A Professor in the University of Strathclyde’s Department of Physics has won an international award for his contribution to the field of micro-LED (light-emitting diodes) research.

Professor Martin Dawson, Director of Research at Strathclyde’s Institute of Photonics and also head of the Strathclyde-hosted Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics, has been named as the 2021 winner of the Global SSL Award of Outstanding Achievement by the International SSL (solid state lighting) Alliance (ISA).

The award is presented to individuals or organisations “who stay at the forefront of SSL development, whose outstanding contributions have changed our lives, and who lead the field with innovative applications impacting human society.”

Professor Dawson’s award was announced at ISA’s General Assembly and is the second international award he has received in 2021. Earlier in the year, he was named as the recipient of The Optical Society’s (OSA) Nick Holonyak Jr Award.

Professor Dawson has won the ISA award jointly with Professor Hongxing Jiang of Texas Tech University.

Professor Dawson said: “I am deeply honoured and very grateful to receive the Global Solid State Lighting Award of Outstanding Achievement from ISA, the International Solid State Lighting Alliance. ISA promotes the sustainable development and application of solid-state lighting worldwide and previous awardees include leading academics, organisations and businesses contributing to the research, development, roll out and exploitation of solid-state lighting.

“The award this year, under the category of Science and Technology, recognises the importance of micro-LEDs, a new electronic visual display technology in which the University of Strathclyde has been a pioneer. 

“I am particularly pleased that my co-honouree is Professor Hongxing Jiang, a close colleague for the past 20 years in the establishment and development of the micro-LED field.”

A member of the judging panel for the awards stated: “This is a nominee of enormous vision who is driving forward the potential of SSL across an impressive range of applications, and throughout a lifetime of highly productive academic work.”

Another panel member stated: “(Professor Dawson’s) very productive, rich career in academia and as scientific leader, including exploitation of the original ideas by spin-offs, resulted in wide ranging contributions to the development and application of III-V semiconductor devices, GaN (gallium nitride) microLEDs, and optically pumped lasers.”

Professor Dawson’s career has focused on applied research in academia and industry in the UK and USA and he has been involved in the formation and technical development of a number of spinout businesses.

His work involves semiconductor materials, microfabrication, optoelectronic device development and laser technology, with applications in optical wireless communications, displays, biomedical instrumentation and the heterogeneous integration of separately manufactured components into single devices. 

Previous winners of the Global SSL Award of Outstanding Achievement include Professor Harald Haas, now of Strathclyde’s Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, and Nobel Physics laureate Professor Shuji Nakamura.