Skip to Content

Office of the Vice President for Research

  • Dr. Asif Khan in his laboratory

Asif Khan Receives 2015 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Scientific Research

The Office of the Vice President for Research is very pleased to congratulate Dr. Asif Khan, Carolina Distinguished Professor in the College of Engineering and Computing, for receiving the 2015 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Scientific Research. Dr. Khan, who also directs the University of South Carolina Photonics and Microelectronics Laboratory, was awarded this prestigious honor for his major contributions to scientific discovery, which have had a global impact on his field of scholarship.

Dr. Khan is known worldwide as a pioneer in the area of gallium nitride (GaN) light-emitting diodes, commonly known as LED lights. His work contributed to the development of an entirely new multi-billion dollar industry of LED lighting that influences all of our daily lives, and to further LED-lighting research that earned the 2014 Nobel Prize for Physics award presented to Drs. Isamu Akaski, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura. LED lighting is such an important innovation that the United States Congress has mandated LED use as an energy-saving measure. LED lighting has produced thousands of jobs in the United States and hundreds of high-technology and highly paid jobs in South Carolina. Few other scientists have made such a major impact on industry.

Dr. Khan has enjoyed success as an entrepreneur by transferring technology from his photonics and microelectronics lab to private companies that harness his innovations to make commercial products. He also has been instrumental in development of two “spin-off” corporations in South Carolina that employ more than 100 individuals in the Columbia area.

USC Vice President for Research Prakash Nagarkatti notes, “Dr. Khan is s a poster child for how university research can positively impact regional and global economy and create jobs.  He has made so many major contributions to industry, technological innovation and, of course, the South Carolina research community. He has not only developed technologies we use every day, but also inspired countless students and fellow scholars to reach for and achieve excellence, expanding his impact far beyond his own impressive accomplishments.”

Rounding out professor Khan’s research contributions are the more than 350 refereed journal publications he has authored and the presentations he has given at more than 200 conferences. Dr. Khan has attracted more than 70 research and development grants and contracts, yielding average research expenditures estimated at an impressive amount of more than $4 million per year.

Read more about Dr. Khan and the Photonics and Microelectronics Laboratory.


1 April 2015

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.