Materials science and engineering graduate fellowship established by NC State alumnus

Dr. Edmond (Photo: courtesy of Cree)
Dr. Edmond (Photo: courtesy of Cree)

A North Carolina State University engineering alumnus has pledged a $150,000 endowment gift to the school to attract top graduate students to its Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Dr. John A. Edmond, who earned his PhD in materials science and engineering at NC State in 1987, established the endowment for graduate students studying electronic materials. The gift, to be made over five years, creates the Edmond Graduate Fellowship in Materials Science and Engineering.

“We are grateful to John and Rita Edmond for their generous gift to materials science and engineering at NC State,” said Dr. Louis Martin-Vega, dean of the College of Engineering. “This endowment will help support our graduate students as they follow in the footsteps of our alumni by developing new technologies that change the world.”

Edmond is the co-founder and director of advanced optoelectronics at Cree,
Inc., a leading light-emitting diode (LED) lighting company based in Durham,
NC. Edmond and other NC State engineering alumni helped start the company in
1987. Today, Cree is a market leader in LED chips and components, LED lighting
systems, power switching and wireless communication devices. The company has
more than 4,500 employees worldwide.

Edmond has helped Cree make many notable technological achievements in the
LED field, including the introduction of the world’s first commercially
viable blue LED in 1989 that paved the way for billboards and large video screens
to produce full-color displays. His work in LED technologies has resulted in
more than 200 US and foreign patents.
Edmond said he has been impressed with the recent direction of the Department
of Materials Science and Engineering and its new facilities on NC State’s
Centennial Campus. He said he and his wife, Rita, wanted to help top graduate
students in the field succeed at NC State.

“We’re doing it to help educate the students,” he said, “because
my education is a huge part of how I got to where I am.”