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Nobel Prize Winner to Receive Honorary Degree

Scientist Who Invented LED Lighting to Address Campus

Shuji Nakamura
Nobel Prize winner Shuji Nakamura will be one of four individuals to be awarded an honorary degree from UMass Lowell this year. Nakamura will be recognized during a ceremony on Wednesday, April 11 at University Crossing.


Contact: Christine Gillette, 978-934-2209, or Nancy Cicco, 978-934-4944,


WHEN: Wednesday, April 11, 2:30 p.m.

WHAT: Shuji Nakamura, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics for inventing energy-efficient LED bulbs, will be presented with an honorary doctoral degree from UMass Lowell by Chancellor Jacquie Moloney before delivering the university’s annual Tripathy Endowed Memorial Lecture. 

LED bulbs emit bright white light that saves energy by producing light approximately 90 percent more efficiently than incandescent light bulbs. The invention – used in automobiles, electronics and many household products – is also powering developing nations in new ways. Nakamura will discuss his research as the keynote speaker at the event, which is named for Sukant Tripathy, who was a renowned researcher and UMass Lowell chemistry professor, former provost and vice chancellor.

Nakamura is the recipient of honors including the 2015 Global Energy Prize and is the Cree Professor in Solid State Lighting and Display at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering at the University of Tokushima, Japan. 

He is one of four individuals who will be recognized by UMass Lowell with honorary degrees this year. The others will be presented at UMass Lowell’s Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 19. The recipients will be: Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Jon Meacham, who will deliver one of two keynote addresses along with U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas during Commencement on Saturday, May 19; UMass Lowell graduate James Dandeneau ’80 of Dayville, Conn., the founder, president and CEO of Putnam Plastics, for whom UMass Lowell’s Dandeneau Hall will be dedicated on Friday, May 18; and Groton School Headmaster Temba Maqubela, recipient of the Desmond Tutu Social Justice Award.

WHERE: University Crossing, 220 Pawtucket St., Lowell. Contact UMass Lowell media relations for directions and parking information.