Rotary DTLA - Hildreth (Hal) Walker

Hildreth (Hal) Walker, Jr.‘s space technology involvements began in 1959 as a technical member of the RCA Corporation’s BMEWS (Ballistic Missile Early Warning System) situated in the Alaskan frontiers to detect Soviet Missile nuclear attacks. This experience prepared him to expand his career into the laser technology industry in early 1964 at KORAD Laser Systems, a Division of Union Carbide Corporation. As a laser systems specialist, Hal traveled throughout the United States and the world introducing advanced new laser technologies to the fields of scientific research and industrial applications.

Mr. Walker led the manufacturing, testing, and operation of the Korad K-1500 ruby laser system during the 1969 Apollo 11 Moon landings lunar laser ranging experiment. This historic first successful interplanetary lunar laser ranging experiment was replicated in 1994 in an interactive exhibit located in the Hands on Science section of Science in American Life at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. Mr. Walker himself was honored in the exhibit’s permanent section, “The New Moon.”

In 1974 Hal joined the Hughes Aircraft Company where he participated in developing and placing the first Tactical Laser Target Designator System into the U.S. Army inventory. Mr. Walker retired in 1989 from the management team of the Hughes Aircraft Company. He then served until 2010 as president and CEO of TECH PLUS, a laser technology consultant group. The group participated in national projects such as the Laser Induced Plasma Fusion at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Hal was appointed to be a JPL/NASA Solar System Ambassador in 2000. In this role he participates as a speaker and specialist in space-related technology issues. His responsibilities are promoting public education and the development of local community awareness and benefits regarding space technology and deep space future exploration. He is a Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Educator Associate.

Mr. Walker is board chairman and co-founder, with his wife Dr. Bettye Walker, of the African-American Male Achievers Network, Inc. (A-MAN), a non-profit corporation. A-MAN is dedicated to the nurturing of young African-American and other minority students with particular emphasis in science and mathematics. Hal and Bettye have also established A-MAN, Inc., in South Africa at the invitation of President Nelson Mandela and implement science and technology programs in township schools across the country. Hal is a graduate of Pacific Christian College (cum laude) with a B.S. Degree in Business Technology Management.

Mr. Walker has been a Rotarian for 22 years, previously with the Inglewood Rotary Club, and is a Lifetime member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Los Angeles, Alumni Chapter; Founding Polemarch of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Cape Town-Western Cape Alumni Chapter; Past Board Chairman, Walk to Emmaus Los Angeles Community; Member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Boule, and Delta Xi Chapter, and President, National Space Society of South Africa.