Holonyak Lab student Harshil Dave wins the Gregory Stillman Semiconductor Research Award for his excellence in semiconductor research. 

Holonyak Lab student wins the Gregory Stillman Semiconductor Research Award

The Gregory Stillman Semiconductor Research Award is presented to one or two doctoral students who have demonstrated excellence in semiconductor research. This year, Harshil Dave, who recently graduated with his Ph.D., received the award, which is granted by Illinois’ Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering. 

Holonyak Lab Alum Harshil Dave
Holonyak Lab Alum Harshil Dave

This was far from Dave’s first recognition as a PhD student. He received a 2019 IEEE Photonics Society Graduate Student Fellowship, an invitation to speak at a graduate student forum on best practices for student chapters at the conference, and second place for his poster at the IEEE Photonics Conference, where he also gave an oral presentation.  In addition, the Illinois IEEE Photonics Society Student Chapter was named “Chapter of the Year” under his leadership as chair.

“I feel honored and appreciative to have received this award from the ECE department, especially during the last semester of my Ph.D,” said Dave, who was advised by ECE Professor Kent Choquette, a researcher in the Holonyak Micro & Nanotechnology Lab. “It helped end my Ph.D. on a positive note, despite missing the traditional graduation celebrations due to COVID-19.”

Dave says that his only intent upon arriving at the University of Illinois was to complete his Masters degree.

“I mostly feel relieved and proud to have come this far. I’m glad I stuck around,” said Dave.

As far as his advice for current students, Dave says that planning is key to a positive graduate school experience.

“Everyone has their own path for graduate school,” said Dave. “I would encourage students to effectively plan and set goals, including contingencies. As we’re all learning now, we also have to be flexible when things don’t go according to plan.”

Dave has since accepted a staff position at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.., where research is conducted on behalf of the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Here, he’ll contribute to applied research, technological development, and prototyping.

“I believe it’s a good personal fit,” said Dave. “It will allow me to continue to grow while performing impactful research.” 

Dave says that the valuable lessons he learned at Illinois will carry over into all he does as he moves on. He wants to use these lessons to be “an effective researcher, a good collaborator, and a positive influence in both professional and personal settings.”