Justus joined NRL when he completed his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of California, Riverside, in 1983 and since has registered about 30 patents with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in several different scientific areas.
“All of the projects that I have worked on during my time here, including both basic and applied research programs, were pursued in the hopes that they would have a positive impact on the U.S. Navy,” said Justus. “Our focus here at NRL is to keep the Navy on the cutting edge of science and technology.”
Although he has worked on a variety of research programs within the Optical Sciences Division, Justus argued his most productive work was on radiation dosimeter technologies.
Radiation dosimetry is the accurate measurement of the radiation dose received by a person, during medical diagnostic or treatment procedures, or during the performance of their work. Alongside his NRL colleague Dr. Alan Huston, Justus worked to develop those technologies.
“Much of our work was based on the discovery of novel radiation sensitive materials that had very favorable characteristics for dosimetry applications,” said Justus.
The initial efforts to develop the materials yielded an unexpected result that Justus and Huston thought to be a failure.
“Once we examined it more closely, we realized we had stumbled onto a new radiation sensitive material that had a lot of promise,” said Justus. “The material became the enabler for many of our subsequent patents in radiation detection.”
According to Justus, his 35-year career at NRL has kept him continuously learning and has been ever-evolving.
“As a Department of Defense scientist, being inducted as a NAI Fellow is a very welcome recognition of our work, and it’s rare because most Fellows are academics,” said Justus. “I feel very fortunate that all of my work here at NRL has been extremely interesting and incredibly rewarding.”
The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory provides the advanced scientific capabilities required to bolster our country’s position of global naval leadership. The Laboratory, with a total complement of approximately 2,500 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, D.C., with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Monterey, Calif. NRL has served the Navy and the nation for over 90 years and continues to advance research further than you can imagine. For more information, visit the NRL website or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.