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David Alexander '77

Alumni Success Story

David AlexanderIsraeli Engineer Traces Career to RCC Education

David Alexander ’77 remembers getting sage advice from his math professor at RCC, Robert Burghardt, that echoed across later chapters in his life as a master sergeant in the Israeli Armed Forces and senior engineer for a Jerusalem-based optics production company of global stature. When Burghardt’s students were stumped by a problem he posted on the blackboard, he would tell them, “Let’s pretend we don’t know anything.” That philosophy, Alexander says, “has been quite useful in treating any problem in life. If you get lost, go back to where you are sure of yourself.”

Certain that engineering was his forte, Alexander used his AAS degree in Engineering Science from RCC to propel him toward a long and successful career with Ophir Optics, specializing in the production of complex optical systems for infrared thermal lenses and ultra-precise mirrors. Ophir’s advanced products are used worldwide, perhaps most prominently for the Patriot missile air and defense system.

After graduating from RCC in 1977, Alexander immigrated to Israel and served for two and a half years as a tank commander for the Merkava Main Battle Tank Squadron, a select group of fewer than 100 tanks, and saw action in the Peace for the Galilee War, now referred to as the First Lebanon War. He earned a BS in Physics/Electro Optics Engineering in 1987 from the Jerusalem College of Technology (now known as Lev Academic Center), which accepted all of his degree-related RCC credits.

Of his education at RCC, Spring Valley native Alexander says simply, “My tenure at RCC prepared me well for life.”

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