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Troy, N.Y. -  12/15/2014

Rensselaer Professors Meet with Nobel Laureate Hiroshi Amano at the Swedish Energy Agency

Mariana Figueiro and Hiroshi Amano have a luncheon discussion in Stockholm.

Professor Mariana Figueiro and Professor Hiroshi Amano attended a meeting at the Swedish Energy Agency.

On December 12, Nobel Laureate in Physics Hiroshi Amano visited the Swedish Energy Agency for a seminar on implementation and future trends in LED lighting. Rensselaer lighting experts Mark Rea, Mariana Figueiro, and Dan Frering of the Lighting Research Center (LRC) attended the meeting, with Director General Erik Brandsma, Thomas Sandvall, and Peter Bennich of the Swedish Energy Agency, researchers from Lund University, and representatives from the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications. This year, the Nobel Prize, which is awarded only to inventions of greatest benefit to humankind, was presented to the inventors of the blue LED, and Hiroshi Amano, Isamu Akasaki, and Shuji Nakamura were in Stockholm attending an official banquet to receive their awards.

At the Swedish Energy Agency meeting, Amano discussed the energy situation in Japan after the earthquake in Fukushima, after which most nuclear plants closed. He said that it is important to find more renewable energy sources but also to use energy more efficiently, and noted that the LED will play an important role in helping Japan to decrease its energy use. Amano is currently conducting research on different materials and especially new areas of deployment for nitride, such as solar cells. After the talk by Amano, attendees participated in a luncheon discussion on the topic of light and health. 

The Swedish Energy Agency, a government agency for national energy policy issues: renewable energy, improved technologies, a smarter end-use of energy, and mitigation of climate change, has been a LRC Partner since 2010 and has collaborated on and funded several high-profile research projects. At the December 12 meeting, the most recent project, entitled Swedish Healthy Home, a collaboration between the Swedish Energy Agency, LRC, and Lund University, was officially launched. The goal of the Swedish Healthy Home project is to develop an advanced lighting system which supports human health and wellbeing while reducing energy consumption.

About the Lighting Research Center
The Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the world's leading center for lighting research and education. Established in 1988 by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the LRC conducts research in solid-state lighting, light and health, transportation lighting and safety, energy efficiency, and plant pathology. LRC lighting scientists with multidisciplinary expertise in research, technology, design, and human factors, collaborate with a global network of leading manufacturers and government agencies, developing innovative lighting solutions for projects that range from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to U.S. Navy submarines to hospital neonatal intensive-care units. In 1990, the LRC became the first university research center to offer graduate degrees in lighting and today, offers a M.S. in lighting and a Ph.D. to educate future leaders in lighting. With 35 full-time faculty and staff, 15 graduate students, and a 30,000 sq. ft. laboratory space, the LRC is the largest university-based lighting research and education organization in the world.

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is America's first technological research university. The university offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in engineering; the sciences; information technology and web sciences; architecture; management; and the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Rensselaer faculty advance research in a wide range of fields, with an emphasis on biotechnology, nanotechnology, computational science and engineering, data science, and the media arts and technology. The Institute has an established record of success in the transfer of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace, fulfilling its founding mission of applying science "to the common purposes of life."