Ernst Volgenau is the chairman founder, and former CEO of SRA International.
Volgenau came from a farm in Clarence, New York to the U.S. Naval Academy. He wrestled and threw the javelin. He was graduated in 1955 and commissioned a lieutenant in the Air Force. Later he earned a master's degree in electrical engineering, and in 1966 his Ph.D. in engineering at UCLA. He taught graduate courses in electrical engineering, computer systems, and operations research at UCLA, American University, and George Washington University for eight years.
In the United States Air Force 1955–1976, Colonel Volgenau had assignments in aerospace research and development, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and as Director of Data Automation for the Air Force Logistics Command. As Director of Inspection and Enforcement for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission 1976–1978 he managed 700 engineers. He subsequently consulted for the Indian Head Company, a firm with a subsidiary supplied pumps to nuclear power plants in the United States.
After retirement from the Air Force in 1978, he founded SRA International and operated it initially in his Reston basement. The company grew to several thousand employees and went public. He was president and CEO until 2005. He was chairman of the board in 2013.
He was rector of the George Mason University board of visitors (2007–2012.) The university's Volgenau School of Information Technology and Engineering bears his name. His $10 million donation to that program was the largest it had ever received.