic Chemistry, Physics
MS - New York University, 1959
Organic Chemistry
BA - New York University, 1956
Chemistry, Mathematics


  • 2002 - Present Research Professor


  • 2008 - 2011 - Visiting Professor, Helmut Schmidt Universität
  • 1995 - 2002 - BAE Systems, Director
  • 1983 - 1995 - Titan Corporation, Vice President
  • 1977 - 1983 - Physics International Company, R&D Department Manager
  • 1972 - 1977 - Research Associate, University of Southern California
  • 1964 - 1977 - Whittaker Corporation, Senior Scientist
  • 1960 - 1964 - Aerojet General Company, Asst Department Manager
  • 1957 - 1960 - Army Research Development & Engineering Command, Research Scientist


  • Physics and Chemistry of Explosives
  • Explosive Applications
  • Terminal Ballistics
  • Photochemistry
  • Finite Difference Techniques


  • 1982 R&D Management Award (Technology Transition and Flight Test of the Improved Dragon), Physics International Company
  • 1992 Research Performance Award, Titan Corporation
  • 1998, 2000 & 2001 Technical Recognition, US Army ARDEC WETC
  • 2002 Special Act Award, Naval Postgraduate School
  • 2011 Richard W. Hamming Faculty Award for Interdisciplinary Achievement, Naval Postgraduate School
  • Invention of Self-Calibrating Heat Flow Transducer. US 3,599,474 (1971)
  • Shaped-Charge Device with Progressive Inward Collapsing Jet. US 5,614,692 (1997)
  • Devices and Methods for Clearance of Mines or Ordnance, US 5,936,184 (1990)


  • Executive Board, International Ballistics Society
  • Steering Committee, NDIA Ballistics Section
  • Steering Committee, NDIA Bombs & Warheads Section
  • Sigma Xi Research Society
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Physical Society
  • Paper Reviewer, Journal of Impact Engineering and Journal of Applied Mechanics

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS: (View an extended list)

  • R.E. Brown, D. Watkins, B. Karosich, J. Stork, J. Gamble, R. Williams and D. Amondson, “Investigation of Overdriven Detonation”, 61st JANNAF Propulsion Meeting/38th Propellant and Explosives Development and Characterization (2014).
  • S. E. DeFisher, C.A. Tilley, D. Fanaras and R.E. Brown, “Challenging Shaped Charge Issues for Exploiting Supra-Pressure Detonation”, Proc. 28th Int’l Ballistics Symposium (2014).
  • F. Bouvenot, B.A. Karosich, D. Watkins and R.E. Brown, “Held’s ρv2d Initiation Threshold Criteria Revisited”, Proc. 27th Int’l Ballistics Symposium (Freiberg, Germany) (2013).
  • J. VanSlyke, W. Ludwig, J. Gamble, J. Stork and R. Brown, “Effect of Convergent Detonation on Gurney Energy and Cylinder Expansion”, Proc. 27th Int’l Ballistics Symposium (Freiberg, Germany), (April 2013).
  • J. Moore, C. Gloßner, W. Craig, M. Dolak, M. Peters, M. Salk, N. Glumac, and R. E. Brown. "Quantitative Evidence of Reaction during Hypervelocity Penetration of Aluminum through Oxygenated Fluids." Procedia Engineering 58 (2013): 157-166.
  • H. Cao,,R. Zamberlan, D. Gerace, P. Freitas, J.O. Sinibaldi and R.E. Brown, Effect of Computational Zoning on Resolving Partitioning and jet Formation from Small Caliber Shaped Charges”, Proc. 24th Int'l Symposium on Ballistics (2008).


  • Keywords: Explosive modeling, supra-pressure detonation theory, underwater blast, explosive metal coupling, hypervelocity impact



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