Dr. Nakamura awarded honorary degree

Dr. Shuji Nakamura presents his lecture on blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) after receiving an honorary degree from UMass Lowell. (Jessica Kergo/Connector)

Jessica Kergo
Connector Staff

The university held its 16th annual Tripathy Endowed Memorial Lecture and Honorary Degree Ceremony last Wednesday. The annual lecture and ceremony is presented by world-renowned scientists in an effort to engage the UMass Lowell community in the latest, up and coming science and technology.

This year, Dr. Shuji Nakamura of the University of California Santa Barbara received an honorary degree and presented a lecture about his development of efficient blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs), enabling energy-saving white light sources.

Students and faculty gathered in Maloney Hall at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday to witness Dr. Nakamura receive his honorary degree.

Chancellor Jacquie Maloney welcomed attendees saying, “At UMass Lowell, we ensure that our graduates are equipped with the tools and experiences needed to make a difference in their local communities and across the globe. They truly have the world in their hands,” said Moloney.

Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation Julie Chen introduced Dr. Nakamura, noting his reception of the 2006 Millenium Technology Prize for his invention of revolutionary new energy light sources, the 2014 Nobel Laureate in Physics, the 2012 Emmy Award for Technology and Engineering and the 2014 Oder of Culture award in Japan.

“He holds more than 200 U.S. patents and over 300 Japanese patents,” said Chen. “Dr. Nakamura’s inventions continue to impact a wide variety of industries.”

UMass Lowell awards honorary degrees every year to people who have made significant contributions towards the business, cultural, educational, industrial, moral, social, intellectual or physical welfare of society. The awards are meant to acknowledge the work of those who receive them and serve as an opportunity for the university state its value for those accomplishments.

After the awards ceremony, Dr. Nakamura presented his lecture on the “Development of High Efficiency Blue [Indium gallium nitride] (InGaN) LEDs and Laser Diodes.” He delved into his personal background and how he began his research and the positive impact it will have on the world.

The ceremony was dedicated to the late Sukant Tripathy, a UMass Lowell professor who founded and directed the Center for Advanced Materials (CAM). CAM is a group of scientists, engineers and technicians focusing on a wide range of technical disciplines. Tripathy also served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs from 1994 to 1996 before he tragically passed away on Dec. 12, 2000 through a swimming accident in Hawaii after presenting at a conference of Polymer Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society.

“This event is a testament to our commitment to developing innovative leaders for the future, something that Dr. Sukant Tripathy was absolutely devoted to,” said Chancellor Moloney.

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