On Saturday, August 20th, 2011, Professor Isamu Akasaki received the 2011 Edison Medal (as an individual) from The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) at an award ceremony held at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco.
The IEEE was formed in 1963 with the integration of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE, launched in 1884) and the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE, launched in 1912). It is the largest academic conference in the world, with 400,000 members from 160 countries. Professor Akasaki won the Edison Medal for his original and pioneering contributions in the fields of nitride semiconductors and optoelectronic devices using those semiconductors, such as light-emitting diodes and lasers.
The Edison Medal is an award created in 1909 in honor of the famous inventor Thomas Edison, and is presented to those who achieve groundbreaking success in the fields of electricity and electronics, as well as device research and development. The Edison Medal is awarded based on criteria so strict there are no recipients in some years. Professor Akasaki is the second Japanese to win the award.