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Dr. Steven P. DenBaars is a Professor of Materials and Electrical and Computer Engineering as well as the Executive Director of the Solid State Lighting and Energy Electronics Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 1984, Professor DenBaars received his Bachelors of Science in the field of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Arizona, graduating with the university’s highest distinction and as the Valedictorian of his class. Continuing his education at the University of Southern California, Professor DenBaars completed his Masters in Science with Honors in the field of Materials Science in 1986 and in 1988 received his PhD in Electrical Engineering.
Upon completion of his Doctorate program at USC, Professor DenBaars joined the Hewlett-Packard Optoelectronics team as a Research and Development Engineer. During his employment between 1988 and 1991 as a member of Hewlett-Packard’s technical staff, Professor DenBaars greatly contributed to research and development in the growth and fabrication of visible LEDs, focusing specifically on high brightness red LEDs.
In 1991, Professor DenBaars joined the University of California, Santa Barbara faculty as a Professor of Materials and Electrical & Computer Engineering. Since becoming an employee of the university, Professor DenBaars has helped pioneer the field of Solid-State Lighting, establishing and improving Gallium Nitride materials and devices used for lighting and displays. His specific research interests include growth of wide-bandgap semiconductors (GaN based) and their application to Blue LEDs and lasers, and high power electronic devices. This research has led to the first US university demonstration of a Blue GaN laser diode. In 2002, Steven DenBaars, Shuji Nakamura, Jim Speck and Umesh Mishra collaborated to establish the Solid State Lighting and Display Center which evolved to the Solid State Lighting and Energy center in 2007. Additionally, Professor DenBaars is the Co-Founder of three University start-up companies focused on the recruitment of graduate students upon the completion of their programs.
Amongst other prestigious awards and recognitions, Professor DenBaars is the recipient of the National Scientist Foundation Young Investigator Award in 1994 and received the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Fellow Award in 2005 and the IEEE Aron Kressel Award in 2010. Steven DenBaars is a fellow of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). He has over 800+ publications and over 63 patents filed.