Gary Lerude, MWJ Technical Editor
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Gary Lerude

Gary Lerude is the Technical Editor of Microwave Journal. Previously, he spent his career as a “midwife” aiding the growth of the compound semiconductor industry, from device to application, from defense to commercial. He spent 19 years at Texas Instruments, 11 years at MACOM and six years with TriQuint. Gary holds a bachelor’s in EE, a master’s in systems engineering and an engineers degree (ABD) in EE.

Aerospace and Defense Channel / Industry News / RFIC Channel

Custom MMIC Celebrates Office and Lab Expansion

August 1, 2019

Custom MMIC commemorated its recent office and lab expansion with a ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday. U.S. Congresswoman Lori Trahan, who represents the third congressional district of Massachusetts, cut the ribbon and congratulated Paul Blount, founder, and company employees on the success of the 13-year-old firm.

Ribbon cutting
Paul Blount, founder, watches as U.S. Congresswoman Lori Trahan cuts a ceremonial ribbon, commemorating Custom MMIC's expansion. Summer interns Sarah McKinley (left) and Grace Remillard (right) hold the ribbon.

Blount gave Trahan a brief history of the company, saying the defense market is a focus. He noted the awards Custom MMIC has received from leading defense firms such as Raytheon and BAE Systems. Several Raytheon facilities are located in Trahan’s district, and she serves on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), so the point was relevant to her oversight role.

However, she was not at all familiar with GaAs MMICs and joked about impressing her family over dinner by saying “gallium arsenide” — a new addition to her vocabulary.

Blount stressed the effectiveness of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, enabling small firms to perform R&D and commercialize new technology. He said Custom MMIC’s first SBIR program — funded at $750,000 over two years — created 20 catalog products, which have generated some $20 million in revenue. He asked Trahan to support the program in Congress, which he believes is unique to the U.S. and a competitive advantage for the country.

Trahan toured the expanded engineering and production labs, which occupy a good share of the 20,000 square foot facility.

Paul Blount explains wafer probing to Congresswoman Lori Trahan, during a tour of Custom MMIC's expanded facility.

Trahan spent some time talking with two of the 2018 recipients of Custom MMIC’s Women in Engineering scholarship, who are working as interns at the company this summer. In her remarks to employees, she expressed appreciation for Blount and his wife Kate's commitment to helping young women pursue engineering careers. She noted her own experience as the only female executive at a tech company.

Chatting with the interns
Congresswoman Trahan chats with two of the three recipients of the 2018 Women in Engineering scholarships, Sarah McKinley (left) and Grace Remillard (right).

Read more about Custom MMIC in Microwave Journal's Fabs and Labs profile, published in the June 2019 issue.

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