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ECE Professor Umesh Mishra to deliver the 63rd Annual Faculty Research Lecture on Nov. 26th – “GaN Rising”

November 19th, 2018

photo of Umesh Mishra on the steps of the Engineering Science Bldg
On Monday, November 26th Mishra to deliver the 63rd Annual Faculty Research Lecture – the highest honor bestowed upon UC Santa Barbara professors in recognition of extraordinary scholarly distinction

The proliferation of electronic devices and the growing need to process large amounts of data are among the reasons why the world needs to marshal its energy resources wisely. Add to that the obsolescence of our conventional electrical grid, the emerging Internet of Things and the call to bring essential human requirements — such as light and agriculture — into the 21st century. Underlying those new technologies and energy-saving efforts is gallium nitride (GaN), a compound with unique and valuable electronic properties.

UC Santa Barbara electrical and computer engineering professor Umesh Mishra anticipated the need for higher performance and energy efficiency a long time ago. For decades he has focused his research primarily on the development of GaN materials and devices for electronics while contributing to opto-electronics such as optical data storage, semiconductor lasers and — last but not least — white LEDs pioneered by UCSB professor Shuji Nakamura, which have revolutionized lighting throughout the world. Due in part to Mishra’s efforts, GaN has now become the cornerstone for advanced, energy-efficient technologies including power electronics and RF electronics for radar and 4G and 5G communications.

Titled “Thank God for GaN,” Mishra’s lecture outlines the power of GaN to not only drive innovation but also to modernize existing technology, reduce power consumption and limit energy waste.

“Prof. Nakamura is the founder of the excitement that is GaN because of his Nobel Prize-winning breakthrough of the ubiquitous blue and white LED,” Mishra said. “Along with him and my other colleagues Steve DenBaars, Jim Speck and many others, we hope to create the second wave of excitement based on electronic devices with potential impact as broad as the photonic applications of GaN.”

The Donald W. Whittier Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UC Santa Barbara, Mishra joined the faculty in 1990 after an early career spent both in industry and in academia. He received his bachelor of technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, India, his master’s degree from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Penn., and his Ph.D. from Cornell University. He is an IEEE Fellow, an International Fellow of the Japanese Society of Applied Physics, a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

The November 26th event, which will be held at Corwin Pavilion, is free and open to the public and begins with a reception at 4 p.m. followed by the lecture at 5:15 p.m.

The UCSB Current – "Gan Rising" (full article)

Mishra's COE Profile