James H. Edgar

University distinguished professor
Head, department of chemical engineering

James EdgarJames Edgar has made pioneering contributions to the field of wide band-gap semiconductors that use nitride compounds rather than the more common silicon. His research has improved the materials that are the building blocks of a new generation of micro devices. Such devices are revolutionizing communications, transportation, lighting, medicine and consumer applications.

Edgar leads one of the most prolific research groups in the United States in the area of III-nitride wide band-gap semiconductors. The work of his group on nitride materials reaches beyond engineering and materials science. Edgar has received more than $4.3 million from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy, as well as from such industry sources as Astralux, Hexatech and Fox Inc.

A major focus of Edgar's research is the growth of aluminum nitride single crystals, which are used in optical devices such as ultraviolet light emitting diodes and laser diodes. These devices will use ultraviolet light to sterilize water, air, heat sensitive plastics and medical appliances in a highly energy efficient manner. Edgar's work involves optimizing the crystal growth to produce large and high quality crystals.

At K-State he has mentored more than two dozen advance-degree students. He is the recipient of K-State's Commerce Bank Distinguished Faculty Award, William H. Honstead Professorship in Chemical Engineering, Outstanding Scientist Award and College of Engineering Research Excellence Award. Edgar served as interim head of the department of chemical engineering from 2003-2004, and was named head of the department in 2009.

Edgar earned his doctorate from the University of Florida in 1987. He joined the K-State chemical engineering faculty in 1988. He has served as a research fellow at the NASA Lewis Research Center and has spent sabbaticals at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., and Radboud University in the Netherlands.

Edgar can be reached at 785-532-4320 or edgarjh@k-state.edu.