My 50 years in Light Emission Sciences

  • Session Number:T4 S4 P2
Thursday, February 15, 2018: 11:15 AM - 11:45 AM


Elsa Garmire
Sydney E. Junkins professor, Thayer School of Engineering
Dartmouth College
United States


Elsa Garmire is the Sydney E. Junkins professor at the Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, where she was previously the Dean of Engineering. Before that she was Sydney Hogue Professor of Electrical Engineering at University of Southern California. She has over 50 years’ experience in research related to light sources – lasers and LED’s – with over 200 peer-reviewed archival publications. She has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering and served on the board for 6 years, the National Academy of Inventors, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been named a National Associate of the National Academies. She is fellow of IEEE, the Optical Society of America (OSA), the American Physical Society and the Society of Women Engineers and was elected President of OSA. Her PhD was from MIT in physics and her AB was from Harvard (Radcliffe), also in physics. She has taught LED’s and lasers, semiconductor devices and optics since 1980. She assists the National Research Council pro bono in creating and reviewing technical reports in service to the US government.

Activities related to LED’s: Garmire began work on materials growth of light-emitting semiconductors while a post-doc at Caltech (in 1971) and by 1979 she was known as an expert in light emission from semiconductor devices and became a full professor at University of Southern California. Garmire became interested in visible light emitting diodes (LEDs) when she was asked to review a paper by their inventor and has been teaching about them in her courses ever since. Four years ago she was asked by the National Research Council to review their 2012 report to the Department of Energy “Assessment of Advanced Solid State Lighting,” and soon thereafter presented a Jones Seminar at Dartmouth College on the results of that study. More recently she gave a seminar at University of California at Santa Cruz entitled Understanding the 2014 Nobel Prize for the LED, in which she spelled out the details of how the Japanese inventions made solid state lighting practical.

Now Garmire has partnered with Thomas Paulos of Sherman Oaks, CA, to develop a new and improved light emitting diode for general lighting. Paulos has come up with innovative ways to integrate LEDs with their heat sinks that offer: cooler operation; higher efficiency in producing white light by incorporating quantum dots; controllable color; and optimal optical output. Garmire’s related experience includes her analysis and optimization of heat sinking for arrays of semiconductor lasers (as a consultant at Aerospace Corporation). Garmire has extensive experimental experience in photo- luminescence from semiconductor quantum wells and related quantum dots. Finally, she has a 40-year track record of teaching and laboratory experiments using optics and optical design.