Jacek K. Furdyna
Honorary Degree Recipient
- Doctor of Science, Purdue University 2007
Dr. Jacek K. Furdyna has distinguished himself as one of the most creative scientists in the world of semiconductors.
He has a 22-year history in the physics department at Purdue but is now professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame and resides in Granger, Ind. His very impressive and pioneering research on some of the fascinating properties of elemental and compound semiconductors addressed a range of electromagnetic and optical phenomena: Faraday effect, Alfven and helicon wave propagation, and plasmas in solids.
These early studies, carried out with microwave techniques, established him as a young physicist with great promise when Purdue succeeded in attracting him to West Lafayette in the spring of 1966 as associate professor.
Born in Poland, he was deported to the Soviet Union at the outbreak of World War II at the age of six. He spent much of his childhood in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, and after release from the USSR, in Iran, Iraq, Palestine, and in the United Kingdom, before immigrating to the United States.
Dr. Furdyna earned his bachelor's degree at Loyola University in Chicago, and his doctorate at Northwestern University (in 1960), where he stayed on as a postdoctoral fellow for an additional two years. From 1962 to 1966 he was on the research staff of the Francis Bitter National Magnet Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
At Purdue, Dr. Furdyna established an exciting new program in magnetic semiconductors, which thrives to this day. He established an international reputation through imaginative research on diverse topics in this area, bringing him and his Purdue colleagues much visibility and recognition on the world scale. Throughout his career Dr. Furdyna projected the image of an extraordinarily creative scientist, with a special talent for identifying fascinating new problems and new directions.
Dr. Furdyna's research continues to prosper, particularly in the field that he started at Purdue, as measured by his seminal publications and international collaborations. His large number of publications (over 600) and literature citations (over 10,000) bear testimony to his remarkable productivity and creativity.