Doctor of Optic Sciences, University of Arizona
After earning an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Astrophysics and a master’s degree and doctorate in Optical Sciences from the University of Arizona, Eduardo Bendek joined NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He is part of the team designing an instrument that can be used to seek out exoplanets, which will be launched into space in 2025. He also has his own NASA laboratory focused on developing technology that can be used to find planets.
NASA awarded him a medal for exceptional achievements in technology in 2015 for the progress he has made in his laboratory. Bendek is the author and co-author of over 100 scientific publications and multiple patents. He also has over 15 years of experience in the design of advanced astronomical instruments and telescope operations on Earth and in space. He worked for the Cerro Paranal Observatory, which is part of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), for five years and spent three years at the MMT Observatory in Arizona developing laser adaptive optics. He is also is a member of the Chile-California Council.
The missions in which he has participated include ACESat, which focuses on obtaining images of exoplanets in the Alfa Centauri star system, and MAP, a microarcsecond probe for detecting and measuring planets around nearby stars.