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Prof Honored With System’s Top Award

Jay Narayan, professor of materials science and engineering, has been named the 2014 recipient of the O. Max Gardner Award, the most significant honor given to faculty by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors.

The award is presented each year to a faculty member from one of the system’s 17 campuses who is recognized as having “made the greatest contribution to the welfare of the human race.”

Narayan has made groundbreaking contributions to the field of materials science, most notably in domain matching epitaxy, a method of combining nanomaterials that reduces defects in the semiconductor materials that affect LED efficiency. This work led in turn to the development of high-efficiency LEDs that will save energy, reduce greenhouse emissions, and contribute to the nation’s energy independence.

Narayan’s work has also led to the creation of microelectronics with increased functionality and the development of smart structures and sensors that can be used to detect bioterrorist threats, create smart grid technology and impact national security.

Narayan has published nine books and over 500 papers in scholarly journals and has 40 U.S. patents. He has been invited to present papers at numerous conferences, symposia and seminars.

In 2011, Narayan received both the Reynolds Prize, NC State’s highest honor for excellence in research, teaching and extension, and the Acta Materialia Gold Medal and Prize for pioneering contributions and leadership in materials science worldwide. He received the Alexander Holladay Medal, NC State’s highest faculty honor, in 2012, and is the 2014 recipient of the Robert Franklin Mehl Gold Medal, the pinnacle honor from the Materials Society for pioneering contributions in nanomaterials and nanotechnology leading to useful commercial products.

Narayan has mentored over 65 Ph.D. students and trained numerous postdocs who are employed in leading companies and universities. Since joining NC State’s faculty in 1983, Narayan has developed eight graduate courses connected to his research, three of which are offered via the Engineering Online Network to engineers within the microelectronics and photonics industry.

Elected in 2008 as an Inaugural Fellow of the Materials Research Society, Narayan is also a Life Member and Fellow of the Materials Society, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Life Member and Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Born in India, Narayan received his bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kampur, and his master’s and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He was named Distinguished University Professor in 1990, and John C. C. Fan Family Distinguished Chair Professor in 2002.

Narayan is the 29th faculty member from NC State to win the O. Max Gardner Award since its inception in 1949.