Peter Delfyett, a UCF distinguished professor, was inducted into the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame for his groundbreaking inventions in optics and photonics.

Delfyett, who also serves as the director of the Townes Laser Institute and is a university trustee chair professor and Pegasus Professor within the College of Optics and Photonics (CREOL), came to UCF in 1993 and now holds 45 U.S. patents.

He is elated to have been chosen, and he credits his recognition to UCF鈥檚 willingness to cultivate an environment favorable for innovative research.

鈥淚t is a true honor to be inducted into the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame,鈥 Delfyett says. 鈥淲hat I think it really speaks to is not just my efforts, but the efforts of my graduate students and the support we have from the administration to create a positive environment that’s conducive for discovery and inventiveness.鈥

The 2024 class is the 10th inducted into the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame. This year鈥檚 nine inductees collectively hold more than 350 U.S. patents and belong to many different areas of academia and innovation. Since its founding in 2013, the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame has inducted 77 inventors, who collectively hold over 5,200 U.S. patents. This year鈥檚 inductees will be honored at a ceremony on Oct. 25 in Tampa, Florida.

“The Class of 2024 represents the best of innovation in Florida, and their achievements underscore the critical role that innovation plays in driving progress and improving the quality of life for people in our state, our nation and around the world,鈥 says Paul Sanberg, chair of the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame Advisory Board and president of the National Academy of Inventors. 鈥淭heir groundbreaking work not only advances scientific discovery but also strengthens the economy and enhances our global competitiveness.鈥

Focused on Research

Delfyett has made the most of his 31 years at UCF. He has dedicated himself to serving as a resource to aspiring optics and photonics students while .

There are many discoveries he can recall, but Delfyett cites four inventions that he is most proud of, including:

  1. 鈥淥ne is that we showed how we can generate the world’s shortest and brightest pulse ever generated from the semiconductor laser 鈥 kind of like laser pointer technology. Everyone knows what a laser pointer is, we can make those with world class brightness brighter than ever has been done before. And the bright the duration of the flash is less than 1/5 of a trillionth of a second. With those technologies we can see atoms and electrons moving around. We can transfer terabytes of information per second.鈥
  2. 鈥淲e then invented a laser that serves as an optical clock that can be used in position timing and navigation satellites, but also for clocks inside your computer to make your laptops and your cell phones run faster.鈥
  3. 鈥淭he third is technology that we spun out for Radiance. Radiance was a company that’s using the laser for cutting Gorilla Glass, stents and next generation fuel injectors.鈥
  4. 鈥淭he fourth one, we have a body of work of utilizing lasers for communication and signal processing.鈥

Delfyett鈥檚 body of research is extensive and punctuated by honors spanning scientific disciplines and recognizing different aspects of his career.

He recalls receiving an inaugural Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) award from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1996 鈥 just three years after arriving at UCF.

鈥淭his was something that was even higher than the [NSF Faculty Early Career Development] award,鈥 Delfyett says. 鈥淭he PECASE Award was an outgrowth of the original 鈥楶residential Faculty Fellow Award,鈥 and is the highest honor bestowed by the federal government on outstanding scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers. In the year it began, the NSF granted the awards to the nation鈥檚 top 20 young scientists. It was a big deal, and I got to go to the White House to receive the award.鈥

His research continued and accolades followed.

In 2021, he was UCF鈥檚 first sitting faculty member to be inducted into the National Academy of Engineering and in the following year, he earned the lifetime honor of being named an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow.

(Photo by Antoine Hart ’18)

Opportunity for Innovation

Delfyett鈥檚 interest in optics and photonics was piqued after seeing a course titled, Introduction to Lasers, in his second year at the City College of New York. He says he had a gut feeling that this could be the next big thing.

After gaining some experience in the industry, he gravitated to UCF because there was ample opportunity to grow with a young school.

鈥淲hen I came to UCF, CREOL was just beginning [as a center],鈥 Delfyett says.  鈥淚 noticed was that the administration and CREOL really liked to foster this concept of UCF and CREOL strongly partnering with the community and the industry. And with that kind of vision, I thought, 鈥楾his would be a great place to be able to not just train students and develop technologies, but to move technologies from the laboratory and out into the real world.鈥

The dedication to understanding the importance of CREOL, which began a college in 2004, and fostering partnerships is something that Delfyett says has continued throughout his tenure at UCF. He cites President Alexander N. Cartwright鈥檚 background in electrical engineering and other administration members with backgrounds in science and research as a testament to the university鈥檚 commitment to STEM.

Delfyett remains optimistic that he may yet realize some of his greatest research aspirations 鈥 or at least play a role in their development.

鈥淪omething that I鈥檓 interested in now is a telescope with thousands of telescopes arranged kind of like lenses on a fly鈥檚 eye,鈥 he says. 鈥淚f you can do this properly, you can make an imaging device that could potentially physically image a planet in another solar system.鈥

Delfyett鈥檚 enterprising ambitions boldly go even further into the sci-fi genre.

鈥淏oom. I want to make the holodeck from Star Trek,鈥 he says. 鈥淭he entire room would be paneled with special holographic displays, and it would truly appear as three dimensions and the floor would move as if you were walking.鈥

The technologies to make this a reality aren鈥檛 limited to fictional characters like Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Delfyett says.

鈥淲e鈥檙e working on the technology to be able to transmit that amount of information required to make all of these videos go at that at the rate,鈥 he says. 鈥淲e鈥檙e working on technologies that show that if we wanted to have this in our house, it would only require the power five homes rather than that of, say, a nuclear power plant.鈥

Delfyett鈥檚 bold aspirations are very in sync with his pioneering outlook on innovation and ingenuity.

鈥淚t鈥檚 great to have this coming from the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame. It鈥檚 like getting the hometown recognition.鈥 鈥 Peter Delfyett, Pegasus Professor

鈥淚 plant the flag far down the road, and I have no idea how I鈥檓 going to get there,鈥 he says. 鈥淚鈥檝e been talking about these things for 25 years, but over time, the technology gets better and more mature and we鈥檙e taking steps to making these things become a reality.鈥

Delfyett considers himself 鈥渟omewhere in the late middle鈥 of his career, but he has no intention of slowing his pace just yet.

His induction into the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame further fuels his research ambitions and desire to discover new frontiers in optics and photonics.

鈥淚鈥檝e been around for a long time where a lot of the work that we have done over the years is really now starting to get the recognition,鈥 Delfyett says. 鈥淚t鈥檚 great to have this coming from the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame. It鈥檚 like getting the hometown recognition.鈥

Accomplished Inventors

Other 亚洲成人视频 faculty, emeriti and graduates who previously were inducted into the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame include:

  • Jason Eichenholz 鈥95MS 鈥98PhD (2023) Co-founder and chief technology officer, Luminar Technologies, courtesy faculty member in CREOL; optical science and engineering alum
  • David Kotick 鈥81 鈥83MS (2021): Senior science technical manager at the Naval Warfare Center Training Systems Division; electrical engineering alum
  • Michael Bass (2019): Professor emeritus of optics and photonics, physics, and electrical and computer engineering
  • Sudipta Seal (2018): Pegasus Professor; trustee chair professor; university distinguished professor of materials science and engineering
  • Issa Batarseh (2017): Pegasus Professor of electrical engineering
  • Jacqueline Quinn 鈥94MS 鈥99MD (2016): environmental engineer and research scientist for NASA鈥檚 Kennedy Space Center; environmental engineering alum
  • J. Soileau (2016): Professor emeritus of optics and photonics; distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering, and physics
  • Shin-Tson Wu (2014): Pegasus Professor of optics and photonics; trustees chair professor