Coleman elected to National Academy of Engineering

ECE News

Liz Ahlberg, U of I News Bureau

Story Highlights

  • ECE Professor James Coleman has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering.
  • He was recognized for his work in semiconductor lasers and photonic materials.
  • His research led to the development of metalorganic chemical vapor deposition, a growth method widely used to make semiconductor devices.

James J. Coleman
James J. Coleman

Photonics pioneer and ECE Professor James J. Coleman has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering. Coleman is the Intel Alumni Endowed Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering and an affiliate in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

“It is a real honor and a privilege to be elected to the National Academy of Engineering,” said Coleman, a researcher in the Micro and Nanotechnology Lab and the Coordinated Science Lab. “I am fortunate to have worked over the years with an amazing group of very talented colleagues and students, at institutions that value high quality work. This honor better reflects our collective success than anything I might have accomplished.”

Coleman is among 66 new members and 10 foreign associates announced by the academy on February 9. Election to the NAE is one of the highest professional honors an engineer can garner. The 2,254 members and 206 foreign associates are an elite group distinguished by their outstanding contributions to the fields of technology and engineering.

Coleman was cited for his work in semiconductor lasers and photonic materials. His research focuses on materials for optoelectronics – devices that convert electricity into light or vice versa, such as lasers, light sensors, solar cells and fiber optics. He helped develop metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD), a growth method widely used to make semiconductor devices. As the director of the Semiconductor Laser Laboratory, Coleman oversees research using MOCVD of III-V semiconductors to explore applications in lasers, quantum dots and other optical structures.

“This is a significant recognition and prestigious honor for one of our distinguished faculty,” said Dean of the College of Engineering Ilesanmi Adesida. “Jim’s research has added considerable knowledge to the field of semiconductor lasers and photonic devices, and his many successful patents and contributions to the engineering literature remain a testament of those achievements. He is also an Illinois alumnus, so we are doubly proud of his achievements.”

Coleman earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from ECE in 1972, 1973, and 1975, respectively. He worked at Bell Laboratories and Rockwell International before joining the ECE faculty in 1982. He has published more than 400 scholarly journal articles and holds seven patents. He is a fellow of IEEE, the Optical Society of America, SPIE (the international society for optics and photonics), the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Physical Society.

In addition to Coleman, NAE inductees have ECE connections:

  • ECE alumnus Supriyo Datta (MSEE ’77, PhD ’79) was recognized “for quantum transport modeling in nanoscale electronic devices.”
    He is the Thomas Duncan Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University.
  • ECE Professor Emeritus Chao-Han Liu was elected a foreign associate of NAE “for contributions to ionospheric research and international leadership in atmospheric remote sensing.” He is currently a distinguished visiting scholar, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.

Tom Moone contributed to this story.

Related news

Articles about Ilesanmi Adesida

Articles about James J Coleman

Related stories by topic

Media Contact

Julia Sullivan

Assistant Director of Communications
1068 ECE Building
(217) 300-3731

Todd Sweet

Director of Communications
1066 ECE Building
(217) 333-5943