Dong Ji, a recent UC Davis ECE Ph.D. graduate, has been selected as winner of Anil Jain Memorial Prize for best Ph.D. dissertation for the 2017-2018 academic year.
Dong completed his Ph.D. dissertation under Prof. Srabanti Chowdhury. Dong came to UC Davis in 2014 and graduated in 2017. His dissertation, entitled “Design and Development of GaN-Based Vertical Transistors for Increased Power Density in Power Electronics Applications,” was selected by the ECE Awards Committee as the best Ph.D. dissertation in the 2017-2018 academic year.
The Anil Jain Memorial Prize was established in 1990 in honor of the late Professor Anil Jain of ECE. The prize is awarded annually to the best Ph.D. student dissertation in the department. The winner receives a $1,000 check and a certificate.
Dong’s Ph.D. research primarily focuses on power electronic devices based on gallium nitride (GaN) technology. Power electronics semiconductor device research is considered one of the leading fields of research of our time. More than 80 percent electricity energy has to pass through power converters between generation and consumption, out of which, about 10 percent of the power is wasted as “heat." Inefficient conversion process generates this undesirable heat, which is a loss of energy. Power switches, serve as the core component in any power conversion system, has a significant influence on the efficiency of the systems. Conventional silicon-based power switches are approaching a performance plateau limited by the fundamental material properties, which cannot satisfy the continuously increased electricity energy consumption in emerging advanced power systems, such as electrical vehicle and renewable energy systems.
Dong Ji received his B.S. degree from Beijing Jiaotong University in 2013, M.S. from Arizona State University in 2014, and Ph.D. from UC Davis in 2017. During his Ph.D. research with Prof. Srabanti Chowdhury, he focused on gallium nitride devices for high power electronics applications and made significant achievements advancing the field. In his Ph.D. career, Dong has published over 20 peer-reviewed journal papers, presented in 7 international conferences including the very prestigious International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM-2017) and Device Research Conference (DRC- 2017), co-invented 2 patents, and co-authored 1 book chapter. He received the Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Oversea Students in 2016. He is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher in Prof. Chowdhury’s group to further the research in power electronic devices.