Department of Defense awards electrical engineer $3M for laser research

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Stuart (Shizhuo) Yin has received $3 million in funding from the Department of Defense for his multidisciplinary research initiative (MRI) proposal on a high-energy, solid-state laser.

Yin, a professor of electrical engineering in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, will receive about $600,000 a year for 5 years (3-year base plus 2-year option). As the principal investigator (PI) of the project, he will lead a multidisciplinary team that includes representatives from government and industry, to develop and demonstrate a high-energy, solid-state laser with unprecedented continuous/average output power (100 plus kilowatts). Yin’s research is critically needed for the next-generation, directed-energy source.

According to Yin, the high-energy, solid-state laser will be useful for many different applications. It will be able to stop attacks from rockets, artillery and mortar at the speed of light. It will also increase the speed of laser additive manufacturing, including the speed of 3D printers.

“Laser additive manufacturing is the fastest growing area to increase efficiency while reducing cost,” Yin said. “The metal shape of most automobiles is carved out by lasers. This will greatly improve productivity.”

Yin has been in the electrical engineering department at Penn State since 1993, after receiving his doctorate in the program. He has over 20 years of experience in developing advanced optical/photonic materials, devices and their applications for optical sensing, communications, imaging, high power/energy lasers, and energy harvesting. During this time he has successfully completed more than 20 research projects, clinching $20 million total for this work, from a variety of governmental agencies, industries and private foundations.

He has authored and co-authored over 300 papers in refereed journals and conferences, and was selected as a fellow of the International Society for Optical Engineering in 2004 and as a fellow of the Optical Society of America in 2007. From Penn State he has received a Penn State Engineering Alumni Society (PSEAS) Outstanding Research Award (2004) and a PSEAS Premier Research Award (2010). He has advised more than 20 doctoral students and 20 master's students.

Yin received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from Nankai University, Tianjin, China, in 1984 and 1987, respectively.

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Last Updated March 02, 2017