Stephen D. Hersee


Stephen D. Hersee has been chosen as the 2012 STC.UNM Innovation Fellow in recognition of his achievements as one of the University of New Mexico's leading innovators.

This special award is presented each year by the STC.UNM Board of Directors to a UNM faculty inventor whose body of technologies has made a significant social and economic impact on society and the marketplace.

The award will be presented to Hersee at STC's 2012 Creative Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, April 25. The Creative Awards Ceremony is STC's  annual awards event for UNM faculty, staff and students who have received issued patents and disclosed copyrights within the past year.

In addition to the Innovation Fellow Award, Hersee will also receive a creative award for two issued patents.

Hersee is a professor in the UNM Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering and the Center for High Technology Materials.  He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), whose mission is to advance technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity.

Hersee graduated from the University of Brighton in the United Kingdom, then spent 6 years with Plessey Research, also in the United Kingdom. From 1980 to 1986, he worked at the Central Research Laboratories of Thomson CSF in France, where he established several world records for quantum-well laser performance.

In 1986, he joined General Electric's Electronics Laboratory in New York State. He has been a faculty member in the UNM Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering since 1991.

During his international career in industry and academia, Hersee has worked on advanced III-V materials and many types of electronic and optoelectronic devices. His current research focuses on the epitaxial growth of semiconductor nanostructures for defect reduction and on the development of advanced core-shell light emitters and transistors based on gallium nitride.

His technologies have been licensed to several companies including NEC/Renesas, Toshiba, Samsung, Hynix and TSMC.

Hersee's scalable gallium nitride nanowire technology led to the formation of STC start-up Nanocrystal Corporation, a New Mexico-based company developing defect-free, gallium-nitride nanowire semiconductors for more reliable, more powerful, and lower cost LED devices for the solid-state white lighting and automotive markets and for the LCD backlighting of laptops, PDAs, cell phones and TVs.

Nanocrystal shares exclusivity of this intellectual property with another start-up company called glō AB, located in Sunnyvale, California. They are developing and commercializing new, highly energy-efficient and very low-cost LED nanowire technologies as well.

Hersee has published and presented over 170 papers. His research has been highlighted in "Nature Nanotechnology" and cited by the National Research Council of the National Academies in the 2008 report on nanophotonics.

His research has been funded by NSF, DARPA, AFOSR, ARO, DOE and by industry. He was the University of New Mexico's 2001-2002 Teacher of the Year and has graduated 11 Ph.D. and four M.S. students. Hersee has 12 issued U.S. patents.

On behalf of the STC.UNM Board of Directors, STC President & CEO Lisa Kuuttila said she is pleased that Hersee was selected for the 2012 STC.UNM Innovation Fellow Award.

"It is a privilege to work with an innovator, a prolific inventor, who is so collaborative with fellow scientists and business community individuals as well," she said. "His work has many commercial applications, which cross a number of disciplines and product areas."

Story by Denise Bissell

Media contact: Karen Wentworth (505) 277-5627; email: kwent2@unm.edu