The Department of Physics Graduation and Awards Reception in celebration of Commencement will be on Friday, April 30, 2010 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in 340 West Hall. We are pleased to host Mr. Stanford Ovshinsky at the ceremony. He will also receive a Doctor of Science from the University of Michigan at Saturday’s commencement exercises.

Mr. Ovshinsky has dedicated his life to creating an entirely new area of physics and materials science, providing innovation in atomic engineering of amorphous and disordered semiconductors. In 1960 he and his late wife, Iris, founded the company Energy Conversion Devices Inc. (ECD), to further develop and apply his inventions to the fields of information and energy creating a new field known as “ovonics,” which attracted many scientists and technologists. The materials developed by Mr. Ovshinsky resulted in unique switching devices, phase change memories, optoelectronic copying and flat-panel liquid crystal displays.

Mr. Ovshinsky holds more than 400 U.S. patents, some of which led to remarkable new approaches to the uses of solar power and hydrogen-fueled vehicles. He has formed a new company named Ovshinsky Solar LLC in order to accelerate his work in energy, leading to basic solutions for pollution, climate change gases and the need for oil.

Mr. Ovshinsky has authored more than 300 scientific papers, and has received many honors including the Diesel Gold Medal for Invention, presented by the Deutscher Erfinder-verband (German Inventors Association), the 2005 Innovation Award for Energy and the Environment by the British publication The Economist, and the 2008 Engineering Society of Detroit Lifetime Achievement Award. Additionally, he and his wife were named Heroes of Chemistry by the American Chemical Society. He has numerous honorary degrees, was inducted into the Michigan Chemical Engineering Hall of Fame, and is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Adapted from the University Record’s article on March 19, 2010.