Rick Yuse, E’74, ME’76

Rick Yuse may have taken his first flight on an F-15 fighter jet this year, but he’s been flying ahead of the competition since he began developing radar for aerospace and defense giant Raytheon in 1976. His first job with Raytheon sent him to the Aleutian Islands to design radars needed to monitor Soviet missile activity during the Cold War. Those phased array radars—the first of their kind—remain market leaders.

A two-time electrical engineering alum, father of a CPS student, and member of Northeastern’s Corporation, Yuse is president of Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems. SAS makes avionics for fighter aircraft, and advanced sensors for other platforms that provide vital national security information.

For starters, there’s providing military forces accurate, timely, and actionable battlefield information. SAS sensors also monitor climate change and track weather patterns—essential not just for environmental imperatives, but also to meet national security goals. One of SAS’s most recent successes—the Visible/Infrared/Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), a space-based imager and operational sensor launched in October of 2011—is a NASA and NOAA standard. It’s captured vivid imagery of the earth; “Blue Marble 2012” was called the most amazing high-definition image of the planet to date.

Yuse has gained rich experience from working on complex programs—from designing system architectures to directing flight test programs. That background serves him well today as he leads some of industry’s top innovating sensor systems for cutting-edge applications.

To Yuse, innovation drives solutions for today’s challenges—like electronic warfare and cybersecurity. But, more simply, it also “means solving our customers’ problems in unique ways,” says Yuse. He credits Northeastern for teaching him to think critically and creatively to solve problems effectively.

Not that he’s going it alone. Yuse demands innovation from his entire team in all aspects of product evolution. “Our national security,” he says, “is dependent on their creativity, innovative thinking, and ultimately breakthrough contributions.”