Allyson L. Hartzell, M.Sc.

Managing Engineer

Ms. Allyson Hartzell is a Managing Engineer at Veryst Engineering with more than three decades of professional experience in emerging technologies.  Ms. Hartzell is an internationally recognized expert in MEMS reliability and has expertise in surface chemistry and analytical techniques for failure analysis.  Ms. Hartzell possesses a broad background in semiconductor and MEMS fabrication, yield enhancement, emerging technology manufacturing and reliability, packaging materials and processing, and cleanroom science— including particulate and molecular contamination.  Ms. Hartzell works with clients on reliability, failure analysis root cause and corrective action, manufacturing problem solving and fundamental materials science.

Prior to joining Veryst Engineering, Ms. Hartzell was Director of Engineering for Reliability, Failure Analysis, and Yield at Pixtronix, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm.  She was a Senior Staff Scientist in Reliability and Yield at Analog Devices Micromachined Products Division, and has worked at IBM and Digital Equipment Corporation.


Sc.M., Applied Physics, Harvard University, 1994

Sc.B., Materials Engineering, Brown University, 1982


“MEMS Reliability,” (with Mark da Silva and Herbert Shea) Springer Publishing, ‘MEMS Reference Shelf,’ [Prof. Stephen Senturia, Prof. Roger Howe, Dr. Antonio Ricco, technical series editors] November, 2010.

Book Chapter

“Deposition of Molecular Contaminants in Gaseous Environments,” Contamination Free Manufacturing for Semiconductors and Other Precision Products, Chapter 8, Robert Donovan (ed.), New York: Marcel Dekker, 2001.

Proceedings, Editorialships

Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS and MOEMS: Special Edition on MEMS Reliability, July-Oct 2009 (R. Ramesham and A.L. Hartzell, co-editors).

“Reliability, Packaging, Testing and Characterization of MEMS/MOEMS VI,” Proceedings of the SPIE, Vol. 6884, January 2008 (A.L. Hartzell and R. Ramesham, editors).

“Reliability, Packaging, Testing and Characterization of MEMS/MOEMS VI,” Proceedings of the SPIE, Vol. 6463, January 2007 (A.L. Hartzell and R. Ramesham, editors).


“Trends in MEMS Testing” (contributor), Business World CIO, April 9, 2019.

“Solving the Interconnect Challenge: How to Bring Flexibility to Wearable Design,” NASA (National Aeronautics & Space Administration) Tech Briefs, March 1, 2017 (with A. Spann).

“Avoid these common MEMS failure mechanisms,” EDN Network, January 21, 2016.

“MEMS Deformable Mirrors for Astronomical Adaptive Optics,” Proc. SPIE 7736, Adaptive Optics Systems II, 77362D, July 28, 2010 (with S. A. Cornelissen, J.B. Stewart, T.G. Bifano, and P. A. Bierden).

“Reliability of MEMS Deformable Mirror Technology Used in Adaptive Optics Imaging Systems,” MEMS Adaptive Optics IV, Proceedings of SPIE Vol. 7595” (with S.A. Cornelissen, P.A. Bierden, C.V. Lam, and D. Davis).

“Optical Microelectromechanical Systems: Designing for Reliability,” Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS and MOEMS, July - September 2007, Volume 6, Issue 3, (with S. Bhattacharya).

“Health Risk Assessment of Products Containing Nano-engineered Materials,” Nanotech 2007, Nano Science and Technology Institute, Santa Clara, CA, May 2007 (with F. Mowat, M. da Silva, and F. Tsuji).

“Analytical Methods for Nanotechnology,” Nanotech 2007, Nano Science and Technology Institute, Santa Clara, CA, May 2007 (with I. Mowat, J. Moskito, I. Ward, H. Kawayoshi, D. Winter, and G. Strossman).

“Nanotechnology,” ABA (American Bar Association) Products Liability Litigation Committee Newsletter, Summer 2006, Vol 17, No. 3 (with J. Rotondo and D. Foster).

“MEMS Reliability—Past, Present and Future,” MEMS Industry Group Five Year Anniversary Report, September 2006.

“Analysis of Manufacturing Scale MEMS Reliability Testing,” Proceedings of the Micromachining and Microfabrication Conference SPIE 1999, Santa Clara, CA, September 20–22, 1999 (with K. Delak, P. Bova, and D. Woodilla).

