Marylyn Hoy Bennett

Marylyn Hoy Bennett in 2005 Women in Optics planner

Marylyn Hoy Bennett

Marylyn Hoy Bennett
Texas Instruments,
Member Group Technical Staff
SPIE Fellow

Who or what inspired your career choice? My career choice for the last 24 years was inspired by a practical reason: money! I am a biologist by degree, and learned how to use electron microscopes for medical research. Salaries weren't very good back then, so after five and a half years I found an industry where my passion for electron microscopy would bring better career opportunities.

What is exciting about your work? The exciting part of my work has been to work on leading edge technology in the semiconductor industry. It has afforded me the opportunities to go on assignments to two of our overseas fabs and introduce automatic defect classification, a project I helped bring from research to commercialization. Currently, I am very fortunate to be on extended assignment to an international semiconductor consortia based in Austin, Texas, working on critical mask issues.

Knowing what you know now, what educational route would you recommend for aspiring optical scientists? I would recommend to any aspiring scientist to get all the education you can, preferably in a field that is your passion. I have struggled with a Bachelor's degree in a PhD world, and while not impossible it is a lot harder. I also strongly recommend finding summer employment or internships in a field you think you're interested (especially while in college), even if you have to volunteer. Any kind of experience allows you to decide if that job/career makes your heart sing, and provides an edge when it comes time to finding employment. But don't be surprised if you end up using your education and expertise in a field your didn't previously plan on!