World Unique Innovation

LED pioneers awarded the 2021 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering

Five LED pioneers, comprising Isamu Akasaki, Shuji Nakamura, Nick Holanyak Jr, M. George Craford and Russel Dupuis, were awarded the 2021 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering.  They joined a list of distinguished individuals for their contribution to the engineering world and humanity. The five LED pioneers shared a prize of £1.0 million.

The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, also known as the QEPrize, is a global prize for engineering and innovation. The prize was launched in 2012. It is run by the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation, which is a charitable company. The QEPrize receives donations from, large International companies.

The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering is awarded for engineering-led advances that are judged to be of tangible and widespread benefit to the public. The foundation invites nominations from the public, engineering and science academies, universities, research organizations, and commercial organizations from anywhere in the world.

The judging panel works from the information provided in the nomination, comments from referees and any other information required in order to establish which nomination most fully meets the following prize criteria.

  1. What s it that his person has done ( or up to five people have done) that is ground-breaking innovation in engineering?
  2. In what way has this innovation been of global benefit to humanity?
  3. Is there anyone else who might claim to have had a pivotal role in this development?

The winner (winners) of the QEPrize are announced every two years by the chairman of the QEPrize Foundation. To-date, nineteen individuals have been awarded the QEPrize, namely from US, Japan, France  and UK.

They are:

2013The internet and the world-wide web-Robert Kahn (1) (US)
-Vinton Cerf (2) (US)
-Louis Pouzin (3) (France)
-Tim Berners-Lee (4) (UK)
-Marc Andreessen (5) (US)
2015Controlled release large molecule drug delivery  -Robert Langer (6) (US)
2017Digital imaging sensors-George E. Smith (7) (US)
-Michael Tompsett (8) (UK)
-Nobukazu Teranishi (9) (Japan)
-Eric Fossum (10) – (US)
2019Global Positioning System (GPS)-Bradford Parkinson (11) (US)
-James Spilker Jr. (12) (US)
-Hugo FrueHauf (13) (US)
-Richard Schwatz (14)  (US)
2021LED lighting-Nick Holonyak (15) (US)
-Isamu Akasaki (16) (Japan)
-M. George Craford (17) (US)
-Shuji Nakamura (18) (Japan)
-Russel Dupuis (19) (US)


  • (1), (2), and (3): Robert Kahn, Vinton Cerf and Louis Puzin for their contribution to the protocols that make up the fundamental architecture of the internet.
  • (4): Tim Berners-Lee for his contribution as the creator of the World Wide Web.
  • (5): Marc Andreessen for his contrition as the creator of the Mosaic web browser.
  • (6): Robert Langer for work in controlled-release large molecule drug delivery.
  • (7): George E. Smith for the invention of the charge-coupled device (CCD) principle.
  • (8): Michael Tompsett for the development of the CCD image sensor, including the invention of the imaging semiconductor circuit and the analogue-digital converter.
  • (9): Nobukazu Teranishi for the creation of the pinned photodiode (PPD).
  • (10): Eric Fossum for developing the CMOS image sensor.
  • (11): Bradford Parkinson for leading the development, design, and testing of key GPS components.
  • (12): James Spilker, Jr for developing the L-band GPS civil signal structure using CDMA.
  • (13): Hugo FrueHauf for his role in creating a highly accurate miniaturized atomic clock using a rubidium oscillator.
  • (14): Ricard Schwartz for leading the design and development of the highly robust, long-lasting Block I satellites.
  • (15): Nick Holonyak for developing the first (red) visible-light light emitting diode.
  • (16): Isamu Akasaki for the development of blue and white LED.
  • (17): M. George Crayford for developing the yellow LED and pioneering the development of AllnGaP LEDS using metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD).
  • (18): Shuji Nakamura for the development of blue and white LEDs
  • (19): Russel Dupuis for demonstrating that MOCVD could be applied to high-quality semiconductor thin films and devices to produce high performance LEDs.

We hope the QEPrize and Nobel prize would spur young scientists and engineers to develop innovations for humanity. We also hope that Malaysian scientists and engineers would be among the recipients of these QEPrize and Nobel prizes.


  1. Wikipedia