August 01, 2005 —
The Optical Society of America (OSA) has honored the Viterbi School’s
Paul Daniel Dapkus with the Nick Holonyak, Jr. Award.
“This award is special to me because it is named after my thesis
advisor,” said Dapkus, a National Academy of Engineering member who
holds the W. M. Keck Chair in the Viterbi School.
USC Viterbi Dean Yannis Yortsos offered Dapkus “warm congratulations on yet one more award. This makes us all proud.”
The award honors Dapkus’ contributions to the development of quantum well
laser devices. Such devices, first demonstrated by Dapkus at
Rockwell International’s Microelectronics Research and Development
Center, and subsequently developed in his USC Compound Semiconductor
Laboratory, have become the standard design for all semiconductor
lasers including those used in fiber optic communications, CD and DVD
players, laser printers, industrial high power lasers, medical
treatment lasers and most recently in computer.
|P. Daniel Dapkus|
They were the first nanoscale designs to have been used in commercial
optical devices, and the process Dapkus pioneered in creating them,
metal organic chemical vapor deposition, is now a standard industrial
Dapkus came to USC from Rockwell in 1982. In addition to NAE
membership (he was elected in 2004) he is also a Fellow of the
Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the OSA. 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
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
Urbana-Champaign in 1966, 1967 and 1970.
Dapkus’ mentor, Professor Nick Holonyak, Jr., the inventor of the
light-emitting diode (LED), holds the John Bardeen Endowed Chair in
Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics at UIUC
"OSA's awards recognize extraordinary achievements in the field of
optics and photonics. Their dedication and creativity is essential to
the future of our field," said OSA Executive Director Elizabeth
Rogan. OSA will bestow the awards on Dapkus and fourteen other
prizewinners at presentation ceremony October 19, 2005 as part of the
15,000-member society's annual meeting in Tucson, AZ.