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11 June 2007
Professor Gehan Amaratunga (right) receives
Royal Academy of Engineering’s Silver Medal
Professor Gehan Amaratunga has been presented with the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Silver Medal, recognising outstanding personal contribution to UK engineering. Gehan is Head of the Electronics, Power and Energy Conversion group at the Department. He receives the Silver Medal for his pioneering development of special silicon chips with built-in high voltage power-switching devices. These integrated circuits are used in the AC/DC converters essential for most consumer electronics. He has formed several successful companies to commercialise his work, including CamSemi and Enecsys. His latest project is to develop nanoscale supercapacitors to replace batteries in products from electric vehicles to PDAs. Gehan and his team have grown forests of multi-walled carbon tubes just billionths of a metre wide. When sandwiched with silicon nitride between niobium and aluminium electrodes they create a tiny capacitor that packs a real punch in terms of energy storage.
Presenting the Medals, Lord Browne of Madingley, RAE president, said: “The greatest inventor is the engineer. Engineers approach a problem in a manner which is both visionary and realistic – they draw simultaneously on science and business to provide solutions to challenges through the application of new technology."
Further information on the awards can be found on The Royal Academy of Engineering website.
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