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Robert E Vest (Fed)

Mr. Vest graduated from Brown University in 1991 with a Sc.B in physics. While at Brown, he worked on superconducting edge bolometers for use in solar neutrino detectors. During this time, he also worked on the NIST racetrack microtron and free electron laser project as a control system designer and computer programmer.

He came on staff at NIST in 1991 in the far and extreme ultraviolet detector program, making calibration measurements and performing research in the development and characterization of detectors. In 1998 he assumed the leadership of the far and extreme ultraviolet (5 nm to 255 nm) detector calibration program. He also led the near ultraviolet (200 nm to 500 nm) detector calibration program from 2011 to 2017. In 2017 he led the transition of the EUV detector calibration program to a newly commissioned synchrotron radiation beamline at SURF III. In 2018, Mr. Vest took on the leadership of the project to re-establish the deuterium lamp calibration service at SURF III, with customer calibrations resuming in 2020. He currently leads a team designing and implementing a major upgrade to the SURF III accelerator control system.

He continues to perform research in EUV radiometry techniques, technology, and applications and to provide calibration and metrology support to the UV and EUV user community. In addition to ultraviolet metrology, Mr. Vest has contributed metrology experience and expertise in laboratory automation to a broad portfolio of projects including a major upgrade of the SURF III control system, the neutron observatory, the development of primary standards for low-flow leak rates and calibrations of leak artifacts, the use of ultraviolet radiation for the disinfection of surfaces and air contaminated with bacteria and viruses, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes Covid-19, and photodissociation of peptide bonds for protein sequencing.

Research Interests

  • Laboratory automation, particularly complex control and data acquisition systems
  • Interaction of Extreme Ultraviolet Radiation and Matter
  • EUV and UV Radiation Detectors and Sources
  • Radiometry
  • Calibration of EUV and UV Detectors and Scientific Instruments
  • Space-Based Observation Systems
  • Applications of Synchrotron Radiation
  • Detection of Thermal Neutrons with Far Ultraviolet Excimer Emission
  • Use of ultraviolet radiation for disinfection

Professional Activities

  • Leader, Far and Extreme Ultraviolet Detector Calibration Program
  • Leader, Deuterium Lamp Calibration Program
  • Member, Optical Society of America


  • U.S. Patent No. 8,816,296, "Noble-Gas-Excimer Detectors of Slow Neutrons," 2014
  • Department of Commerce Bronze Medal, 2010
  • R&D 100 Award, 2008
  • NIST William P. Slichter Award, 2007
  • Department of Commerce Bronze Medal, 2004
  • NIST Judson C. French Award, 2001


Broadband Radiometric LED Measurements

George P. Eppeldauer, P. Yvonne Barnes, Howard W. Yoon, Leonard Hanssen, Vyacheslav B. Podobedov, Robert E. Vest, Uwe Arp, C Cameron Miller
At present, broadband radiometric measurements of LEDs with uniform and low-uncertainty results are not available. Currently, either spectral radiometric

The New SURF Beamline 3

Robert E. Vest
A new beamline is being commissioned at the Synchrotron Ultraviolet Radiation Facility (SURF III) on the Gaithersburg, MD campus of the National Institute of
Created October 9, 2019, Updated November 12, 2021