Coleman receives award for laser research

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By Roxana Ryan, ECE Illinois
July 23, 2007

  • ECE Professor James J. Coleman has been awarded the 2008 IEEE David Sarnoff Award for "leadership in the development of highly reliable strained-layer lasers."
  • Coleman and his students were able to demonstrate high performance and reliability from strained layer lasers when the conventional wisdom of the time was that these materials were inherently unsuitable for commercial application.
  • The Sarnoff Award was established in 1959 through an agreement between the RCA Corporation and the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, and continued by the IEEE Board of Directors.
James J. Coleman
James J. Coleman

ECE Professor James J. Coleman has been awarded the 2008 IEEE David Sarnoff Award for “leadership in the development of highly reliable strained-layer lasers.”

Coleman and his students were able to demonstrate high performance and reliability from strained layer lasers when the conventional wisdom of the time was that these materials were inherently unsuitable for commercial application. This type of laser is a critical component in optical fiber telecommunications systems.

“I am fortunate to have been part of a team with superb students at Illinois and industrial collaborators,” Coleman said. “We were working on the ideal problem – one that was scientifically interesting and commercially very important.”

The Sarnoff Award was established in 1959 through an agreement between the RCA Corporation and the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, and continued by the IEEE Board of Directors. In 1989, sponsorship of the award was assumed by the Sarnoff Corporation. Recipient selection is administered through the Technical Field Awards Council of the IEEE Awards Board.

The first award winner was General Sarnoff himself. Other winners with ties to the ECE Illinois include Professor Emeritus Karl Hess and alumnus and Nobel Laureate Jack Kilby. The award consists of a bronze medal, certificate, and honorarium and will be presented during the 2008 LEOS Annual Meeting in November in Newport Beach, California.

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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