Francisco Javier Benedicto
Francisco Javier BENEDICTO
Director de Navegación de la Agencia Espacial Europea
Born in Spain, Francisco-Javier Benedicto Ruiz studied at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, graduating with a Master of Science in Telecommunications Engineering in 1981.
He has accomplished an international career in space, with over 40 years’ experience at ESA, universities and Spanish industry and Japan’s international telecom operator KDD.
He has held various engineering and managerial posts in the development of fixed, broadcast and mobile satellite communication systems and led the development of Europe’s EGNOS and Galileo satellite navigation systems.
As Director of Navigation, Francisco-Javier Benedicto Ruiz is responsible for the definition, planning and execution of ESA’s Navigation programmes and contributes to ESA-wide management, supporting the ESA Director General in the pursuit of ESA’s overall objectives.
Francisco-Javier Benedicto Ruiz started his career as radio frequency engineer working for Mier Comunicaciones and for the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in the early 1980s.
He joined ESA as satellite communications engineer in the Technical Directorate at ESTEC, the Netherlands, in 1985, and worked in Japan as a satellite communications engineer for international satcom operator KDD.
He then became Head of Mobile Satellite Services in ESA’s Directorate of Telecommunications at ESTEC in 1993 and later initiated the EGNOS project, which he managed in close collaboration with French space agency CNES.
Since 2000, he has been leading at ESA the design, development, deployment and initial operations of Europe’s Galileo global satellite navigation system. This included the end-to-end system design, deployment of two experimental satellites (GIOVE A/B) and up to 30 operational satellites in medium Earth orbit, and deployment of ground segment with over 20 operational sites, control and security monitoring centres in Europe and ground stations distributed all over the world.
Francisco-Javier Benedicto Ruiz has over 30 years of experience of collaboration with the European Commission, Inmarsat and Eutelsat, the EU GNSS Agency and later the EU Agency for the Space Programme.
Francisco-Javier speaks Spanish, English, French, Italian, Dutch, Catalan and Japanese. He has over 100 publications in technical journals and conferences, holds several international ESA patents and has been recipient of several honours and awards.
In 2018 he was awarded the degree Senatore Accademico by the Accademia Internazionale Medicea (Firenze, Italy) and in 2022 the degree Doctor Honoris Causa by the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain).