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Don Scifres

Don Scifres

Laser physics pioneer | UI Engineering HOF | Class of 1970

The first stop on Don Scifres' stroll down Illini memory lane is the Electrical Engineering Research Lab, where the UI College of Engineering Hall of Famer spent what seemed like the better part of the early 1970s.

“Professor Nick Holonyak insisted that his graduate students be in the lab day and night, so it is almost the only place I saw on campus,” says Scifres, a visionary in the field of laser physics and technology who earned both his master's and Ph.D. from the UI.

“It was a great education and introduction to how to get ahead in the world," says Scifres, who earned both his master's and Ph.D. from the UI before going on to a career that would include 140-plus patents, the founding of two companies and countless awards.

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