From Starwars to Supermarkets – How Semiconductors Power the Universe

Global semiconductor developer, BluGlass Limited (ASX:BLG), and Australia’s largest provider of online business and finance news, ShareCafe, are hosting a series of expert panel sessions to educate the Australian investor community on applications and opportunities within semiconductor and high-tech industries.

The first panel in the series, From Star Wars to Supermarkets: How Semiconductors Power the Universe, is on Wednesday 19 October 2022 at 11:00am AEDT and will cover Australia’s semiconductor and high-tech sector in the context of the global industry and opportunities for Australia.

The panel will feature a short keynote presentation by Nobel Laureate and inventor of gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductors, Professor Shuji Nakamura. Highly credentialed panellists include industry pioneer Professor Steven DenBaars, NUBURU founder Jean-Michel Pelaprat, and Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre Chair Paul Cooper.

The virtual sessions are free to attend. Moderated by Deloitte partner Andrea Culligan, attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions.

Panel 1: From Star Wars to Supermarkets – Semiconductors power the universe

Date: Wednesday, 19 October 2022
Time: 11:00am – 12:00pm AEDT

Register to attend here:

Meet our Expert Keynote & Guest Speakers

Keynote speaker
Shuji Nakamura
Nobel Laureate
Professor of Materials and Electrical & Computer Engineering, UC, Santa Barbara

Keynote speaker, Professor Shuji Nakamura, likely needs no introduction. Professor of Materials and Electrical & Computer Engineering, The CREE Distinguished Professor in Solid State Lighting & Displays, Research Director, Solid State Lighting and Energy Electronics Center, UC, Santa Barbara, and Co-Founder of Soraa Laser Diode (now Kyocera SLD).

His pioneering work in the development of nitride-based semiconductors represents one of the most important achievements in the materials science of semiconductors in the last 30 years. Professor Nakamura was awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize for Physics for “the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes, which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources”. His achievements enabled the development of white LEDs that have revolutionised the lighting industry and have superior low energy consumption resulting in significant energy savings.

Nakamura’s continued ground-breaking work has also been recognised by his award of the Global Energy Prize in 2015; the Zayed Future Energy Prize Lifetime Achievement; the Harvey Prize for Advancements in Science and Technology; the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Engineering; the Millenium Technology Prize; and the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering with Akasaki, Nick Holonyak, M. George Craford and Russell D. Dupuis in 2021.

Presently, he is developing the next generation of solid-state lighting, based on lasers, which is 100 times brighter than LED lighting. He continues to focus on the development of GaN thin film technology for novel light-emitting devices.

Panel Moderator
Andrea Culligan, Partner Deloitte

Lead Partner of Innovation at Deloitte and powerhouse of Australia’s innovation sector, Andrea Culligan is moderating the Expert Roundtables. Since moving to Australia from Canada in 1998, Andrea has established herself as an entrepreneurial leader, passionate about helping companies start and scale meaningful ideas and businesses.

Andrea is recognised for her successful track-record in building and scaling businesses along with her commitment to mentoring and supporting high-growth innovation sectors.  Since 2000, when she launched one of Australia’s first free email services, she has founded and scaled seven different businesses, exiting two across three continents. Prior to joining Deloitte, Andrea held advisory roles at Active Wellbeing, TechSydney, and BlueChilli Group, and was previously Chief Customer Experience Officer with Redii in addition to serving as an Advisory Board Member for Jo Burston’s female entrepreneurship firm, Inspiring Rare Birds.

Expert Panellist: Professor Steven DenBaars
Professor of Materials and Electrical & Computer Engineering at UC Santa Barbara

Industry luminary, Professor Steven DenBaars is a Professor of Materials & Computer Engineering, and Co-Director of the Solid-State Lighting Center at UC Santa Barbara. He is the Endowed Mitsubishi Chemical Chair in Solid State Lighting and Displays.

From 2013 until 2020, he was the Chairman and Co-Founder of Soraa Laser Diode Inc (now Kyocera SLD), has served as a Scientific Advisor for CREE Inc., a Consultant for Seoul Semiconductor, and previously worked at Hewlett-Packard Optoelectronics division. He sits on the Advisory Board of Crystals, and on the Board of Directors for Akoustis Inc.

His pioneering work in GaN based semiconductors and their application to blue LEDs and lasers and energy efficient solid-state lighting has led to more than 800 scientific publications and over 160 U.S. patents on electronic materials and devices. He has been awarded an NSF Young Investigator award, Young Scientist Award of the ISCS, is an IEEE Fellow and IEEE Aron Kressel Award recipient. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (2012), and elected Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (2014).

Panellist: Jean-Michel Pelaprat
Non-executive Director, BluGlass
Founder, NUBURU Inc.

Jean-Michel Pelaprat is a commercial leader in the global photonics and laser industries. He is Non-executive Director of BluGlass Limited, and the founder of NUBURU Inc., a recognised pioneer in blue lasers for industrial manufacturing and 3D printing.

In a career spanning over 30 years, Jean-Michel has held numerous leadership positions in high-growth photonics businesses, including Vice President and General Manager for both the Diode Pumped Solid State Laser and Semiconductor Laser groups at Coherent. Other leadership roles include President and CEO of Vytran, Chair and CEO of Novalux, Inc. and Director of Nuvonyx and NKT Photonics.

Jean-Michel has a particular interest in the development and deployment of disruptive technologies, including gallium nitride blue laser technology.

Panellist: Paul Cooper
Chair, Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre
Chair, Rinstrum

Paul Cooper is Chair of the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre Ltd (AMGC) where he oversees the design and implementation of AMGC’s strategy and its alignment with the Federal Government’s Growth Centre Initiative.

Paul has over 25 years’ manufacturing industry experience and is the owner and Executive Chair of Rinstrum, an industrial electronics manufacturing company. Based in Brisbane, Rinstrum actively exports to global markets with subsidiaries in the United States, Germany, India and Sri Lanka.


Panellist: Rimas Kairaitis
Managing Director, Alpha HPA

Rimas Kairaitis is a seasoned executive with more than 20 years’ experience in minerals exploration and resource development. Rimas originally trained as a geologist with a successful career in mineral exploration before transitioning to mineral project development and operation as founder and CEO of Aurelia Metals (ASX: AMI).  Rimas joined Alpha HPA as Managing Director in 2018 and has helped position the Company to the cusp of commercial production of ultra-high-purity aluminium materials including aluminas, hydroxides and high-purity aluminium precursor salts.

Alpha HPA’s materials have direct application into the LED sector for both LED phosphor synthesis and in the growth of sapphire glass for LED substrates.  Alpha HPA has also commenced product qualification for a range of products for application into the CMP semiconductor slurry sector, supplying both abrasive and oxidants for CMP slurries.

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