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Brad Petersen
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1066 ECE Building
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Urbana, IL 61801
Phone: (217) 244-6376
bradp@illinois.edu

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Meg Dickinson
Communications Specialist
1068 ECE Building
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Phone: (217) 300-6664
megd@illinois.edu

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Illinois wins $1.5 million NSF 'Data Infrastructure Building Blocks' grant to accelerate materials-to-device processes

Illinois wins $1.5 million NSF 'Data Infrastructure Building Blocks' grant to accelerate materials-to-device processes

It can take 20 years between the creation of a new material in the laboratory and the fabrication of next-generation devices that employ the material.

Chuang receives Humboldt Research Award

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By Bridget Maiellaro, ECE Illinois
June 17, 2008

  • Prof. Shun Lien Chuang received the 2008 Humboldt Research Award for Senior U.S. Scientists.
  • The Humboldt annually honors up to 100 scientists and scholars worldwide who are expected to continue making advancements.
  • Those who receive the award have the opportunity to contribute to a long-term research project at a research institution in Germany for up to a year. Chuang will study with Professor Dieter Bimberg, the pioneer contributor of quantum dot lasers, at Technical University in Berlin during his sabbatical in spring semester 2009.
Shun Lien Chuang
Shun Lien Chuang

Shun Lien Chuang, the Robert C. MacClinchie Distinguished Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, received a 2008 Humboldt Research Award for Senior U.S. Scientists.

"The award is given to scientists for the achievements in research and teaching overall, so itís a nice recognition," Chuang said. "The award is not just for your past accomplishments. It gives you support so you can travel to do research; itís more about a future. Iím very happy. I feel fortunate."

The Humboldt Research Award, granted through the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, annually honors up to 100 scientists and scholars from all fields across the world who are expected to continue making advancements, according to the foundationís Web site. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, named after the famous German naturalist and explorer, aims to promote international research cooperation. Originally created in 1860, it is a non-profit foundation that was re-established by the Federal Republic of Germany in 1953.

Those who receive the award have the opportunity to contribute to a long-term research project at a research institution in Germany for up to a year. Chuang will study with Professor Dieter Bimberg, the pioneer contributor of quantum dot lasers, at Technical University in Berlin during his sabbatical in spring semester 2009.

Chuangís research interests include semiconductor optoelectronic devices and physics, strained quantum-well and quantum-dot lasers, and optical semiconductor amplifiers, among others. Through his research, he developed theoretical models for strained quantum-well lasers, slow light and optical wavelength conversion based on nonlinear quantum optical effects. While in Berlin, Chuang and Bimberg will work on novel nanophotonic quantum-dot devices.

"The idea is to make the smallest laser in the world. We want to be able to integrate many ultra-small lasers into one chip," Chuang said. "Itís a very challenging research topic, and there are a lot of problems to solve."

Chuang earned his bachelorís degree in electrical engineering from National Taiwan University in 1976. In 1978, he attended the Massachusetts Institution of Technology, obtaining his MS degree in 1980, Electrical Engineer degree in 1981, and Ph D in electrical engineering and computer science in 1983.

From 1978 to 1983, Chuang served as a research/teaching assistant at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined the University of Illinois in 1983. Even though he has remained at the University of Illinois for more than 25 years, Chuang has held various positions at other universities and research laboratories throughout the world. Locations include AT&T Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey; the University of Tokyo; and Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

"The good thing about being a university professor is that we have sabbatical," Chuang said. "So we get a chance to visit some of the best institutions in the world...All were very good experiences. Itís good for professors to broaden their views."

Chuang, who currently heads the Optoelectronics Research Group, is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and the Optical Society of America. He is the author of Physics of Optoelectronic Devices, (Wiley 1995), which is used at many universities in many countries. He has also contributed to a number of events and professional committees, including Slow and Fast Light Meetings of the Optical Society of America in 2007 and 2008, serving as an associate editor for the IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics (1997-2002) and IEEE Journal of Lightwave Technology (2007- present). He has published more than 300 journal and conference papers.

Over the years, Chuangís research and teaching skills have been recognized through a variety of awards. For instance, he received the Distinguished Lecturer Award in 2004 to 2006 and the William Sterifer Scientific Achievement Award in 2007, both from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineersí Lasers and Electro-Optics Society. He also received the Engineering Excellence Award from the Optical Society of America. Chuang has also been cited in the "Incomplete List for Excellence in Teaching" more than 20 times.

Editor's note: media inquiries should be directed to Brad Petersen, Director of Communications, at bradp@illinois.edu or (217) 244-6376.

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