Lester F. Eastman Award


 Lester Eastman Photo


The Lester F. Eastman Award is named after the late Professor Lester F. Eastman. Professor Eastman, a world leader in the physics and technology of compound semiconductor materials and devices; invented, fabricated, and investigated many novel semiconductor materials and devices. His work on so many occasions resulted in breakthroughs enabling important practical applications. The best solid-state device groups follow his ideas with great success, and his former students and associates work in leadership positions in hundreds of leading companies, research laboratories and universities in the United States and around the globe.

Please note:  The EDS Lester Eastman Award cannot be given to a candidate for the same work for which an IEEE Technical Field Award, IEEE Medal, or other society level award was previously received.


 Lester F. Eastman Award Committee                                                     DONATE NOW!   


Description:  To recognize individuals with outstanding achievement in high-performance semiconductor devices

Established:  2019

Prize: $2,000 and a plaque.  Only 1 winner selected each year and no award will be given if no qualified candidate is identified.

Funding:  Funded by the Lester F. Eastman endowment fund and the IEEE Electron Devices Society

Eligibility:  Any person active in the field of semiconductor devices, whether or not they are members of the IEEE Electron Devices Society, are eligible for the award. 

Basis for Judging:  Criteria considered by the selection committee will include an impact on the field of semiconductor devices. Evidence should include examples of leadership and professional interaction.  Tangible supporting evidence in the form of publications, patents, and/or transition(s) to practice should be provided. 

Deadline:  1 July   1 August

Presentation: Annually at the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM)

Nomination formnomination form link 

 Kohn Photo

 Congratulations to Erhard Kohn

2021 IEEE EDS Lester F. Eastman Award Winner

Erhard Kohn is a professor at Ulm University, heading the Institute of Electron Devices and Circuits until to his retirement in 2009. Since then, he has been visiting professor to the Technical University of Vienna, Notre Dame and presently NCSU.

He received his Dr. Ing. degree from the Technical Univ. of Aachen (Germany) in 1975 with work on GaAs based field effect transistors, highlighted by the realization of an integrated differential MESFET amplifier pair with integrated current source (IEDM 1974). After 2 years at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UK) this was followed by an approx. 15 year period going through industrial research before returning to academia.

Stations were AEG Telefunken in Germany, Thomson CSF-DAG in France and Siemens Corp. Research in Princeton, NJ. At Thomson CSF the challenge was to set up a GaAs IC pilot line technology for analogue and digital applications based on ion-implantation. This work was accompanied by 5 subsequent sabbaticals to Cornell University in Lester Eastman’s group. It was a unique experience and the beginning of a long lasting relationship with Lester and Cornell. During the 1980’s the Siemens Company decided to set up a semiconductor technology department at their NJ Research and Technology Laboratory, extending their Munich based GaAs activities.  Drawing heavily from Lester’s experience, the first GaAs HEMT crossing the 100 GHz threshold could be demonstrated.  However, the many changes did also represented a heavy load on his family, especially his 2 children, but was perfectly mastered by Renate, his wife.

In 1989 the Inst. of Electron Devices and Circuits was established at Ulm University. Work moved to III-nitrides and diamond, two wide bandgap materials with ceramic-like stability and ultra-hard properties. Investigating both materials side by side enabled many new device structures, covering the field of electronics, biochemistry, electrochemistry, thermal management as well as MEMS sensors and actuators. As an example, InAlN/GaN HEMT operation at 1000 °C in vacuum could be demonstrated, not expected for an In-containing III-nitride compound. The key was a native 2D-oxide passivation layer discovered in a “golden experiment” by accident, the technology also permitting diamond overgrowth of fully processed GaN devices. The work resulted in more than 130 journal contributions and more than 300 conference and workshop presentations and the formation of 2 spin-off companies.

Erhard had been a distinguished IEEE lecturer and served on the board of the German IEEE-EDS chapter. For many years he was the European Chair and a Trustee of the DRC and for 10 years an executive board member of the Elsevier Diamond conference.


Recent Winners of the Lester F. Eastman Award

2021 - Erhard Kohn, Retired

2020 - Asif Khan, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA