By David Murphy
KAUST Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Boon S. Ooi was recently named as an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Fellow, effective January 1, 2023. Professor Ooi was elected for his "contributions to broadband light emitters and visible light communications," the IEEE stated.
The grade of IEEE Fellow recognizes exceptional distinction in the engineering profession. The IEEE Board of Directors confers fellowship upon senior members with an extraordinary record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest.
The number of IEEE senior members elevated to Fellow in any year may not exceed 0.1% of the total IEEE voting membership. IEEE has more than 423,000 members in over 160 countries around the world. This year, Professor Ooi was one of the 319 senior members elevated to the rank of IEEE Fellow.
Semiconductor photonic integrated circuit and optoelectronics device technologies developed by Professor Ooi have been widely adopted throughout the photonics industry. His patents have helped several photonics companies manufacture or develop top-of-the-line optoelectronic products and systems. His work in semiconductor photonics has also led to the establishment of several successful startups—now midsize established companies.
Professor Ooi is among the first to propose and demonstrate energy-efficient lighting and ultra-high-speed visible light communication (VLC) using semiconductor lasers. His work has marked the birth of Gbit/s for indoor and underwater communications and opened new directions and possibilities for many new applications for semiconductor laser lighting and optical wireless communication.
His leadership in laser lighting and VLC research has led to his outstanding performance in leading several high-profile research programs. This includes his role in leading a team of five major universities in Saudi Arabia to establish the Technology Innovation Center for Solid State Lighting—an R&D center fully funded by KACST at KAUST. He served as Director of the Center from 2013 to 2020.
Professor Ooi was elected as a Fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Inventors (NAI) for the profitable commercialization of his patents and technologies. In addition to being a Fellow of Optica (formerly the Optical Society of America – OSA), he is also a Fellow of SPIE and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (UK). His previous roles include Senior Editor at the IEEE Photonics Journal and Associate Editor at OSA Optics Express. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Photonics Technology Letters.
“I am humbled to be named an IEEE Fellow and incredibly honored to be a member of this distinguished group,” Ooi noted. “This [election] would not have been possible without the strong contributions and support from my former and present students, postdocs, colleagues, collaborators and mentors.”