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LRC News

Winter 2011
LRC Student Earns Ph.D. in Lighting

Tianming DongTianming “Teddy” Dong recently graduated with a doctorate in architectural science with a concentration in lighting from the LRC. This doctorate degree is the highest available in the field of lighting and a first-of-its-kind in the lighting industry, encompassing the many disciplines that make up the field of lighting and bringing them together within the context of scientific inquiry, research, and discovery. Dong is only the second person to have earned this degree.

Dong's graduate research focused on solid-state lighting, specifically understanding the thermal issues of high-power LEDs and developing thermal management strategies for LED light fixtures. His research included heat sink design for LED lighting systems and thermal packaging materials. Dong's doctoral work supervisor is Professor Nadarajah Narendran, LRC's director of research and head of LRC's solid-state lighting program.

LED technology holds great promise for long life and significantly reduced maintenance costs for lighting luminaires, but this potential may not be realized if the heat at the LED junction is not managed well. Lighting luminaires can operate in a variety of thermal environments, including spaces with significant airflow surrounding the luminaires, thermally insulated cavities, and airtight, insulated ceilings. Dong's thesis work focused on understanding the heat transfer mechanisms in a recessed LED downlight in an insulated ceiling.

In recognition of Dong's outstanding academic performance and strong leadership abilities, he received the 2007-2008 ASSIST (Alliance for Solid-State Illumination Systems and Technologies) Scholarship toward is doctorate studies. Prior to enrolling at the LRC, Dong earned a masters degree in physics at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. He earned his bachelor's degree in lighting in 2004 from Fudan University in Shanghai, China.

About the Lighting Research Center

The Lighting Research Center (LRC) is part of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, N.Y., and is the leading university-based research center devoted to lighting. The LRC offers the world's premier graduate education in lighting, including one- and two-year master's programs and a Ph.D. program. Since 1988 the LRC has built an international reputation as a reliable source for objective information about lighting technologies, applications, and products. The LRC also provides training programs for government agencies, utilities, contractors, lighting designers, and other lighting professionals. Visit

Contact:lrcnewsletter@rpi.eduPhotos & Graphics:Dennis Guyon
Editor:Mary CimoWeb Production:Dennis Guyon
Contributing Writers:Jennifer Taylor, Mary Cimo, Dennis Guyon
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