Professor Shuji Nakamura to receive the 2015 Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering

Inventors of LEDs Win 2015 Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering

Washington, DC, January 6, 2015 – The National Academy of Engineering announced today that the 2015 Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering will be awarded to Isamu Akasaki, M. George Craford, Russell Dupuis, Nick Holonyak Jr., and Shuji Nakamura “for the invention, development, and commercialization of materials and processes for light-emitting diodes (LEDs).” The $500,000 annual award is given to engineers whose accomplishments have significantly benefited society. 

The Draper Prize will be presented at a gala dinner event in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 24, 2015, along with the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize. 


In 1992, Shuji Nakamura made major contributions to InGaN-based high-brightness double –hetero-structure blue LEDs, and laser diodes that allowed development of the “high-density digital video disk,” also known as Blu Ray DVD. As a result of this breakthrough, the commercialization of high-brightness blue and white LEDs rapidly grew and led to the many LED and laser diode applications in use today. 

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