Office of University Relations
SDSM& T News
501 E. St. Joseph Street • Rapid City, SD 57701- 3995
Phone: ( 605) 394- 6082/ 2554 • Fax: ( 605) 394- 6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
( December 15, 1997)
MOTOROLA COMMUNICATIONS EXECUTIVE TO BE SDSM& T WINTER COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER DECEMBER 20
Dr. Raymond J. Leopold, Vice President and Chief Technical Officer of the Motorola Satellite Communications Group, will give the address at SDSM& T’s winter commencement. Tech’s 136th commencement will be held this Saturday, December 20, at 10: 00 a. m., in the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Theater.
Karisa M. Klock, Interdisciplinary Science major from Sioux Falls, will give the senior class representative’s message. Regent Patricia O. Lebrun will present the message from the South Dakota Board of Regents. SDSM& T President Dr. Richard J. Gowen also will present Dr. Leopold with an honorary degree as Doctor of Telecommunications Management.
Dr. Leopold is a leader in the design and development of Motorola’s revolutionary IRIDIUM program to place 76 satellites in stationing orbit for a global wireless communication system. The satellites are being constructed at a rate of one satellite every 4.5 days. Several satellites have already been launched and are in orbit.
“ Dr. Leopold brings a global perspective of the exciting developments in telecommunications,” said SDSM& T President Dr. Richard J. Gowen. “ He is recognized worldwide for his leadership in global communications technology. We are very honored to have someone of Dr. Leopold’s stature as South Dakota Tech’s commencement speaker.”
Leopold is one of the three engineers who in 1987 created the IRIDIUM System, the realization of global, wireless, and personal communications. He became the program’s first Systems Engineering Director, where he was responsible for the system- level development of the satellite- based IRIDIUM System. He later served as the program’s Chief Engineer.
Dr. Leopold travels the world presenting technical papers, delivering keynote addresses, supporting regulatory activities, and promoting investment in the system. In addition to participating in raising the first $ 800 million of equity in the IRIDIUM program, he later led the team responsible for developing next- generation satellite- based information distribution systems. Prior to joining Motorola in 1987, Leopold spent a career in the U. S. Air Force where he served two tours in the Pentagon, including one in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He also taught for over five years at the U. S. Air Force Academy and also served as Adjunct Professor of Electrical Engineering at George Washington University.
-- 2-- Leopold has received numerous honors, including Motorola’s highest technical honor ( Title of Dan Noble Fellow), Aviation Week & Space Technology Laureate and Hall of Fame, and Fellow of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers. He holds three degrees in electrical engineering— B. S., Air Force Academy; M. S., North Carolina State University; and Ph. D., University of New Mexico. He holds 19 U. S. patents.
On Friday, December 19th, Dr. Leopold will be the featured speaker at a Communications Technology Forum on the SDSM& T campus. The luncheon forum will be held from 12: 00 - 1: 30 p. m. in the Surbeck Center Ballroom. Following his presentation, he will be available at 1: 30 p. m. for questions and a more in- depth technical discussion with persons interested in staying after the luncheon. The event costs $ 10 ( includes lunch) and is open to the public. Reservations should be made by contacting the SDSM& T President’s Office at 394- 2411.
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