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17 May 2017

Lumileds Solid State Lighting Fellow George Craford awarded IEEE Edison Medal

LED maker Lumileds of San Jose, CA, USA says that, at the IEEE Honors Ceremony in San Francisco on 25 May during the IEEE Vision, Innovations, and Challenges (IEEE VIC) Summit, George Craford (the Lumileds Solid State Lighting Fellow) will be presented with the IEEE Edison Medal for “a lifetime of pioneering contributions to the development and commercialization of visible LED materials and devices”.

Picture: George Craford, the Lumileds Solid State Lighting Fellow.

Craford’s career spans from the early days when LEDs were first developed to the delivery of high-brightness LEDs suitable for commercial use in applications including LED bulbs. He is best known for his invention of the yellow LED in 1972. Craford then led the development of increasingly brighter red, orange and amber LEDs. In 1979, he began work at Hewlett-Packard, where his team pioneered the development of aluminium indium gallium phosphide (AlInGaP) LEDs using metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD), which was then a relatively expensive lower-volume process and had not been utilized for the high-volume commercial production of LEDs. AlInGaP LEDs increased the performance of red and yellow LEDs by more than 10 times. Craford’s team continued to achieve technology breakthroughs in AlInGaP LEDs, eventually reaching 100lm/W.

“Not only was George responsible for substantial breakthroughs in technology but, with his team, ensured that the technology could be reliably and cost effectively manufactured,” comments Mark Karol, chair of the 2017 IEEE Awards Board.

Craford’s later work focused on making white LED light cost effective for retail, office, architectural, outdoor and industrial lighting markets. In the early 2000s, his team’s work enabled the commercialization of the first high-power LEDs in the 10-20lm range. Such LEDs contributed to the creation of the first LED bulbs to meet the high-efficiency and long-lifecycle requirements to win the US Department of Energy’s ‘L Prize’ for a 60W-equivalent LED bulb.

“George has terrific instinct for what will work, but at the same time he’s got that practical engineering side that drives a solution until it produces the best results,” comments Lumileds’ chief technology officer Jy Bhardwaj.

Craford is an IEEE Life Fellow and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Previous awards include the 2002 National Medal of Technology and the 2015 US National Academy of Engineering Charles Stark Draper Prize. He has also been awarded the International SSL Alliance Global Solid State Lighting Development Award, the Strategies in Light LED Pioneer Award, the University of Illinois Alumni Distinguished Service Award, the IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Award, the IEEE Third Millennium Medal, the Optical Society of America Nick Holonyak Jr Award, the International Symposium on Compound Semiconductors (ISCS) Welker Award, the Materials Research Society MRS medal, the Electrochemical Society Electronic Division Award, and the Economist Innovation Award.

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