Convergence (S21): Nakamura – QEPrize
Shuji Nakamura, a professor of materials and electrical and computer engineering one of five recipients of the 2021 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering
Excerpt from COE Convergence (S21) article "Royal Recognition"
Winners of the QEPrize are all pioneers in the field of light-emitting diodes, or LED lighting. Shuji Nakamura began developing LED technology while a researcher in Japan in the 1980s and won a Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in 2014.
“I am so honored to receive the Queen Elizabeth Prize for my contributions to solid-state lighting, which provides tremendous benefits for humanity by providing energy-efficient lighting and displays,” said Nakamura, the Cree Endowed Chair in Solid State Lighting and Displays.
The prestigious QEPrize comes with one million pounds and is awarded every two years by the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation. The QEPrize celebrates engineering’s visionaries, encouraging them to extend the boundaries of what is possible across all disciplines and applications. In its statement announcing the prize, the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation said that the development of LED lighting “forms the basis of all solid-state lighting and technology.” The winners, the foundation said, are being recognized “not only for the global impact of LED and solid-state lighting but also for the tremendous contribution the technology has made, and will continue to make, to reducing energy consumption and addressing climate change.”
With his flawless gallium nitride (GaN) crystals, Nakamura not only developed the bright-blue LED, but also helped pave the way for the white LED, a technology that has revolutionized lighting and displays, which have been the main force behind a huge reduction in energy consumed by lighting. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that by 2030 our energy consumption for lighting will have decreased by more than forty percent, equivalent to the output of more than fifty power plants.