Indian-origin scientist Jayant Baliga, based in US, has been named the winner of top Russian technology award in recognition of his work in energy management with major savings, which he will be sharing a Nobel prize laureaute
Prof. Baliga will share the award with Japanese researcher Shuji Nakamura for his work on blue light emitting diodes (LEDs). Today, Friday June 19, the award will be presented to them at a ceremony in Mocow to be presided over by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Global Energy Prize is an electronics equivalent of the Nobel Prize.
Baliga was credited with the digital switch or the insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) at General Electrical research & development centre in New York in 1983. These digital switches riase energy thousands of times and it is now a permanent fixture in every equipment from your refrigerator to lights to motor vehicles.
Scientific American magazine called him among the ‘eight heroes of the semiconductor revolution’, and President Barack Obama awarded him the highest American technology prize in 2014 and he received 2014 IEEE Medal of Honour.
Baliga, who now teaches at the North Carolina university as ‘distinguished university professor’, once said his invention could have saved the world around $24 trillion by raising efficiency.”I got zero out of it. But then I did it all for humanity,” he added in modesty.
Baliga passed out of IIT Madras and did his MS and PhD in the US, before joining GE where he spent over 15 years. GE used the switch in the several of the equipment it sold, including medical devices.
Since he is sharing the Russian prize with a Nobel laureaute, science fraternity say that he may win the Nobel Prize soon in recognition of his contribution, which yielded him no riches but only name so far.