Department of Defense awards electrical engineer $3M for laser research


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Stuart (Shizhuo) Yin has received $3 million in funding from the Department of Defense for his multidisciplinary research initiative (MRI) proposal on a high-energy, solid-state laser.

Yin, a professor of electrical engineering in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, will receive around $600,000 a year for 5 years (3 year base plus 2 year option). As the principal investigator (PI) of the project, he will lead a multidisciplinary team that includes representatives from government and industry, to develop and demonstrate a high-energy solid-state laser with the unprecedented continuous/average output power (100 plus kilowatts). Yin’s research is critically needed for the next generation directed energy source.

According to the electrical engineer, the high-energy solid-state laser will be useful for many different applications. It will be able to stop attacks from rocket, artillery and mortar at the speed of the light. It will also increase the speed of laser additive manufacturing, including the speed of 3D printers.

“Laser additive manufacturing is the fastest growing area to increase efficiency while reducing cost,” Yin said. “The metal shape of most automobiles is carved out by lasers. This will greatly improve productivity.”

Yin has been in the electrical engineering department at Penn State since 1993, when he completed his doctorate degree in it. He has over 20 years of experience in developing advanced optical/photonic materials, devices and their applications for optical sensing, communications, imaging, high power/energy lasers and energy harvesting. During this time he has successfully completed more than 20 research projects, clinching $20 million total for this work, from a variety of governmental agencies, industries and private foundations.He has authored and co-authored over 300 papers in refereed journals and conferences, and was selected as a fellow of the International Society for Optical Engineering in 2004 and as a fellow of the Optical Society of America in 2007.

From Penn State he has received a Penn State Engineering Alumni Society (PSEAS) Outstanding Research Award (2004) and a PSEAS Premier Research Award (2010). He has advised more than 20 Ph.D. students and 20 masters students. Yin received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from Nankai University, Tianjin, China, in 1984 and 1987, respectively.


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Rebekka Coakley


Electrical Engineering's Dr. Stuart Yin.



The School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science was created in the spring of 2015 to allow greater access to courses offered by both departments for undergraduate and graduate students in exciting collaborative research in fields.

We offer B.S. degrees in electrical engineering, computer science, computer engineering and data science and graduate degrees (master's degrees and Ph.D.'s) in electrical engineering and computer science and engineering. EECS focuses on the convergence of technologies and disciplines to meet today’s industrial demands.

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