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Colin Humphreys is Professor of Materials Science at The School of Engineering and Materials Science, Queen Mary University of LondonEmeritus Professor of the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge; Professor of Experimental Physics, The Royal Institution; Professorial Fellow, Selwyn College, Cambridge; past-President, Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining; Director, Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre on Advanced Materials, Cambridge and Director of the Cambridge Aixtron Centre for Gallium Nitride.

Prof. Humphreys has received numerous honours and awards, most recently a Royal Medal of the Royal Society (2021); the Kelvin Medal and Prize, Institute of Physics (1999); award of an honorary D.Sc. from the University of Leicester (2001); the European Materials Gold Medal, Federation of European Materials Societies (2001); and the Robert Franklin Mehl Gold Medal, The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, USA (2003). Prof. Humphreys is also very involved in the public understanding of science, having served as Selby Fellow, Australian Academy of Science (1997); as Fellow in the Public Understanding of Physics, Institute of Physics (1997-99); and as President of the Physics Section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1998-99).

Colin Humphreys is a materials scientist who has carried out valuable work on the electron microscopy of semiconducting materials. His world-leading research on gallium nitride (GaN) has resulted in a substantially improved understanding of this important material with a wide range of technological applications. In addition to its potential use within transistors as a next-generation alternative to silicon, GaN emits a brilliant light that makes it an ideal candidate for use in energy-saving LEDs. Colin has pioneered the development of low-cost, high-efficiency GaN-on-silicon (or ‘GaN-on-Si’) LEDs, which are now being manufactured based on his patented research. GaN LED lighting could save the United Kingdom £2 billion per year in electricity costs.

In parallel with his scientific career, Colin has devoted considerable time and effort to communicating materials science to lay audiences.  He publishes and lectures extensively in the field of science and religion, and has a particular interest in the application of scientific knowledge to the understanding of the historicity of the Biblical text. This work led to his being awarded a CBE in January 2003 for services to science as a researcher and communicator, followed by a knighthood in 2010. Since 1996, he has also been a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Recent publications in science and religion

  • Humphreys, C.J. – “The Star of Bethlehem – A Comet in 5 BC – and the date of the birth of Christ” Q.Jl. R. Astr. Soc., 32, 1991, 389-407.
  • Humphreys, C.J. – “The Star of Bethlehem – A Comet in 5 BC – and the date of Christ’s birth”. Tyndale Bulletin, 43, 1992, 32-56
  • Humphreys, C.J. and Waddington, W.G. – “The Jewish Calendar, a lunar eclipse and the date of Christ’s Crucifixion”, Tyndale Bulletin, 43, 1992, 331-351.
  • Humphreys, C.J. – “The Star of Bethlehem”, Science & Christian Belief, 1993, 5, 83-101.
  • Humphreys, C.J. and White R.J. – “The eruption of Santorini and the date and historicity of Joseph”. Science and Christian Belief, 7, 1995, 151-162
  • Humphreys, C.J. – “The number of people in the Exodus from Egypt: decoding mathematically the very large numbers in Numbers I and XXVI”, Vestus Tesatmentum XLVIII, 1998, 196-213.
  • Humphreys, C.J. – “How Many People Were in the Exodus from Egypt?” Science & Christian Belief, 2000, 12, 17-34
  • Humphreys, C.J. – “The numbers in the Exodus from Egypt: a further appraisal”. Vetus Testamentum, 50, 2000, 323-328.
  • Humphreys, C.J. – “How many thousands did Moses pilot across the Red Sea?” Manna, 69, 2000, 20-21.
  • Humphreys, C.J. – “The Miracles of Exodus – A Scientist’s Discovery of the Extraordinary Natural Causes Underlying the Biblical Stories”, 362 pages, Harper San Francisco, USA, and Continuum, UK, 2003, hardback and 2004 paperback..
  • Humphreys, C.J. – “The Mystery of the Last Supper: Reconstructing the Final Days of Jesus”, 244 pages, Cambridge University Press, UK 2011.

Selected recent science publications

  • Graham, D.M., Soltani-Vala, S., Dawson, P., Godfrey, M.J., Smeeton, T.M., Barnard, J.S., Kappers, M.J., Humphreys, C.J., and Thrush, E.J. ‘Optical and microstructural studies of InGaN/GaN single quantum well structures’ J.Appl.Phys. 97, 2005, 103508
  • Martinez C E, Stanton N M, Kent A J, Graham D M, Dawson P, Kappers, M.J., Humphreys, C.J. ‘Determination of relative internal quantum efficiency in InGaN/GaN quantum wells’ J. Appl. Phy. 98, 053509 (2005)
  • Ofori, A.P., Rossouw, C.J., and Humphreys, C.J Determining the site occupancy of Ru in the L12 phase of a Ni-base superalloy using ALCHEMI’ Acta Materialia, 53, 2005, 97-110
  • Oliver, R. A., Kappers, M.J., Humphreys, C.J. and Briggs, G.A.D, ‘Growth modes in heteroepitaxy of InGaN on GaN’ J. Appl. Phys. 97, 2005, 013707
  • Robinson, J.W., Rice, J.H., Lee, K.H., Na, J.H., Taylor, R.A., Hasko, D.G., Oliver, R.A., Kappers, M.J., Humphreys, C.J. and Briggs, G.A.D. ‘Quantum-confined Stark effect in a single InGaN quantum dot under a lateral electric field’ Appl. Phys. Lett, 86, 2005, 213104
  • Vickers, M.E., Kappers, M.J., Datta, R., McAleese, C., Rayment, F.D.R. and Humphreys, C.J. ‘In-plane imperfections in GaN studied by X-ray diffraction’ J. Phys. D. Appl. Phys., 38, 2005, A99-A104
  • Campbell, L.C., Wilkinson, M.J., Manz, A., Camilleri, P. and Humphreys, C.J. ‘Electrophoretic manipulation of single DNA molecules in nanofabricated capillaries’ Lab Chip, 4, 2004, 225-229
  • Kaestner ,B., Schönjahn, C. and Humphreys, C.J. ‘Mapping the potential within a nanometre undoped GaAs region using a scanning electron microscope’ Appl.Phys.Lett., 84, 2004, 2109-2111
  • Rice, J.H., Robinson, J.W., Jarjour, A., Taylor, R.A., Oliver, R.A., Briggs, G.A.D., Kappers, M.J. and Humphreys, C.J ‘Temporal variation in photoluminescence from single InGaN quantum dots’ Appl. Phys. Lett. 84, 2004, 4110-4112
  • Taylor, R.A., Robinson, J.W., Rice, J.H., Jarjour A., Smith, J.D., Oliver, R.A., Briggs, G.A.D., Kappers, M.J., Humphreys, C.J., and Arakawa, Y. ‘Dynamics of single InGaN quantum dots’ Physica E, 21, 2004, 285-289

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