Paul Daniel Dapkus wins 2015 John Tyndall Award

The Optical Society (OSA) and the IEEE Photonics Society announced that Paul Daniel Dapkus, W. M. Keck Distinguished Professor of Engineering at the University of Southern California, is the recipient of the 2015 John Tyndall Award, one of the most prestigious recognitions in the field of optics. Dapkus was selected for his “pioneering and sustained contributions to the development of metal organic chemical vapor deposition and high performance quantum well semiconductor lasers,” according to the organizations.

Dapkus received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is currently a faculty member of the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering, the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, and the Department of Physics and Astronomy at USC. He also is the director of a DoE Energy Frontier Research Center. Prior to coming to USC, Dapkus led the group at Rockwell International that demonstrated the device utility of metalorganic chemical vapor deposition, and he served as a member of the technical staff at Bell Laboratories.

“Dan Dapkus developed an efficient deposition process that produced high quality film, which is now widely used,” said OSA CEO Liz Rogan. “We are thrilled to honor Dan with this well-deserved award.”

Dapkus’ current research involves the study of semiconductor nanostructures for application to energy devices, photonic materials and devices, semiconductor microresonators and optoelectronic integration.

He has previously received numerous recognitions for his work. He was named an IEEE LEOS Distinguished Lecturer, awarded an IEEE LEOS Engineering Achievement Award (1995), given the IEEE David Sarnoff Technical Field Award in electronics (2001), named winner of The Optical Society’s Nick Holonyak, Jr. Award (2005), given the Heinrich Welker Award of ISCS (2009) and awarded the USC Associates Award for Creativity in Research (2009). He is currently a member of the National Academy of Engineering (2004) and a Fellow of IEEE, OSA, APS and AAAS.

“The Tyndall Award was designed specifically to recognize pioneers in fiber optics technology such as Paul Daniel Dapkus,” said IEEE Photonics Society Executive Director Christopher Jannuzzi. “We are honored to offer recognition for his significant contributions to the development of vapor deposition and semiconductor lasers.”

Co-sponsored by OSA and the IEEE Photonics Society, the John Tyndall Award is named for the 19th century scientist who was the first to demonstrate the phenomenon of internal reflection. First presented in 1987, the Tyndall Award recognizes an individual who has made pioneering, highly significant, or continuing technical or leadership contributions to fiber optics technology.


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