Mr. Chris Underwood

Research Technician VI, S2, Center for Applied Optics


Mr. Chris Underwood presently works in the UAH Optical Fabrication Laboratory and brings with him more than 30 years of experience in the fabrication of hardware. His work supports the space industry, the defense industries and any of the CAO local/national contracts. Since employed at the CAO, Mr. Underwood has fabricated a range of opto-mechanical structures and optical components, polishing glass surfaces and diamond turning metal mirrors and providing support for a vast array of customers. He primarily assists in design and fabrication of hardware for the CAO, the NMDC, and the Physics department. In addition, he supports many facets of the engineering and other departments throughout the university. His design assistance provides valuable input regarding ergonomics of fabrication, process planning, manufacturing, inspection, prototype device creation, and the implementation of mechanical and test instruments as required in the UAH research setting. His fabrication experience base covers both military field systems and NASA “flight hardware”. Mr. Underwood is the chief operator for the CAO Nanotech UPL250 single point diamond turning machine as well as the, soon to arrive, ZEEKO deterministic polishing machine. He previously implemented deterministic polishing techniques to refine procedures for polishing silicon carbide optical elements using the ZEEKO DPM. He programs and operates a host of CNC machines; as well, he operates a vast array of manual mills, jig bores, lathes and manual optical polishers. Mr. Underwood has a USG.V18 Series Certificate, and is a current NX7 cad/cam user.