Herz received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1952 from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (now Polytechnic Institute of New York University), in New York City. He received an honorary doctorate in 1992 from Manhattan College, also in New York.
He began his career as a project engineer at Sperry Corp., an electronics manufacturer, in New York City, where he helped develop and perform field tests of a military radio hyperbolic navigation system. In 1956 he was relocated to the island of Maui, in Hawaii, and served as lead engineer on a successful experimental system to detect and locate electromagnetic pulses from nuclear tests.
The following year he left to join the Convair Division of General Dynamics, an aerospace and defense company as an engineering supervisor. There he oversaw the development and implementation of the telemetering data processing stations in San Diego and Cape Canaveral, Fla.
In 1965 Herz was assigned chief engineer and deputy program manager for a digital position location and communication system for the U.S. Army that analyzed the maneuvers of personnel and aircraft and other vehicles. After the system was completed, he focused on avionics studies and proposals for space shuttle designs. Herz was assigned in 1974 to be a program manager for the design and systems engineering of the Navy’s Tomahawk cruise missile.
Herz was elevated to IEEE Fellow in 1983 “for contributions to the development and management of information systems for testing aerospace vehicles and for valuable services to the Institute.”
In 1972 Herz was elected president of the IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society. He joined the IEEE Board of Directors in 1976 and served as 1976–1977 director of Division III. In 1978 he became vice president, IEEE Technical Activities. In 1979 he joined IEEE’s staff as general manager and executive director. He retired in 1992 and was named director emeritus the following year. He also served on the board of IEEE’s philanthropic arm, the IEEE Foundation, from 1979 to 1995.