Dr. Robert B. Wardle

The principal at Wardle Enterprises: Energetics, Services & Technologies
2022 Breakthrough Energetics Conference : Energetic Business Model

Born Ames, Iowa

B.S., Chemistry, June 1981

Utah State University

Ph.D., Chemistry, May 1986

California Institute of Technology

Dr. Robert Wardle is the principal at Wardle Enterprises: Energetics, Services & Technologies. Before holding his current position, he was senior director of advanced programs at Northrop Grumman (NGC) and he spent 35 years at the research and development department at Northrop and predecessor organizations back to Thiokol Corporation. He received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Caltech. At NGC since 1986, he was involved in synthesis, characterization, formulation, fielding and aging/surveillance of energetic materials.  At NGC, has moved through a series of increasingly responsible position from lab chemist to director of R&D Laboratories.  In his role as Senior Director of Advanced Programs, he led the Propulsion Systems IR&D effort, built and commissioned a full scale AP plant, led hypersonic glide body development and production, synthesis of energetic materials including CL-20, production of military flares and decoys, and a broad spectrum of propellant, explosives and pyrotechnics related R&D programs.

Involved in the Community

  • Meeting chairman for 1995 NDIA International Energetic Materials Symposium
  • National Research Council’s National Materials Advisory Board with co-authorship of the final report, 2001-2.
  • National Academy of Engineering Board on the future of Munitions and Energetics with co-authorship of the final report presented to Congress, 1999-2000.
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory External Review Committee for DX Division, 2002-2007
  • Member and Panel lead for report “Energetics and Lethality: The Imperative to Reshape the U.S. Military Kill Chain” published June 2021.


Over 120 articles published in a variety of refereed journals, JANNAF, NDIA and similar publications.   Forty-four issued U.S. patents with many associated foreign patents. 

Co-Editor of one book.