|Birth Day:||November 3, 1928|
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Inventor of the light emitting diode, who came to be called the 'father of the LED.' He has been given awards by George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Emperor Akihito of Japan and Vladimir Putin and in 2008 he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
He graduated from the University of Illinois with a M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering.
Holonyak earned his bachelor's (1950), master's (1951), and doctoral (1954) degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Holonyak was John Bardeen's first Ph.D. student there; Bardeen, a theoretical physicist, was the co-inventor of the transistor who ultimately won Nobel Prizes for that work and for the theory of superconductivity. In 1954 Holonyak went to Bell Telephone Laboratories, where he worked on silicon-based electronic devices. From 1955–1957 he served with the U.S. Army Signal Corps. From 1957–1963 he was a scientist at the General Electric Company's Advanced Semiconductor Laboratory in Syracuse, New York. In 1963, he became a professor at the University of Illinois, from which he retired fifty years later in 2013.
In 1984, Holonyak was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
In 1989, he received the IEEE Edison Medal for 'an outstanding career in the field of electrical engineering with contributions to major advances in the field of semiconductor materials and devices.' Holonyak's former student, Russell Dupuis from the Georgia Institute of Technology, won this same award in 2007.
In 1992, he received the Charles Hard Townes Award of the Optical Society of America.
In 1993, he received the NAS Award for the Industrial Application of Science.
In 1995, he was awarded the $500,000 Japan Prize for 'Outstanding contributions to research and practical applications of light emitting diodes and lasers.'
In 2001, he has also received the Frederic Ives Medal of the Optical Society of America.
In 2005, he was inducted as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln (the State’s highest honor) by the Governor of Illinois in the area of Science.
In 2006, the American Institute of Physics decided on the five most important papers in each of its journals since it was founded 75 years ago. Two of these five papers, in the journal Applied Physics Letters, were co-authored by Holonyak. The first one, co-authored with S. F. Bevacqua in 1962, announced the creation of the first visible-light LED. The second, co-authored primarily with Milton Feng in 2005, announced the creation of a transistor laser that can operate at room temperatures. Holonyak predicted that his LEDs would replace the incandescent light bulb of Thomas Edison in the February 1963 issue of Reader's Digest, and as LEDs improve in quality and efficiency they are gradually replacing incandescents as the bulb of choice.
As of 2007, he is the John Bardeen Endowed Chair Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is investigating methods for manufacturing quantum dot lasers. He has been married to his wife Katherine for 51 years. He no longer teaches classes, but he researches full-time. He and Dr. Milton Feng run a transistor laser research center at the University funded by $6.5 million from the United States Department of Defense through DARPA.
On 9 November 2007, Holonyak was honored on the University of Illinois campus with a historical marker recognizing his development of the quantum-well laser. It is located on the Bardeen Engineering Quadrangle near where the old Electrical Engineering Research Laboratory used to stand.
In 2008, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (Announced February 14, 2008) (May 2–3, 2008 at Akron, Ohio).
Many colleagues have expressed their belief that he deserves the Nobel Prize for his invention of the red LED. On this subject, Holonyak says, "It's ridiculous to think that somebody owes you something. We're lucky to be alive, when it comes down to it." In October 2014, Holonyak reversed his stance by stating "I find this one insulting." in reaction to news that the inventors of the blue LED were awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics, instead of his fellow LED researchers.
In 2015, he received the Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering "For the invention, development, and commercialization of materials and processes for light-emitting diodes (LEDs)."
In September 2018 the Village of Glen Carbon, IL placed an honorary street sign on behalf of Dr. Nick Holonyak to honor the former resident of the Village. Village officials, family, and friends gathered to honor and remember Dr. Holonyak who lived with his family on South Meridian Road.
Nick married Katherine Holonyak in 1956; they had three children.
Currently, Nick Holonyak is 93 years, 9 months and 5 days old. Nick Holonyak will celebrate 94th birthday on a Thursday 3rd of November 2022. Below we countdown to Nick Holonyak upcoming birthday.