Mr. Benito A. Poveda
GN&C Lead, Rocket Systems Launch Program
Member, ECE Board of Advisors
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Alex is a graduate of the University of California Riverside (UCR), where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 1996. His first job was with Logicon in El Segundo, CA, where he was a systems engineer and member of the Future Architecture Network Integrated Product Team for the United States Air Force Satellite Control Network. Alex then transitioned to TRW in San Bernardino, CA, where he was a scientist performing analysis on launch vehicles and on intercontinental ballistic missiles for the United States Air Force, officially making him a "rocket scientist." As the company name changed through merges and acquisitions Alex held successively responsible positions from Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GN&C) engineer, GN&C lead, Software, Controls, and Electronics Manager, to Launch Services Mission Assurance Program Manager and site lead. The company changed from TRW, to Northrop Grumman, to TASC, and to Engility. Alex was a member of the TASC team that helped NASA with a moon exploration mission that launched the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE). After 20 years from when he started with TRW, Alex has now transitioned to Virgin Orbit, to help them design trajectories for their new rocket LauncherOne.
STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education -- is important to Alex. He became involved in STEM when asked by his wife, a teacher at the time, to speak to her eighth-grade science class. He's also presented at the elementary level to first-grade and fifth-grade students, and at the university level with presentations to signals and systems classes and electrical engineering freshman seminar class at UCR, and has represented his employer at various university hiring events. He is also currently a member of the Foothill Knolls STEM Academy of Innovation advisory board and a member of the UCR College of Engineering Advisory Board.