Pedro A.
Capó-Lugo, Ph.D.

Senior Systems Engineer II
Raytheon Missile Systems
Raytheon Company

Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering/Aerospace Engineering, Howard University
M.E., Aerospace Engineering, Howard University
B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Puerto Rico - Mayagüez

As a Senior Systems Engineer with Raytheon Missile Systems, Dr. Pedro A. Capó-Lugo works in the development, design, and testing of missile systems, integrating flight simulation development and operating flight software for underwater, air, and space systems that protect our nation from foreign threats.

The technical complexity of his job and its importance to America’s national security, as well as the breadth of Dr. Capó-Lugoaccomplishments — both at Raytheon and during the seven years he worked at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center — are reflected in his highly detailed 11-page resume.

The path to this crucially important aerospace role started in the small village of Adjuntas in Puerto Rico where Dr. Capó-Lugo was raised by his parents to value education and was strongly supported when he expressed interest in attending CROEM, a school for gifted students that specialized in science and mathematics.

Despite his family’s limited financial resources, he managed to help pay for his classes upon being accepted to the University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez by playing trumpet in the school’s marching band. Before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, Dr. Capó-Lugo made a crucial contact during a summer internship, Dr. Peter M. Bainum, a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Washington DC’s Howard University, who introduced him to research in satellite flight dynamics and astrodynamics and invited the young undergraduate to become one of his graduate students.

With a full scholarship funded by the national Science Foundation, Dr. Capó-Lugo earned both his M.E. and his Ph.D. at Howard in a special 5-year program, at the end of which he had managed to publish eleven conference papers and eight articles in peer-reviewed journals.

After graduation he moved to Huntsville, Alabama to work at NASA on the Constellation program which entailed the design of algorithms that ensured the stability and control of the first two launch vehicles carrying humans to the International Space Station.  As if that wasn’t enough work for Dr. Capó-Lugo, he also worked as an adjunct professor at Calhoun Community College in Huntsville and found time to write a book detailing his research related to small satellite propulsion, attitude controls, and inertial navigation boards.

In 2015, he left NASA — after designing first carbon nano-tube accelerometer for which he was later awarded his first patent — to join Raytheon in Tuscon, Arizona, switching from working on satellites and launch vehicles to missile systems. 

It was a new engineering challenge for Dr. Capó-Lugo who was eager to learn about Guidance, Navigation, and Control systems for missiles,but had to adjust to the accelerated pace of the private sector. 

His achievements in the last few years prove that he has more than adapted, he has thrived to become one of Raytheon’s most celebrated engineers.