Shuji Nakamura

Shuji Nakamura, Professor of Materials and Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara, received the Prize’s Lifetime Achievement award for pioneering the development of white LED lights, an innovation that will have reduced electricity consumption in the US by an estimated 348TWh by 2027, saving more than US$30 billion.

LED lights have displaced around 880,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in Africa alone while extending energy access to millions of people. Nakamura’s research on blue lasers and LEDs have been integral to the creation of Blu-ray discs, and to enhancements now taken for granted in TVs, mobile phones, and movie projectors.

He won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2014.