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Dan Dapkus Elected to NAE

February 14, 2004 — P. Daniel Dapkus, holder of the W. M. Keck Chair of Engineering at the University of Southern California School of Engineering, has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

The election of Dapkus, internationally known for his research on photonic devices, brings the number of USC School of Engineering NAE members to 22, the fourth highest total among private universities.

Dapkus, who holds appointments in the departments of electrical engineering/electrophysics and materials science, directs USC's Center for Photonic Technology.

"Dan has been a pioneer in the field of using light - photons - to perform tasks that previously were done by electrons; and is now a pioneer in the emerging field of nanotechnology" said USC Dean of Engineering C. L.Max Nikias. "On behalf of the School, and the entire University, I congratulate him on this well-earned distinction."

Dapkus is also a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and Optical Society of America. In 2003 he was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He received the 2001 IEEE David Sarnoff Technical Field Award in Electronics for his work in photonic materials and devices. In 1992 he received the Lockheed Senior Research Award at USC School of Engineering, and in 1993 became the holder of the Keck chair. He was an IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society Distinguished Lecturer in 1993-94 and was awarded the IEEE LEOS Engineering Achievement Award in 1995.

Dapkus directs the Compound Semiconductor Laboratory, which has designed numerous novel photonic devices based on optical microresonators. These are miniature cylindrical devices that perform diverse functions on an all optical chip. In addition, he has created ultrasmall Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers and the laboratory has been a leader in the development of efficient light sources for fiber opitc systems.

He is also engaged in nanotechnology research, creating new tools, including "quantum dots”, which are submicroscopic structures of gallium arsenide and other materials, and which have potential applications in both photonic and electronic data processing systems.

Before joining USC's faculty in 1982, Dapkus worked for Rockwell International as manager at the company's Microelectronics Research and Development Center from 1979 to 1982 and he was a supervisor at its Electronics Research Center from 1976 to 1979. Dapkus was also was a technical staff member at Bell Laboratories, in Murray Hill, N.J., from 1970 to 1976, where he developed high-efficiency light-emitting diodes.

Dapkus has worked as a consultant to numerous organizations, including the Kopin Corp., GTE Laboratories, Applied Solar Energy Corp., Xerox Corp., E2O Communications, T-Networks, nLight Corp., Ziva Corp., OEwaves and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He has also founded three companies in the optical communications business area.

He is the author of more than 350 papers and earned his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from the University of Illinois in 1966, 1967 and 1970.