Howard Joseph Moses, who served as technical director for Virginia Tech’s Center for Power Electronics Systems (CPES) from 1999-2001, passed away Aug. 8 at the age of 87.

Moses was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and was a lifelong learner. He received his bachelor’s degree in applied mechanics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, his master’s in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and his MBA from the University of Connecticut. 

He became a registered professional engineer and a respected academic, teaching engineering-related subjects at three universities. Moses followed several technical engineering publications, so his knowledge was never dated and he was able to contribute to current understandings. He was a senior life member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a licensed private pilot.

After retiring from his more than 40-year industrial career in engineering and research for three major aerospace companies, Moses joined the research faculty at the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1999. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed technical director of CPES, which is Virginia Tech’s only National Science Foundation-sponsored laboratory.

After two years with the department, he retired again but a few months later was fully engaged with a company at Virginia Tech’s Corporate Research Center, developing software tools to make the aerospace design processes more efficient. He spent 15 years with Corporate Research Center and didn’t really retire until he was 79. 

Moses’ hard work and dedication to the field of electrical and aerospace engineering was recognized and admired by many. In fact, his name is on the Wall of Honor at the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center Air and Space Museum.

Dushan Boroyevich, University Distinguished Professor and deputy director of CPES, was one of the earliest faculty members associated with the laboratory. He shared fond memories of Moses.

“Howard was a beautiful team resource due to his extremely broad experience working in many companies and organizations,” said Boroyevich. “He was always able to find out how different team members could best help us achieve our goals. Everyone felt welcome and useful as part of the team when it was led or coordinated by Howard.” 

Brett Malone, president and CEO of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (VTCRC), said Moses’ positive attitude and love of engineering was deeply appreciated.

“Howard had an infectious passion for the field and was dedicated to advancing the aerospace industry,” Malone said. “He was helpful for many companies in the VTCRC because he was such a patient and tireless mentor. Howard’s abundant curiosity was a gift to any young engineer who had the privilege of working with him.” 

During retirement, Moses continued to meet with members of his affiliated Rotary club, engineering associations, and his HOA. He especially enjoyed those group chats over coffee and doughnuts when they centered on airplanes and U.S. military history.

A memorial service and celebration of life will be held Sunday, Aug. 27, at 2 p.m. at McCoy Funeral Home Chapel in Blacksburg.

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