Professor Shuji Nakamura, Director UC Santa Barbara's Solid-State Lighting and Energy Center, has been named a recipient of the 2008 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research. Each recipient of the prestigious award is presented with a medal and a Joan Miro sculpture commissioned specifically for the awards; the recipients in each category also share a €50,000 (US$77,000) stipend.
The Technical and Scientific Research prize is given annually to "the individual, work group or institution whose discoveries or research represent a significant contribution to the progress of humanity in the fields of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Medicine, Earth and Space Sciences, as well as their related technical aspects and technologies" by the Prince of Asturias Foundation. The awards will be presented on October 24 in Oviedo, Spain by Crown Prince Felipe of Spain, the Prince of Asturias.
Nakamura's invention of revolutionary new light sources—blue, green, and white light-emitting diodes and the blue laser diode— also garnered the Millennium Technology Prize, the world's biggest technology prize, in 2006. (That was the second time the alternate-year Millennium Prize was given; the first winner, Tim Berners-Lee, developer of the World-Wide Web, is also a prior recipient of the Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research.)
"We're both pleased and proud that Shuji and his work have again been recognized with this high honor," commented Matthew Tirrell, Dean of UC Santa Barbara's College of Engineering. "His discoveries have made it possible for solid-state lighting to replace today's incandescent and fluorescent lighting at up to ten times the energy efficiency—That's going to be a major benefit to our planet and its people, with impact far into the future."