IEEE (Piscataway, NJ) has named Herbert Kroemer, professor of electrical and computer engineering and of materials at the University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, as the 2002 recipient of the IEEE Medal of Honor. The IEEE Medal of Honor, the highest award given by IEEE, is awarded for an exceptional contribution or extraordinary career in any IEEE field of interest.
Kroemer is being honored for his pioneering work in hetero-structure-based transistors and light-emitting devices. The transistor portion of Kroemer's hetero-structure research played a key role in the development of the cellular phone and other wireless communications technologies.
Kroemer also applied the hetero-structure principle to light-emitting devices, which allowed them to operate continuously at room temperature. This advance paved the way for the development of the semiconductor lasers used in CD players, fiber optics and other applications.