Nobel-Prize Laureate Professor Shuji Nakamura visits the School

Shuji Nakamura, Nobel Laureate in Physics and Professor at the Materials Department of the College of Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara, visited the School of Engineering on 6 April 2017 in conjunction with the Sir John Monash Lecture series.

Before his lecture, Prof Nakamura met with the project team members from the School. Prof Anthony Guo, Head of School of Engineering, presented an overview of Monash University Malaysia and the development of the School over these years.

Prof Guo emphasised that School continuously strives for research excellence and focuses on high quality and high impact research. Prof Nakamura was impressed with the achievements of the School within a short period of time and commended the School for its commitment to research.

During the lab tour, Prof Nakamura actively engaged in discussion with research students at the ECSE Intelligent Lighting Lab which focuses on developing lighting systems for future using LEDs. A purpose-built mock living room embedded with state-of-the-art smart lighting features was demonstrated to Prof Nakamura. Students received valuable inputs on the way forward in this area of research.

Other projects showcased - such as the potential replacement of Wi-Fi with light-based Li-Fi, light-based pattern recognition and uncertainty prediction of white lights - all utilised Prof Nakamura's Nobel Prize winning invention (the blue LED) as one of the core components.

Students were highly appreciative of the rare opportunity they got to engage in a dialogue with a Nobel Laureate closely related to their area of work.

During the network session with engineering academics, Prof Nakamura shared his views on how to be successful in research.

Prof Nakamura mentioned that the university administrators should be supportive of the initiatives proposed by the academics, industry funding be sought through industry collaboration, and find good postgraduate students and give them the freedom to achieve the objectives of their research.

He further added that one should not be afraid to try "crazy ideas" as he did in his quest to develop blue LED.

The visit of Prof Nakamura to the School is an initiative under the GaN-on-GaN Collaborative Program. School of Engineering is one of the consortium members of this national priority program to develop the next generation of LED technology for the nation.

Prof Nakamura's visit was accompanied by CREST delegates, including the Chief Executive Officer of CREST, Mr Jaffri Ibrahim, its Vice President, Mr Chin Fung Wei, GaN-on-GaN Program Director, Mr Lim Hoo Kooi and Assistant Program Director, Mr Kenneth Chua.