The Author

As a child Robert attended a Lutheran church with his parents. He received his undergraduate education at St. Olaf, a Lutheran College. There he majored in physics, but maintained a strong interest in religion. He completed his master’s degree in physics at Wayne University in Detroit and continued to learn about Christianity in that multicultural city. 

In the early 1950’s, after spending two years as a research assistant and part time student
Robert C. Frank
at the University of Michigan, he was hired as a research physicist by the General Motors Research Laboratories in a suburb of Detroit. Much of his research
 was devoted to the study of the movement of hydrogen atoms in metals, glass, and semiconductors and was published in European as well as American journals. As part of that research he finished the work for his doctor’s degree in physics at Wayne State University. 

During those years he and his wife also helped develop a mission congregation for the Lutheran Church in a suburb of Detroit. After ten years at General Motors, mergers had occurred between several large Lutheran church bodies and he became aware of the great need for leadership in the physics department at Augustana College, a Lutheran affiliated institution. 

He and his wife decided that God needed him at Augustana so they and their children moved to Rock Island, Illinoia and he became head of the physics department. The department quickly became a strong department with connections to Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Illinois. Later, collaborating with scientists at those institutions, he was able to continue his research. In the later years the research involved mathematical modeling using the supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and experimental work using secondary ion mass spectroscopy.

After his retirement in 1992, he devoted more of his time to studying Christianity. He was guided in his spiritual life by a Roman Catholic nun from whom he learned a great deal about prayer. He also attended a Roman Catholic Cursillo weekend retreat and became so interested in the program, he and his wife helped develop a local branch of Via de Cristo, the Lutheran version of Cursillo. 

He continued to learn about Christianity as he and his wife traveled to European countries and the Holy Land. Among the counties visited were Germany, England, France, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Italy, and Israel. 

In the year 2000, Robert edited a book about the histories of 36 Lutheran (ELCA) churches in their area and learned much about the struggles of Christianity in small congregations. These adventures and reading many books of theology, Christian living and Bible studies provided opportunities for him to study Christianity from many different perspectives.

The book, Christ’s Team is an adventure along a road rarely traveled. As a research scientist, Robert was looking for an easily understood connection between science and Christianity. He finally saw that the link connecting the two was “teamwork in continuing creation” and that it was this connection between Christianity and science that was producing the rapidly increasing improvement in the quality of human life.