Larry Coldren '68Larry A. Coldren
Class of 1968
2016 Award Recipient

Larry A. Coldren attended Bucknell University as a member of the Class of 1968, graduating with a bachelor of science in electrical engineering and a bachelor of arts in physics degree from our five-year ABBS program. Coldren continued his studies at Stanford University and earned the master of science in electrical engineering degree in 1969 and doctor of philosophy degree in electrical engineering in 1972.

Since Coldren's graduation from Bucknell, he has distinguished himself professionally and provided noteworthy contributions to society by authoring or co-authoring 65 U.S. patents, more than 1,000 journal and conference papers including plenary, tutorial and invited presentations, eight book chapters and two textbooks, as well as receiving well over 20,000 citations to publications. Coldren has served as the primary advisor for more than 75 Ph.D. students.

After graduating from Stanford University, Coldren spent 13 years in research at Bell Laboratories working on guided surface-acoustic-wave devices, microfabrication techniques and tunable diode lasers before joining in 1984 the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he holds appointments in the electrical and computer engineering and materials departments.  

Coldren is recognized as one of the world's leading authorities and experts in the fields of vertical-cavity and widely tunable semiconductor lasers. In Coldren's 45-year career, he has made substantial contributions to the academic and private industry sectors. Coldren is well known as the author of the defining textbook in his field, which has led to significant scientific advancements in industry. In 1991, Coldren co-founded Optical Concepts, acquired as Gore Photonics, to develop novel vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) modules. Later, in 1998, Coldren co-founded Agility Communications, acquired by JDS-Uniphase (now Lumentum), to develop widely-tunable integrated optical transmitters.

In 2004, Coldren was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, considered to be one of the highest recognitions in engineering-related fields. Coldren is also the recipient of awards including the John Tyndall Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Photonics Society in 2004, given to an individual who has made pioneering, highly significant or continuing technical or leadership contributions to fiber optics technology; the IEEE Photonics Society's Aron Kressel Award in 2009, recognizing Coldren's important contributions to VCSEL technology; the IEEE David Sarnoff Award in 2014, for contributions to semiconductor lasers and photonic integrated circuits; and Indium Phosphide and Related Materials Award in 2015 for contributions to indium-phosphide-based lasers and photonic integrated circuits for optical communications. From 2009 through 2011, Coldren was named acting dean of UC Santa Barbara's College of Engineering. Coldren is the Fred Kavli Professor of Optoelectronics and Sensors and Director of UC Santa Barbara's Optoelectronics Technology Center. He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE and a Fellow of The Optical Society and the UK's Institution of Electrical Engineers.  

Coldren's accomplishments, service and dedication to his profession and to society and more than 30 years of mentoring hundreds of students studying the latest developments in optoelectronic materials and devices have earned him the respect and gratitude of Bucknell University's engineering alumni.

It is therefore with the highest regard and warmest affection that on October 22, 2016, the Bucknell University College of Engineering and the Bucknell Engineering Alumni Association present the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award to Larry A. Coldren. 


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