Georgia Tech LED Lighting Innovator Wins 2021 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering (QEPrize)
Russell Dupuis, a pioneering engineer in the field of solid-state lighting technology, has been awarded the 2021 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering (QEPrize).
Dupuis, the Steve W. Chaddick Endowed Chair in Electro-Optics in Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), received the award for his role in the creation and commercialization of LED lighting, which forms the basis of all solid-state lighting technology. He shares the prize with four of his colleagues from universities and industry around the world.
“It is really something to share in this award with my friends and colleagues,” said Dupuis, a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in ECE. “All five of us played an important role, and this recognition means a lot to me personally.”
First awarded in 2013 in the name of Her Majesty The Queen, the QEPrize celebrates groundbreaking innovation in engineering. The 2021 winners were announced Tuesday.
Administrators of the prize said solid-state lighting technology changed how we illuminate our world. It can be found everywhere, from sports stadiums, parking garages, inside and outside commercial buildings, homes, digital displays, computer screens, and cell phones to hand-held laser pointers, automobile headlights, and traffic lights. Today’s high-performance LEDs are used in efficient solid-state lighting products across the world and are contributing to the sustainable development of world economies by reducing energy consumption.
Visible LEDs are now a global industry predicted to be worth over $108 billion by 2025 through low-cost, high-efficiency lighting. They are playing a crucial role in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, consuming significantly less energy and producing 90% less heat than incandescent lighting, and their large-scale use reduces the energy demand required to cool buildings. For this, they are often referred to as the “green revolution” within lighting.
“The impact of this innovation is not to be understated. It makes lighting a lot cheaper and more accessible for emerging economies, said Sir Christopher Snowden, chair of the QEPrize judging panel. “For example, LEDs are being used on fishing boats where previously the only option would have been paraffin lamps. They are much cheaper and safer. It is not only an extreme engineering achievement, but a societal impact that has a significant impact on the environment.”
Dupuis, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the nation’s highest honor for engineering professionals, shares the prize with: Shuji Nakamura, the CREE Chair in Solid-State Lighting and Displays in the Materials Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara; M. George Craford, a Solid-State Lighting Fellow at Philips Lumileds Lighting Company; Isamu Akasaki, a University Professor at Nagoya University and Meijo University (Japan); and Nick Holonyak Jr., the John Bardeen Endowed Chair Emeritus in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The winners will be honored at a ceremony later this year.