Julia F. Herrick

Julia F. Herrick
North St. Paul, MN, USA
Associated organizations
Mayo Clinic
Fields of study
Biomedical engineering


Julia F. Herrick (IRE, Member 1946) was born in North St. Paul, Minn. on 14 September 1893. She received the B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in 1915 and 1919, respectively. After several years of high school and college teaching, she returned to the University of Minnesota where she received the Ph.D. degree in biophysics, in 1931.

She was appointed a member of the staff of the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn., as a Consultant in Biophysics at the Institute of Experimental Medicine in 1936. She became an Assistant Professor of Physiology at the Mayo Foundation in 1938, an Associate Professor in 1945, and Professor in 1958. Her designation was later changed to Professor of Biophysics.

Herrick's studies of blood flow in various mammalian blood vessels have resulted in some modifications in the Rein thermostromuhr which extended the use of this instrument to the measurement of the flow of blood under more normal conditions.

In 1942, at the request of the War Department, Herrick joined the Signal Corps Engineering Laboratories, Fort Monmouth, N.J., where her work was concerned largely with radio direction-finding. Returning to the Mayo Foundation in 1946, her research activities were devoted to the biologic effects of microwaves and ultrasound, physiologic thermometry, and the circulation of the blood. In 1959, she joined the Cardiovascular Laboratory, Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, as a Research Associate, and 1960, she became a Senior Scientist at the Vista Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.

Herrick worked extensively on the development of an ultrasonic flowmeter, and with the assistance of electronic engineers and physicsts, a first model of the flowmeter had been constructed. In 1962, the instrument was being used for measuring the velocity of blood outside the natural circulation in the body. In 1962, further development was deemed necessary for measurements in the living body.

In 1962, Herrick was a Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences, and a member of the American Physiological Society, the American Physiological Society, the American Physical Society, AAAS, Sigma Xi, Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Gamma Delta, and Mortar Board. She had been chair of the IRE Professional Groups on Medical Electronics and Ultrasonics Engineering, and in 1962, she was the former Editor of "IRE Transactions on Medical Electronics."


This biographical entry was taken from the Proceedings of the IRE, Fiftieth Anniversary issue (May 1962): 1431. Herrick was one of the 180 contributors (one of two women) to the issue of IRE Proceedings marking IRE's Fiftieth Anniversary issue.