James J. Coleman, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois, has been awarded the 2008 IEEE David Sarnoff Award for "leadership in the development of highly reliable strained-layer lasers." Coleman and his students demonstrated high performance and reliability from strained-layer lasers, defying conventional wisdom that the materials were inherently unsuitable for commercial application. This type of laser is now a critical component in fiber-optic telecommunications systems. "I am fortunate to have been part of a team with superb students at Illinois and industrial collaborators," said Coleman, who is the Intel Alumni Endowed Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering. "We were working on the ideal problem -- one that was scientifically interesting and commercially very important." The Sarnoff Award consists of a bronze medal, certificate, and honorarium and will be presented to Coleman during the 2008 IEEE LEOS (Laser & Electro-Optics Society) Annual Meeting in November in Newport Beach, Calif.