27 January 2010


Nakamura awarded 2010 Harvey Prize by Israel’s Technion

Shuji Nakamura, professor of materials in the University of California Santa Barbara’s College of Engineering and co-director of its Solid State Lighting and Energy Center, has been named one of the two winners of the 2010 Harvey Prize for advancements in science and technology (along with Sir David Baulcombe, a botanist and research professor at the UK’s University of Cambridge). Awarded annually by the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, the prize will be presented on 17 February at a ceremony on the university’s campus in Haifa, Israel.

Nakamura is known for his pioneering work on blue, green, and white LEDs and the blue laser diode. He was also part of a UCSB team that developed the world’s first nonpolar blue-violet laser diodes.

Chosen for the prize for “seminal contributions to light sources based on nitride-containing III-V semiconductors”, Nakamura “pioneered the research that led to the first semiconductor laser producing blue emission, which increases significantly the density of optical storage devices,” the citation states. “His work on nitride-containing light emitting diodes led eventually to the white light LED, which totally revolutionized lighting concepts. These white light LEDs will dominate light-producing systems, as they are significantly more efficient than conventional incandescent light bulbs, ensuring huge reductions in energy consumption.”

First awarded in 1972, the Harvey Prize includes a $75,000 cash stipend to each winner. Supported by a fund established by the late Leo M. Harvey of Los Angeles, the prize recognizes individuals who have made great contributions to science and technology and human health, and individuals who have helped advance the cause of peace in the Middle East. Of past winners, 13 have gone on to win Nobel Prizes. They include David Gross, director of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UC Santa Barbara, who won the Harvey Prize in 2000 and the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2004.

Previous international awards for Nakamura in recognition of his research include Finland’s Millennium Technology Prize (in 2006) and Spain’s Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research (in 2008). Earlier he was a recipient of Japan’s Takeda Award, as well as an Innovation Award from UK magazine The Economist.

See related item:

Nakamura’s LED revolution wins him Millennium Technology Prize

Search: Shuji Nakamura LEDs