Mary Herndon, Principal Engineer, IDS
Since joining the materials engineering group in January 2006, Dr. Mary Herndon has implemented novel optical techniques for characterizing scatter and absorbance properties in laser materials. She currently leads nano- and metamaterials independent research and development for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems and the corporate-level Nano Science and Engineering Technology Interest Group.
In her position, Herndon has had the opportunity to improve upon existing products as well as identify new solutions. As a materials engineer, she gets to look at both incremental, near-term solutions and potentially disruptive materials and technologies.
Herndon served as the materials engineering lead for various Zumwalt, Patriot and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) efforts. She participated in Raytheon-sponsored projects involving metamaterials as well as chemical, biological and explosive (CBE) sensing technologies. Before joining Raytheon, she spent six years working at startup companies, where she managed a wafer fabrication lab and specialized in transitioning engineering processes to volume manufacturing.
Herndon has experience in optical characterization techniques, semiconductor processing, and the transfer of processes from prototype to production manufacturing. She received her Ph.D. in applied physics with an emphasis in materials science from the Colorado School of Mines while working within the Center for Solar and Electronic Materials and collaboratively with partners at the National Renewable Energy Lab.
“I went into physics because I enjoy hands-on experiments and figuring out how things work,” Herndon comments. “I am also somewhat of an obsessive planner and organizer. My work allows me to be in the lab and enjoy the creative and applied aspects of research while also organizing the details and logistics of project management.”