Creating a Sustainable Society

SpeakerDr. Jayant Baliga
Organization North Carolina State University
LocationEngineering Building II, Room 1021
DateMarch 30, 2012 1:00 PM

Presented by ECE Distinguished Speaker Colloquium

Western industrialized societies rely on the use of electrical energy for providing a high quality of life for their citizens. The comforts of refrigeration, air-conditioning, and lighting are taken for granted by people. Convenient transportation and communication capabilities are no longer considered a luxury. These benefits are derived by ever increasing demands on our electrical power delivery systems which produces a detrimental environmental impact.

In this talk, the impact of power semiconductor devices on reducing electricity usage through enhanced efficiency of power delivery will be described. The application of power devices to motor control and lighting has already produced a cumulative energy savings of 50,000 Terra-Watt-Hours over the last 20 years saving consumers $ 10 Trillion. Improved fuel efficiency derived from electronic ignition systems enabled by power devices has reduced gasoline consumption by 1 Trillion gallons saving consumers $ 5 Trillion. This energy and gasoline conservation has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by more than 75 Trillion pounds. Power devices also enable deployment of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. A sustainable society with a high quality of life would be impossible without our reliance on power semiconductor technology.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Baliga is an internationally renowned scientist, prolific author of 18 books and over 550 publications, and an established educator in the field of power semiconductor devices with 120 U.S. patents to his name. Among his inventions, the most widely commercialized device is the Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) extensively used around the globe for air-conditioning, home appliance controls, robotics, electric-cars/bullet-trains and compact defibrillators projected by the AMA to save 100,000 lives a year. For this work, Scientific American Magazine named him one of the Eight Heroes of the semiconductor revolution in their 1997 special issue commemorating the Solid-State Century.

In 1984, he was listed among the 100 Brightest Young Scientists in America by Science Digest Magazine. His numerous awards include the 1993 IEEE Morris E. Liebman Award for his contributions to the emerging Smart Power Technology, the 1998 J.J. Ebers Award, the highest recognition given by the IEEE Electron Devices Society; and the 1999 Lamme Medal given by the IEEE Board of Governors at Whitehall Palace in London. The University of North Carolina system selected him for the 1998 O. Max Gardner Award, which recognizes the faculty member among the 16 constituent universities who has made the greatest contribution to the welfare of the human race. At the age of 45, he was elected to the prestigious National Academy of Engineering, the highest honor in the engineering profession. In May 2011, he received the Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal of Excellence, the highest honor given by NCSU Board of Trustees to a faculty member. He received the National Medal for Technology and Innovation in October 2011 from President Obama at the White House, the highest honor given by the United States Government to an engineer.

More information on the ECE Distinguished Speaker Colloquium can be found at

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