“Reliability Methodology for Prediction of Micromachined Accelerometer Stiction,” Proceedings of the IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium, San Diego, CA, March 1999 (with D. Woodilla).

“Correlating Extraction and Contaminant-Transfer Test Results for Cleanroom Gloves,” MICRO, Vol. 14, No. 9, p. 69–80, October 1996 (with J. Rose, D. Liu, C. Seeley, R. Burt, P. McPherson, and M. O’Shaughnessy).

“Transport of Reactive Gas-Phase Outdoor Air Pollutants Indoors,” Indoor Environment, Vol. 3, No. 5, p. 266–273, 1994 (with J. Axley and J. Peavey).

“Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Processes in the Transport of Outdoor Air Pollutants Indoors,” 1993 Indoor Air Quality Problems Conference, Warsaw, Poland, 1993 (with J. Axley and J. Peavey).

“The Role of Aluminum Microstructure in Electromigration,” 1990 ISTFA Conference Proceedings, Los Angeles, CA, 1990 (with J. Rose, J. Lloyd, R. St Amand, and R. Csencsits).

“Argon as a Heat Transfer Gas in Reactive Ion Etching During Failure Analysis,” 1990 ISTFA Conference Proceedings, Los Angeles, CA, 1990.

Selected Presentations

"The Importance of MEMS Cavity Gas Composition," 31st Annual Electronics Packaging Symposium – Small Systems Integration, presented by GE Research and IEEC-Binghamton University, Niskayuna, New York, September 5-6, 2019.

“Emerging MEMS and Sensors with Focus on Reliability,” International Workshop on Nano/Micro 2D & 3D Fabrication and Manufacturing of Electronic and Biomedical Devices and Applications (IWNEBD-2018), India Institute of Technology, Mandi, India, November 2, 2018.

“Reliability Considerations for Flexible Hybrid Electronics” tutorial session, “Mechanical Reliability” session co-chair, ASME InterPACK 2018—the International Technical Conference and Exhibition on Packaging and Integration of Electronic and Photonic Microsystems, San Francisco, CA, August 27-30, 2018. 

“The Role of Reliability in Functional Fabric Sensors for High Volume Applications,” Sensors Expo & Conference, San Jose, California, June 26-28, 2018.  

"MEMS and Sensors – Reliability for Devices, Packaging and Interconnects in Wearable Technology," SEMI/MSIG (MEMS and Sensors Industry Group) Webinar, January 24, 2018.

"MEMS Reliability: Brief History, Current Status, and Emerging Trends," MEMS Testing and Reliability Workshop, Santa Clara, CA, August 1, 2017.

“Ask the Experts,” Topic: Technology Transfer, MEMS and Sensors Industry Group Webinar, November 17, 2016.

“MEMS Reliability,” International Integrated Reliability Workshop Tutorial, Fallen Leaf Lake, California, October 9-13, 2016.

“Reliability of MEMS,” Hilton Head Solid-State Sensors, Actuators, and Microsystems Workshop, hosted by NIST, June 5, 2016.

"Intro to MEMS Reliability – How to Fix Problems Before they Happen," MEMS and Sensors Industry Group Webinar, March 31, 2016.

“MEMS Reliability,” Podcast with Tim Rodgers of Accendo Reliability, March 14, 2016.

"MEMS Reliability,” MEMS Manufacturing Conference 2015, Santa Clara, CA, August 5-6, 2015.

“MEMS Reliability,” Plenary Speech, MEMS and Sensors (ICMEMSS 2014), IIT Madras, Chennai, International Conference, Tamil Nadu, December 18-20, 2014.

“MEMS Reliability for Industry,” Hilton Head Workshop 2014: A Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems Workshop, Hilton Head Island, June 8, 2014.

"Design for Reliability in MEMS-Based Systems," TechConnect World Conference and Expo 2011, Microtech Conference, Boston MA, June 16, 2011.

"MEMS Reliability," Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana, Prism Seminar Talk, April 8, 2011.

“Nanotechnology and Environmental Governance,” Nanotechnology Quick Teleconference Series, American Bar Association, June 21, 2007 (with K. Fay and L. Breggin; Moderators: R. Fil and L. Paddock).

