Woodall Named AAAS Fellow

Jerry M. Woodall, professor of electrical and computer engineering at UC Davis, has been awarded the distinction of Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Photo: Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis

By Aditi Risbud Bartl

DAVIS, Calif.; Nov. 20, 2017–Jerry M. Woodall, a distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering at UC Davis, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Woodall was recognized for “novel contributions to the science and engineering of compound semiconductor heterojunction materials and devices ubiquitous in telecommunications and information and communications systems.”

A 2001 National Medal of Technology and Innovation Laureate and a pioneer in the research and development of compound semiconductor materials and devices, Woodall holds 85 U.S. patents and has published more than 350 papers.

His groundbreaking contribution was the invention of a junction between two different semiconductors that could emit light efficiently in devices. This “heterojunction” structure is the underpinning for high-efficiency red light-emitting diodes (LEDs) used in remote control and data-link applications in televisions, along with the super-bright LEDs used in CD players and short link optical fiber communications.

In the 1990s, other researchers, building on Woodall’s heterojunction work, developed blue LEDs and lasers, along with the white LEDs that are now ubiquitous in energy-efficient lighting.

This latest recognition adds to Woodall’s accolades from the engineering and scientific communities: among many honors, Woodall is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society.

The AAAS Council elected 396 members as Fellows of AAAS this fall. Election as a Fellow is designed to honor a member whose efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications in service to society have distinguished them among their peers and colleagues.

Woodall and the other 2017 AAAS Fellows will be announced formally in next week’s issue of Science and recognized at the 2018 AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, TX.

Learn more about Woodall’s research here.