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Updated 10:00 AM September 12, 2005
 

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Forrest named VP for research

Stephen Forrest, a distinguished professor at Princeton University and noted optoelectronics researcher, has been named vice president for research at U-M, effective Jan. 1. Forrest, whose appointment is pending approval by the Board of Regents, will serve as an executive officer of the University and will oversee a research enterprise exceeding $750 million, one of the largest programs in the country.
(Photo courtesy Princeton University)

"Professor Forrest combines an impressive record of research achievement with personal, hands-on involvement in the important work of technology transfer and in the administration of major research operations," President Mary Sue Coleman says. "He possesses the superb qualities that will enable Michigan to sustain and enhance its position as a leader in national and international research."

Forrest, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Electrical Engineering at Princeton, where he leads the Optoelectronic Component and Materials Laboratories (OCM Labs). He is the former chair of the Princeton Electrical Engineering Department and former director of Princeton's Center for Photonics and Optoelectronic Materials. Earlier, while on the faculty of the University of Southern California (USC), he was director of the National Center for Integrated Photonic Technology.

"I am very excited to return to the University of Michigan as vice president for research and professor after having graduated from here more than 25 years ago," Forrest says. "This outstanding University, with its enormous depth of intellectual resources, is poised to push the boundaries of scholarship and to take a leadership role in innovating new and productive relationships between academic institutions and society.

"As vice president for research, I am hopeful that I can contribute to forging those stronger ties between the University, its own research community, and with the outside world," he says.

Forrest is the recipient of numerous awards for both research and innovation. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Optical Society of America and he received the IEEE/Lasers and Electro Optics Society (LEOS) Distinguished Lecturer Award in 1996-97. In 1998 he was co-recipient of the Intellectual Property Owners National Distinguished Inventor Award, as well as the Thomas Alva Edison Award for innovations in organic light emitting diodes.

In 1999, Forrest received the Materials Research Society Medal for pioneering contributions on organic semiconductor thin films. In 2001, he was awarded the IEEE/LEOS William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award for advances made on photodetectors for optical communications systems. He has authored 371 scholarly papers, and has been awarded 134 patents.

Two examples of the applications of Forrest's research: Technology based on his work is being used in producing inexpensive, high-quality video displays, and is moving scientists closer to making a new class of solar cells that are not as efficient as conventional ones, but could be vastly less expensive and more versatile.

Forrest will bring with him to U-M the OCM Labs—a group of researchers who work on a variety of electronic materials and optics and integrate expertise from a many diverse perspectives. Almost all of the research in the OCM Labs is aimed at the realization of practical optoelectronic devices.

Forrest earned a bachelor of arts in physics from the University of California in 1972, and master of science degree and doctorate in physics from U-M in 1974 and 1979.

In 1979, he joined Bell Labs, where he investigated photodetectors for optical communications. In 1985, Forrest joined the electrical engineering and materials science faculty at USC, where worked on optoelectronic integrated circuits, and organic semiconductors. He was appointed to the Princeton faculty in 1992 as a distinguished university professor.

Fawwaz Ulaby, the current vice president for research, will continue in the role until Forrest assumes the position in January.

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