Physics that benefits humanity

16 December 2015

It's very important to generate new products for the good of our society and humanity in general.

A passion for turning physics experiments into practical technology that benefits the poorest people in the world has earned Professor Chennupati Jagadish a prestigious fellowship of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) in the United States.  

Professor Jagadish's research into lasers, LEDs and optics at the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering is being turned into solar lighting, energy generation technology and water purification systems that are cheap and widely available.

"It's very important to generate new products for the good of our society and humanity in general," Professor Jagadish said.

"Working with industry provides the opportunity to work out what are the challenging problems, which feeds back into new research areas."

Professor Jagadish is the holder of five US patents and is involved with six different companies in Australia and China, started by either himself or his students, commercialising technologies such as LED light bulbs and ultra-bright ultraviolet LEDs that can be used for air and water purification.

"The technologies we are working on have potential to make a huge impact on quality of life for people all over the world," he said.

The NAI is inducting 168 new fellows in Washington DC bringing, the total to 582, from more than 190 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutions.

The 2015 Fellows account for more than 5,300 issued US patents, bringing the collective patents held by all NAI Fellows to more than 20,000.

The NAI said the new Fellows have made a significant impact to the economy through innovative discoveries, creating startup companies, and enhancing the culture of academic invention.