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26 February 2020

The Optical Society Names Kei May Lau the 2020 Nick Holonyak Jr. Award Recipient

Awardee recognized for exemplary contributions to the advancement of optics

WASHINGTON—The Optical Society (OSA) is pleased to name Kei May Lau, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST), Hong Kong, the 2020 recipient of the Nick Holonyak Jr. Award. Lau is recognized for significant contributions to hetero-epitaxy of compound semiconductors on silicon for future integrated lasers and advancing the field of light-emitting diode microdisplays.

“Kei May Lau’s work on semiconductor-based optical devices and materials exemplifies the spirit of the Nick Holonyak Jr. Award,” said 2020 OSA President Stephen D. Fantone, founder and president of the Optikos Corporation. “Her contributions in the advancement of science and technological applications are very significant.”

Lau received B.S. and M.S. degrees in physics from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA and her Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Rice University, USA. She was on the ECE faculty at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA and initiated metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD), compound semiconductor materials and devices programs. Since the fall of 2000, she has been with the ECE Department at HKUST and serves as Fang Professor of Engineering. Lau is a Fellow of OSA, the Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Science and IEEE. She is a recipient of the Croucher Senior Research Fellowship (2008), and the IEEE Photonics Society Aron Kressel Award (2017).

Lau’s work focuses on the development of monolithic telecommunication-band diode lasers directly grown on (001) silicon substrates. Lau combines innovation in MOCVD-based growth of hetero-structure materials with insights into both device physics and fabrication to improved device performance, to effective multi-device integration. The benefits of integrating high-performance III-V based devices onto a silicon substrate strongly leverages the enormous capabilities and infrastructure of the Si CMOS industry, extending them to photonic and electronic integrated devices/circuits at high frequencies.

Established in 1997, the Nick Holonyak Jr. Award recognizes significant contributions to optics based on semiconductor-based optical devices and materials, including basic science and technological applications. It honors Holonyak Jr.’s distinguished contributions to the field of optics through the development of semiconductor-based light-emitting diodes and semiconductor lasers. The award is endowed by SDL Ventures, LLC, and Donald and Carol Scifres.

About The Optical Society

Founded in 1916, The Optical Society (OSA) is the leading professional organization for scientists, engineers, students and business leaders who fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate achievements in the science of light. Through world-renowned publications, meetings and membership initiatives, OSA provides quality research, inspired interactions and dedicated resources for its extensive global network of optics and photonics experts. For more information, visit

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