For Jeffery Tate, it seems like only yesterday when he graduated from Michigan State University.
Born in Detroit in 1958 to a single mother – who he calls “the most influential guiding influence” in his life – Tate is still having fun with his interest in microwave engineering developed somewhere in his youth.
After earning both a bachelor’s and master’s in electrical engineering at Michigan State, he headed east to Ithaca, New York, for a Ph.D. in electrical engineering.
At Cornell University, he pursued quantum mechanics and plasma physics and sought to understand how these principles were being applied in electrical engineering.
“I had no way of knowing that my research in this area would form a central part of my industrial work that would later support efforts to create new national research infrastructure in the field,” he said.
The results of his work in the early 1990s have been used by researchers around the world to stimulate investigations in microwave interaction structures.
Other results have been published in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) peer-reviewed journals.
Forty Satellites and Microwave Engineering
Earlier in his career, Tate’s work at Cornell and the University of Maryland caught the attention of a NASA principal investigator, which opened doors to Florida A&M University and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the Time and Frequency Standards Group.
Later, Dr. Tate also worked at Hughes Space Communications, and, Boeing, where he was involved in the development of hardware for more than 40 commercial satellite programs in the 1990s to 2000s.
In the mid-2000s, he made a switch to Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems as a systems engineer on various government programs.
Engineers and technicians in Raytheon’s space products business design, build, test and deliver space products that enable customer mission success. There, Tate has contributed through research, thought leadership, and innovative application of conceptual design through on-orbit deployment and operations.
Today, he is a widely regarded radio frequency (RF) space systems expert.
As Raytheon Engineering Fellow and Chief Scientist, Dr. Tate’s focus is high power radio frequency systems, satellite communications, waveform design, and signal processing. In addition, he partners with other industry and government experts to address radio frequency space systems issues.
He has also made a significant impact on the space vehicle industry through his involvement with the Mission Assurance Improvement Workshop. Between 2012 and 2015, he worked with industry and government on fixing orbit breakdown failures. His expertise means he gets calls during the weekends and all hours of the night since many of his products are in service around the clock.
With the pending retirement of a number of senior professionals in the field, Tate is counted on more than ever in the area of high power RF systems while mentoring new engineering leaders.
As a member of IEEE, the American Physical Society, AAAS, and Association for Computing Machinery, he is keen to share his continuing interest in science and promotion and progression in scientific careers with students in the pipeline.