Holonyak, who 'replaced Edison's lamp,' retires from UI

LED inventor and engineering icon Nick Holonyak Jr. has retired from the University of Illinois; however, colleagues said they expect him to continue his research.

LED inventor and engineering icon Nick Holonyak Jr. has retired from the University of Illinois; however, colleagues said they expect him to continue his research.

The 84-year-old Holonyak officially retired from the university on July 31, but as fellow electrical and computer engineering Professor Andreas Cangellaris said, "I don't expect him to ever retire. Anytime you engage Nick in conversation, his mind is on the next hard problem to solve."

An Illinois native and UI graduate who studied under Nobel laureate and transistor inventor John Bardeen, Holonyak has been on the UI faculty since 1963.

UI Professor Milton Feng, a former graduate student of Holonyak's who became his research partner, says he expects to continue conducting research, particularly in the transistor laser, with his friend. Feng called Holonyak a "tremendous treasure for us. ... He is the reason why Illinois is famous. You will not find another one like him. He replaced [Thomas] Edison's lamp!"

Read more about Nick Holonyak Jr. at the News Gazette.


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