“Design for Reliability: Prediction Methodology for Hermeticity Lifetime in MEMS Packaging,” Sensor Expo 2007 MEMS/Nanotechnology Session, Rosemont IL, June, 2007 (with M. da Silva).

“Microcontamination at the Molecular Level,” IEST New England Chapter Education Seminar, Woburn, MA, May, 2007.

“Fast Yield Ramp-Up for MEMS Foundries,” MEMS Industry Group Webinar, May, 2007 (with M. Rimskog (Silex) and M. da Silva).

“The Effect of Nanotechnology on Manufacturing and the End Products: Who Benefits?” American Chemical Society's 232nd National Meeting and Exposition on September 10–14, 2006, San Francisco, CA (with M. Poliskie).

“MEMS, Mechanical Shock and Microcontamination: Related Failure Mechanisms in MEMS,” ESTECH 2006, Phoenix AZ, May 10, 2006.

“ISO 14644 and 14698 Panel Discussion,” ESTECH 2006, Phoenix AZ, May 9, 2006.

“ISO-14644-8, Classification of Airborne Molecular Contamination: A Review of the New Standard,” Cleanrooms Contamination Control Technology (CCT) Conference, Proceedings 2006, Boston, MA, March 15-16, 2006.

“Emerging Standards for Airborne Molecular Contamination in Cleanrooms,” Session 14, ASHRAE 2005 Winter Meeting Orlando FA, February 6, 2005.

“Organic Deposition and Micromachined Technology,” Invited speaker, ICCCS 2004, Bonn, Germany, 2004 (Member of a discussion panel on Airborne Molecular Contamination).

“MEMS Reliability for Critical Applications,” Metric MEMS Industry Meeting, Pittsburg, PA, September 18–19, 2003 (with D. Woodilla, P. Basque, and P. Bova).

“ISO/TC209-WG8 Status,” and “Contamination Issues with MEMS,” Invited speaker, Cleanrooms 2003, Boston MA, 2003.

“MEMS Reliability, Characterization and Test,” Invited Keynote Speaker, 2001 SPIE MEMs Conference, San Francisco, CA, October 22, 2001 (with D. Woodilla).


“Optical Mirror Coatings for High-Temperature Diffusion Barriers and Mirror Shaping,” Patent No. 6,508,561 (with S. Alie, K. Nunan, M. Karpman, and J. Martin).

Industry-Related Leadership

iMatSci Innovator Showcase Judge, 2017 Fall MRS meeting, Boston, MA, November 28, 2017.

iMatSci Innovator Showcase Judge, 2016 Fall MRS meeting, Boston, MA, November 30, 2016.

Technical Advisory Board Member, MSIG 2016 to present (MEMS and Sensors Industry Group).

ECTC Advanced Packaging Committee, MEMS and Sensors Track, 2017, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, May 30-June 2, 2017.

Technical Advisor to Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, Centre for Nano- electromechanical Systems (NEMS) and Nanophotonics, 2010-present.

SPIE MEMS Reliability/Packaging/Characterization/Test Conference Chair, January 2007 and 2008.

SPIE MEMS Reliability/Packaging/Characterization/Test Conference Co-Chair, January 2009.

Advisory Committee Member to Cleanrooms Conferences (2005–2008).

Editorial review member for Cleanrooms Magazine (2006–2009).

Review committee for various micromachine technology conferences including: MEMS Section, International Reliability Physics Symposium Conference (1999), ITC MEMS Conference (1999), SPIE MEMS Conferences (1999–present), ICMEMS Madras India (2008).

US Delegate to ISO/Technical Committee 209 Working Group 8—Cleanrooms and Associated Controlled Environments (Airborne Molecular Contamination, ISO-14644-8), 1999–2007.

US Delegate to ISO/Technical Committee 209 Working Group 8a—Cleanrooms and Associated Controlled Environments (Surface Chemical Contamination, ISO-14644-8), 2006–2008.

International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS): Member, Yield Enhancement, Wafer Environmental Control Working Group, 2005–2007.

Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (IEST): Member of IEST WG CC201: Forum for Nanoscale Research Facilities, 2006.

How can we help?