Madam President, I rise today to express my heartfelt congratulations to a Connecticut resident, Professor Jerry M. Woodall of Yale University, for being awarded the 2002 National Medal of Technology, our country's highest honor celebrating America's leading innovators. This represents the first time that a professor from Yale has ever achieved this extraordinary recognition, and it serves to underscore Yale's deep and renewed commitment to establishing itself as one of the world's premier engineering institutions.
I cannot imagine another person for whom this prestigious award is more richly deserved. Professor Woodall, who holds the position of C. Baldwin Sawyer Professor of Electrical Engineering at Yale, has conducted pioneering research in compound semiconductor materials and devices over a career spanning four decades. Fully half of the entire world's annual sales of compound semiconductor components are made possible by his research legacy. He invented electronic and optoelectronic devices seen ubiquitously in modern life, including the red LEDs used in indicators and stoplights, the infrared LED used in CD players, TV remote controls and computer networks, the high speed transistors used in cell phones and satellites, and the weight-efficient solar cell.
Professor Woodall spent most of the early and mid parts of his career at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, where he rose to the coveted rank of IBM Fellow. He built the first high purity single crystals of gallium arsenide there, enabling the first definitive measurements of carrier velocity versus electric field relationships, as well as GaAs crystals used for the first non-supercooled injection laser. He and Hans Ruprecht pioneered the liquid-phase epitaxial growth of both Si doped GaAs used for high efficiency IR LEDs, and gallium aluminum arsenide (GaAlAs), which led to his most important research contribution so far the first working heterojunction. They built it from gallium aluminum arsenide mated to gallium arsenide (GaAlAs/GaAs), and it remains the world's most important compound semiconductor heterojunction.
He then invented and patented many important commercial high-speed electronic and photonic devices which depend on the heterojunction, including bright red LEDs and the two classes of ultra-fast transistors, called the heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) and pseudomorphic high-electron-mobility transistor (pHEMT). Many new areas of solid-state physics have evolved and been realized as a result of his work, including the semiconductor superlattice, low-dimensional systems, mesoscopics, and resonant tunneling.
Professor Woodall was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1989 and is a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Electrochemical Society (ECS), and AVS. He has served as president of the ECS and AVS, and on the board and executive committee of the American Institute of Physics (AIP). He has published 315 publications in the open literature and been issued 67 U.S. patents. He received five major IBM Research Division Awards, 30 IBM Invention Achievement Awards, and an IBM Corporate Award in 1992 for the invention of the GaAlAs/GaAs heterojunction. Other recognition includes a 1975 Industrial Research 100 Award; the 1980 Electronics Division Award of the Electrochemical Society (ECS); the 1984 IEEE Jack A. Morton Award; the 1985 ECS Solid State Science and Technology Award; the 1988 Heinrich Welker Gold Medal and International GaAs Symposium Award; the 1990 American Vacuum Society's (AVS) Medard Welch Award, its highest honor; the 1997 Eta Kappa Nu Vladimir Karapetoff Eminent Members' Award; the 1998 American Society for Engineering Education's General Electric Senior Research Award; and the 1998 ECS Edward Goodrich Acheson Award, its highest honor.
Woodall co-founded LightSpin Technologies, Inc., a high technology startup company, and serves as its Chief Science Officer. From 1993 through 1999, he held the Charles William Harrison Distinguished Professorship of Microelectronics at Purdue University. He earned a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Cornell University and a B.S. in metallurgy from MIT.
I speak with utmost sincerity in expressing my gratitude to Professor Woodall for the lifetime of contributions or, more accurately, several lifetimes' worth of contributions that he has rendered in service to our nation in enabling it to become the world leader in technology and research. Our lives and our society would be dramatically different today had we not benefitted from Professor Woodall's drive and genius, and it fills me with exceptional pride to see him recognized for his efforts. Outstanding technologists such as he create to the tools to fully realize human and societal potential, and by having someone as accomplished as Professor Woodall on its faculty, both Connecticut and Yale University will be well-situated to produce the next generation of engineering lights. On behalf of your state and your country, Professor Woodall, please accept my deepest congratulations and thanks.
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