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OSA | Living History

Martin D. Dawson

Photo Credit: Fraunhofer UK

OSA Awards & Distinctions



Martin D. Dawson earned his B.Sc. in physics and Ph.D. in laser physics from Imperial College London, UK. He is Director of Research in the University of Strathclyde’s Institute of Photonics, which he helped establish 20 years ago. He was appointed inaugural Head of the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics (F-CAP) in October 2012.

Dawson is a pioneer and visionary in both the development and application of GaN-based micro-LED technology. He introduced and has pursued the novel vision of GaN micro-LEDs for micro-display, communications and instrumentation applications, recognizing quickly the benefits of interfacing this technology to custom designed CMOS electronics and its compatibility with APDs and single-photon detectors. In 2009, he founded the micro-LED company m-LED Ltd., and sold it in 2016 to Facebook/Oculus. He is also known for his work with VECSELS and has transferred many of his VECSEL technology to industry.

He has been widely honored for his contributions, including receiving the Dennis Gabor Medal of Institute of Physics and the Aron Kressel Award of the IEEE Photonics Society, among others. He is a Fellow of OSA, IEEE, Institute of Physics, and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2021, he received OSA's Nick Holonyak Jr. Award "for wide-ranging contributions to the development and application of III-V semiconductor devices especially including gallium nitride micro-LEDs and optically-pumped semiconductor lasers."



Document Created: 11 Feb 2021
Last Updated: 11 Feb 2021