Robert H. Lampereur '85
2022 Recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Achievement - College of Arts and Sciences
Early in his career Rob Lampereur '85 realized he needed to work on projects that aimed for a higher purpose. While he prepared to graduate from Carroll, he sought out work in the aerospace industry inspired by the big picture objectives of space exploration. To this day he is motivated by issues he finds important, which range from addressing climate change to supporting science education to maintaining heathy local communities and strong friendships.
While not always possible, Lampereur sought out opportunities that aligned with his sense of purpose. Examples of notable projects on which he was fortunate to contribute include the Hubble Space Telescope program, the Kepler Space Telescope, and the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS).
Lampereur began his professional career at Lockheed Martin working as a software engineer including 6 years of onsite support at a military base in Germany. During his 15 years with Lockheed, his major focus was developing embedded flight software for three generations of scientific instruments for the Hubble Space Telescope. In fact, Hubble is still taking pictures using software that he developed.
Working on the Hubble program remains a career highlight that positioned him for many future projects. Lampereur remembers the day he started working on a new camera that would be installed in Hubble during a Space Shuttle Servicing Mission. It seemed too good to be true and began a series of Hubble projects that spanned over 10 years of his career. His first project developed a new infrared camera called NICMOS. He was the specialist designing the software used for image data collection, command and telemetry processing, system initialization, and fault handling. This was followed by the Advanced Camera for Surveys project, Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, and finally, the 3rd-generation Wide Field Camera. While he started on the Hubble program as a software engineer, he moved into Software Project Management and eventually Systems Engineering.
Following his time at Lockheed Martin, Lampereur worked at Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colorado until 2015. While there, in addition to his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Carroll, he obtained a Master of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from Regis University in Denver. Aligned with his desire to contribute to a greater purpose, he obtained a role as Software Systems Engineer on the Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) sensor project, which was developed to ensure compliance to the Montreal Protocol on Ozone Layer Protection. The OMPS sensor remains part of the ongoing Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) operated by NOAA. OMPS monitors the ozone layer, which protects life on Earth by absorbing ultraviolet light that damages DNA in plants and animals (including humans) leading to skin cancer and other problems. Protecting the planet remains one of Lampereur’s passions.
Lampereur’s tenure at Ball Aerospace intersected many other NASA and government satellite systems including the Kepler Mission, which to date has found nearly 5,000 confirmed exoplanets in over 3,500 planetary systems. He was instrumental in the design of the fault protection system, both on the spacecraft and the ground, to keep the Kepler Space Telescope operational when not in contact with the Earth. While at Ball Aerospace, he also organized the software effort on the Low Temperature Microgravity Physics Facility (LTMPF), which was an experiment destined for installation on the International Space Station. Lampereur has served in a variety of other capacities and roles throughout his tenure at Ball. Before retiring as Chief Software Engineer and Staff Consultant, he worked as Systems Engineer on multiple, critical satellite systems that support U.S. national security.
Not truly retiring, Lampereur has embarked on new professional journeys. He is co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of The Stonington Group, along with his friend and Carroll alum, Chris Thomas '84, providing Industry Development expertise to corporations, venture capital & private equity firms, and start-up companies. He has also been drawn back to work in the aerospace field, now working as Principal Systems Engineer at Raytheon Intelligence & Space in Aurora, Colorado.
Outside his professional accomplishments, Lampereur engages with his community. He volunteers with youth organizations like Girls, Inc. which encourages young women to pursue STEM-related professions. Additionally, he has volunteered at organizations that help ensure at-risk youth graduate from high school and go on to trade school or college. He has also sponsored a Tibetan college student through the Tibetan Village Project and had the honor of meeting his student when he traveled to Tibet in 2015.
Despite living in Colorado, Lampereur remains active closer to home. Not wanting to lose the close bonds created at Carroll, he and Chris Thomas '84 acquired land adjoining Tom Lorenson’s '85 family homestead in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan soon after graduating. A team of his Delta Rho Upsilon fraternity friends, including his brother Rich Lampereur '86, participated in building a cabin that hosts annual gatherings for all his friends and family to this day. In addition, he has joined his sister Sandy Orsted '82 in supporting the conversion of his hometown church near his family farm in Brussels, Wisconsin into the Belgian Heritage Center, which is becoming a focal point for collecting artifacts and maintaining an archive of Belgian immigrant history for future generations.