Stephen Forrest Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Membership in the NAS is one of the highest distinctions for a scientist or engineer in the United States.

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Stephen Forrest, Peter A. Franken Distinguished University Professor of Engineering and Paul G. Goebel Professor of Engineering, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Membership in the NAS is one of the highest distinctions for a scientist or engineer in the United States. Prof. Forrest is one of the 84 members and 21 foreign associates from 14 countries who were newly elected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research, and one of four from the University of Michigan.

Prof. Forrest is an internationally-renowned researcher, educator, and entrepreneur – and easily one of the most prolific inventors in academia today. As director of the Optoelectronic Components and Materials (OCM) Laboratory, he and his group conduct research on photovoltaic cells, organic light emitting diodes, and lasers & optics. His investigations in these areas span decades, and have resulted in five startup companies, 277 issued patents, and key technologies that are pervasive in the marketplace. In addition, he has graduated 54 Ph.D. students. As U-M’s Vice President for Research (a position held from 2006 to 2013), he initiated several key processes that have helped make Michigan one of the leading institutions in the country in the area of tech transfer.

Prof. Forrest continues to break new ground in his research. Just within the past year he and his team achieved a deep, display quality blue at high efficiency and brightness that comes close to meeting the stringent brightness requirements of the National Television Systems Committee. He was a member of a team that devised a way for solar cells to capture more sunlight while being placed on rooftops and other pitched surfaces, thanks to a lighter design, by borrowing from the ancient art of kirigami. And his team discovered a way to increase organic light emitting diode (OLED) efficiency by 50%.

He is a sought-after thought leader, and has given about 700 talks throughout his career. In a recent lecture to commemorate being named the Paul G. Goebel Professor of Engineering, he talked about “The End of Moore’s Law: Are We Facing the Creation or the Apocolypse?” [watch the lecture]

“Steve is one of the most accomplished faculty in the world today,” said Khalil Najafi, Peter and Evelyn Fuss Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “We congratulate him for what he’s been able to achieve throughout his career, and for his enormous contributions to the University of Michigan, his alma mater, especially in the areas of research and entrepreneurship.”

Prof. Forrest is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Inventors. He is the recipient of many major awards, including: the IEEE Daniel E. Noble Prize for “innovations in organic light emitting devices”; the IEEE/LEOS Distinguished Lecturer Award; the IPO National Distinguished Inventor Award; the Thomas Alva Edison Award for innovations in organic LEDs; and the Materials Research Society Medal “for pioneering contributions to the growth and optoelectronic applications of organic semiconductor thin films.” He is a Fellow of IEEE, the American Physical Society (APS), and the Optical Society of American (OSA). He has been named by Thompson Reuters top 1% of cited researchers in both physics and materials science.

About the National Academy of Sciences

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and, with the National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Medicine, provides science, technology, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.

Scientists are elected by their peers to membership in the NAS for outstanding contributions to research. The NAS is committed to furthering science in America, and its members are active contributors to the international scientific community. Nearly 500 members of the NAS have won Nobel Prizes, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, founded in 1914, is today one of the premier international journals publishing the results of original research.

National Academy of Sciences Press Release

The University Record Announcement

Additional Information about Stephen Forrest