She died on July 18, 2008 in Ridgecrest, CA after a long illness. She was 78. Bennett received her PhD in physics from Pennsylvania State University in 1955, and spent most of her career at the Naval Weapons Center (now the Naval Air Warfare Center) at China Lake, CA.
In recognition for her contributions to the studies of optical surfaces OSA established the Jean Bennett Memorial Student Travel Grant.
Awards and recognition
In 1994 she was named a Distinguished Fellow of the Naval Weapons Center and won their L.T.E. Thompson Award for scientific achievements in optics technology in 1988.
She received the David Richardson Medal from The Optical Society (OSA) in 1990 for her "sustained contributions to the studies of optical surfaces that have provided the optics community with a more thorough understanding of optical surface phenomenology and a meticulous methodology for surface characterization." She also became an OSA Fellow in 1972.
She received the SPIE Technology Achievement Award in 1983 for "the development of practical instrumentation for optical surface quality metrology, and for dedicated service and guidance to the optics industry."