Newswise — (Boston) – Boston University College of Engineering Professor Theodore (Ted) Moustakas, considered the co-inventor of the blue light-emitting diode (LED), has won the university’s 2012 Innovator of the Year award which recognizes a BU faculty member whose cutting-edge research and ideas have led to the formation of companies that benefit society at large.
Moustakas’ lab is focused on innovative semiconductors for photonics and other applications. With this technology, Moustakas founded RayVio Corp., a venture-backed company which makes low-cost, energy efficient ultraviolet (UV) LEDs for water purification and disinfection, and his inventions have been widely deployed by leading LED manufacturers.
Boston University Provost and Chief Academic Officer Jean Morrison presented this year’s Innovator of the Year award at BU’s annual “Tech, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll” networking event for individuals involved in university technology transfer in the greater Boston area.
“Prof. Moustakas is an entrepreneurial scientist, whose inventions have been licensed to a number of companies, including major manufacturers of blue LEDs and lasers such as Cree and Philips-LumiLeds in United States and Nichia in Japan,” said Morrison. “His accomplishments in the past year include nine peer-reviewed papers published, five patent filings and $4.0 million invested in BU spinoff RayVio.”
The Boston University Innovator of the Year award highlights translational research at BU by recognizing an entrepreneurial faculty member and the potential for commercialization and/or wider adoption of their inventions. It also encourages faculty to become entrepreneurial while promoting role models who can inspire graduate students to pursue entrepreneurial careers. Past winners include biomedical engineering Prof. Mark Grinstaff, BU School of Medicine Prof. Avi Spira, and BU College of Engineering Prof. Jim Collins.
“Ted Moustakas has been a prolific academic entrepreneur but this past year was especially productive with the launch of venture-capital backed UV LED company RayVio,” said BU Office of Technology Development Managing Director Vinit Nijhawan.
Moustakas’ research contributions cover a broad spectrum of topics in opto-electronic materials and devices. He is the co-editor of eight books, the author of chapters in nine books and more than 300 papers in technical journals and conference proceedings. He presented 116 invited and plenary talks in national and international conferences. He has been granted 25 U.S. patents and several are pending in the fields of nitride semiconductors, amorphous silicon and diamond materials.
Moustakas was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1994 and of the Electrochemical Society in 1997. In 2003 he was awarded an honorary degree “Doctor Honoris Causa” from the Aristotle University for “outstanding contributions to research and teaching.” In 2010 he was awarded the MBE Innovator Award an in 2011 he was awarded the Distinguished Scholar Award of the BU College of Engineering. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.
Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 33,000 students, it is the fourth-largest independent university in the United States. BU consists of 16 schools and colleges, along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes integral to the University’s research and teaching mission. In 2012, BU joined the Association of American Universities (AAU), a consortium of 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada. Along with Boston Medical Center, Boston University receives about $400 million annually in sponsored research funding.
(Editors: for a high-rez images of Moustakas, using the password “buphotos”: http://buphotos.photoshelter.com/gallery/ENG-Professor-Theodore-Moustakas/G0000fyhbV.zwDTc