Miguel Ríos, Jr., Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer and Founder in 1985 of ORION International Technologies, Inc. (ORION), Miguel Ríos, Jr., has had a distinguished career, with over 30 years of experience in the field of High Technology that includes Fundamental Research, Systems Analysis, Engineering, Design and Fabrication, Test and Evaluation, Modeling and Simulation, Program Planning and Executive Management.
Dr. Ríos received a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Maryland in 1971 and worked for two years as a postdoctoral fellow in nuclear astrophysics at the California Institute of Technology. After briefly serving as an assistant professor at the California Polytechnic Institute (CALPOLY) in 1975 he and his family relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico. For a decade, he worked as a physicist on staff at Sandia National Laboratories before leaving to become an entrepreneur.
At Sandia Laboratories, Dr. Ríos performed research in such diverse fields as:
- Defense - Security and survivability of nuclear weapons
- Nuclear Energy - Safety and security of light-water and liquid-metal cooled reactors
- Solar Energy - Research and development of photovoltaic concentrator modules and arrays
Under Dr. Ríos’ leadership, ORION has grown into a thriving company with its corporate office in Albuquerque and operations in Santa Fe, NM, Washington, DC, Eglin AFB, FL, San Diego, CA, and Stanford University SLAC, CA. ORION currently provides Research and Development and Technical and Engineering support to the DoD, DOE, DOT, the National Laboratories, and large DoD prime contractors in diverse areas such as Directed-Energy Technologies, Space Technologies, Information Technologies, Test and Evaluation, Modeling and Simulation, Nuclear Weapons & Counterproliferation, and Staff Augmentation.
ORION is regularly listed among the top Hispanic High Tech firms in the country by Hispanic Business magazine. Among its many achievements, ORION counts an advanced modeling and simulation technology, UMBRA (co-developed with the Intelligent Systems and Robotics Center at Sandia National Laboratories), which it is currently commercializing.
Dr. Ríos and ORION have earned numerous professional recognitions and entrepreneurial accolades over the years for their dedication to the achievement of innovative solutions, dynamic management and cost effective performance on contracts awarded by the government. Among them are:
- Distinguished Alumnus, 2005, the University of Maryland’s College of Computing, Mathematics and Physical Sciences
- Outstanding Hispanic in Science and Engineering, 2003, National Atomic Museum
- Hispanic Businessman of the Year, 2001, U.S. Hispano Chamber of Commerce, Region II
- Recognition for Entrepreneurship, 2000, Ministry of Foreign Relations, Mexico
- National Minority Male Entrepreneur of the Year, 1999, Minority Business Development Agency, U.S. Department of Commerce
- National Prime Contractor of the Year, 1999, U.S. Small Business Administration
- Road Runner Quality Award, 1998, Malcolm Baldrige Quality Awards Program, New Mexico
- Hispanic Entrepreneur of the Year, 1992, Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards