About Adrian

Hi, I’m Adrian Ildefonso. I’m a research engineer in the Radiation Effects and Optoelectronics Branch at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. I’m originally from a small town in Puerto Rico called Arroyo. I completed my B.S. in computer engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, in 2014. After graduating, I moved to Atlanta, GA to pursue my Ph.D. I completed my M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, in 2017 and 2020. While at Georgia Tech, I worked as a research assistant in the Silicon-Germanium Devices and Circuits Team led by Dr. John D. Cressler.


My research is focused on the effects of space radiation on electronic systems. The goal is to build more robust satellite communication systems. I study how electronic devices and systems fail under harsh radiation conditions and find ways to mitigate the damage. My work has taken me to radiation facilities all over the world and I’ve accumulated over 1,000 hours of radiation effects testing so far. See a map of my travels below. I am also a part of the Boricua Planeteers! This is me in action!

Here, I’m loading a sample at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Life as a Big Experiment

As a scientist, I believe the scientific method can enrich our lives. While I was a leadership coach at Georgia Tech, I encouraged people to craft small experiments around their behaviors and habits to figure out how to live their best lives. There is so much information in books and online about how to improve your life by changing how you manage your time, how you measure your productivity, how you organize your space… It can be overwhelming! Understanding which tools and techniques work best for us requires us to try them out. The key is being mindful about these choices/experiments and, as a good scientist, taking notes about how they are affecting your life. If you want to know more, feel free to reach out!

Hobbies + Life Outside of Lab

During my spare time, I like to explore local craft breweries, cocktail bars, and restaurants. I’m a fan of craft beer and the brewing process, though I’m partial to IPAs and sour beers. I also enjoy mixing cocktails, in particular, whiskey- and mezcal-based drinks. I recently opened an Instagram account to chronicle my journey as I learn to make more drinks (and occasionally take pictures of them). See an example below (taken at my dining room table!):

Recently, I’ve been enjoying some more active hobbies, including weight training a few times per week and participating in social volleyball leagues. I also completed a Spartan Race in June 2023. It was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I’ve undergone recently.

Travel Map