UCSB Engineering

September 13, 2012

Shuji Nakamura Named Inventor of the Year

UCSB Professor Nakamura honored by the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Law Association

Shuji Nakamura , professor of materials and research director for the Solid State Lighting & Energy Center at UC Santa Barbara, was named 2012 Inventor of the Year by the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Law Association (SVIPLA). Nakamura joins 35 other inventors and creators honored each year by the association since 1977. He will be presented with the award at an SVIPLA dinner on September 27.

“He revolutionized LED technology, which has significantly changed the way we look at light,” said SVIPLA President David Tsai, of Nakamura’s achievements, who pointed out Nakamura’s inventions have improved the quality of people’s lives with bright displays, energy efficient lights, and even technology that can sterilize drinking water. SVIPLA not only wants to recognize the invention, said Tsai, but also the efforts to protect the intellectual property. Nakamura has filed more than 700 patent applications, and can claim at least 360 authorized invention patents.

“It is my great honor to be named Inventor of the Year by Silicon Intellectual property Law Association. I have invented new technologies and also generated new IPs at the same time. IPs are the key to protecting our new technology,” said Nakamura.

Nakamura, who came to UCSB in 2000, is best known for his breakthroughs in lighting technology with the successful creation of the first group-III nitride-based bright blue light emitting diode, which later led to the development of the white LED, considered a holy grail of lighting. He also developed the first group III nitride-based violet laser diodes and blue laser diodes, representing some of the most significant achievements in the materials science of semiconductors in the last 30 years. The highly energy efficient technology has since been used in solid-state lighting, displays, medicine, and Blu-Ray optical storage. Presently he is working on the development of nonpolar and semipolar Gallium nitride LEDs, as well as a green laser diode.

For his work, Nakamura has been recognized with various awards for his creations and innovations. In the last 20 years he has received about 40 awards from various institutions, including recognition from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers several times, the 2006 Millenium Technology Prize, a Harvey Award, and a Technology Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 2011. He was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2003.


Shuji Nakamura

Related Links

Faculty Profile: Shuji Nakamura

UCSB Researchers Achieve World's First Violet Nonpolar Vertical-Cavity Laser Technology

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Melissa Van De Werfhorst
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