Last August 28, 2018, Engr. Benjamin P. Saldua, a 1969 BSc Civil Engineering alumnus of the Faculty of Engineering, was recognized during the 2018 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Honor Awards.

Saldua, who retired this year as the Principal Structural Engineer of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was recognized “for exceptional service by improving structural design of the Deep Space Network antennas, enabling operation at higher frequencies and efficiencies and NASA Mission success.” Saldua, who began as a Contractor for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1974, served in NASA until 2018.

During his career in NASA, he became the authority in the field of the design, analysis, and implementation of large parabolic radio-telescopes around the globe for the Deep Space Network, which has three deep space stations, in the United States, Australia, and Spain. These stations give 24-hour coverage to the spacecraft. The contributions of Saldua helped ensure the success of missions to Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, and the moon.

Saldua is a multi-awarded Thomasian, having been named as one of the Centennial Awardees of the Faculty of Engineering in 2007, Totus Tuus Awardee for Engineering by the Education High School General Alumni Association in 2009, Thomasian Outstanding ALumni (TOTAL) Awardee for Engineering in 2014, and Faculty of Engineering Hall of Fame Inductee in 2015.

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