His may not be a household name, but the telecommunications world knows him well. Peter Delfyett, associate professor at the Center for Research and Education on Optics and Lasers (CREOL) at the University of Florida, invented the world's first commercially available modelocked semiconductor laser diode from a U.S. manufacturer. The laser releases the shortest and most powerful optical pulses ever generated from a semiconductor laser diode. He demonstrated a laser system using fast semiconductor laser and high power solid-state amplifiers as a medical imaging tool. This device can look inside the human body, non-invasively, without using ionizing radiation such as x-rays. He might be young, but his list of accomplishments is impressive. At 37, Delfyett won the Presidential Grant honoring young engineers. In 1993, he received the Black Engineer of the Year Award for Most Promising Engineer. Delfyett currently holds six patents. He also helps bring science to students of all ages. One of his projects includes a program to foster science experiments in the schools of Harlem.
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