BREAKING NEWS: LEDs Magazine recognizes first 40 Under 40 Class

July 23, 2020
The LEDs Magazine team honors 40 up-and-coming young professionals involved in the fields of LEDs and solid-state lighting for their contributions to the industry in research and commercial development.

Today, LEDs Magazine is pleased to announce the selection of 40 rising stars in the LED and solid-state lighting (SSL) fields in its inaugural 40 Under 40 program. The program was announced in late February 2020 to recognize young professionals working on the leading edge of the LED and SSL supply chain and academia.

With its 2015 Sapphire Awards program, LEDs Magazine launched an annual initiative to celebrate innovations that help to move the commercial LED and SSL markets forward in market penetration, and to recognize with the Illumineer of the Year award the engineering and design expertise of a team or individual who has advanced the capabilities of LED-based systems and enabling technologies to address the full potential of digital lighting.

However, as noted in our April Last Word column, our team saw an opportunity to acknowledge the next generation of professionals promoting the interests of the LED and SSL sectors for the mutual benefit of their organizations and global society. Those individuals could be working in research & development (R&D) in an academic or commercial setting, product marketing, engineering, or lighting design and specification. Thus, the 40 Under 40 program was launched to lift the profile of individuals whose careers are on an upward trajectory to deliver a positive impact on the LED and SSL markets and related applications.

“We truly have some incredible talent in our inaugural 40 Under 40 Class in terms of leadership, innovation, hard work, and giving back to industry and their communities,” said Maury Wright, editor of LEDs Magazine. “Still, what really surprised me was the vast skillset covered by the class. We have leaders across the LED component space to lighting products to inspiration and design, and our LED and SSL sectors should feel reassured about the future with these honorees that are becoming stalwarts of the industry.”

Many nominations were received and reviewed; indeed, some individuals received multiple nominations from different individuals, proving their impact on colleagues, co-workers, and stakeholders in the LED and SSL supply chain and academia. LEDs Magazine appreciates the efforts of the entire LED and SSL community to participate in a positive and meaningful program during a time of great uncertainty and challenges. Please join us in congratulating the inaugural 40 Under 40 Class, listed in alphabetical order by last name below. Be on the lookout for our full-length feature in the July/August issue, which will publish tomorrow. We will also highlight the individual profiles of each honoree on our website beginning Monday.

40 Under 40 Class of 2020

Shivangi Arvind - Chief science officer, AgEye Technologies

Daniel Bånkestad - Research & development engineer, Heliospectra

Mason Barker - Vice president of product development, Luminii

Timo Bongartz - General manager, Fluence Bioengineering

Drake Braski - Co-founder, VentorLux

Kandice Cohen - Director of lighting strategy, Trane Technologies

Joe Cullumber - President, Brilled Lighting

Jared (JD) Davidson - Vice president of the Americas, Seoul Semiconductor

Michael Demas - Vice president of operations, Fusion Optix

Robert Dempsey - Scenic sales manager, Environmental Lights

Murali Mohan Devarajulu - Owner, LS Consulting

Jake Engle - Lighting application specialist, Energy Systems Group

Basar Erdener - Director of marketing and product management, LED Linear USA

Serge Gountas - Director of the automation and electrical department, Showman Fabricators

Dave Grassi - Optical engineering manager, Lumenpulse

Steve Graves - Vice president of business development, Fluence Bioengineering

Richard Hall - LED systems engineer, LumenFocus

Christopher Hartswick - Co-founder and chief product officer, Ideoli Group

Michael Hennessy - CEO, Wavelength Lighting

Charles Jarboe - Lead research specialist, Lighting Research Center

Kim Johnson - Director of marketing, Igor

Michael Kershner - Founder, Innovative Lighting Consultants

Andreas Kreuss - CEO, LED Technics Germany

Kurt Liepmann - Senior illumination applications engineer, Osram Opto Semiconductors

Kory Liszt - Software engineering manager, Cree Lighting

Clifton Manahan - Senior associate, HLB Lighting Design, Inc.

Erico Mattos - Executive director, GLASE

Jordon Musser - Senior director, LED products and technology, Flex Lighting Solutions

Cameron Oveisi - Business development manager, Ledrabrands

Indika Perera - Research scientist, Lighting Research Center

Jelmer Sanders - Product manager, LED modules, Signify

Jon Sarafinas - Director of engineering, Lumenpulse

Ekamdeep Singh - CEO, IKIO LED Lighting

Andrew Smith - Marketing manager, Seoul Semiconductor

Robert Soler - Co-founder and vice president of R&D, BIOS Lighting

Jacob Steinbrecher - Associate research scientist, Dow Inc.

Aaron Van Damme - General manager, Nichia

Trevor Vogt - Director of engineering, Gamma Scientific

Isaac Wildeson - Senior director of epitaxy technology R&D, Lumileds

Andersen Zapata - Founder and CEO, Lighting of Tomorrow

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About the Author

Carrie Meadows | Editor-in-Chief, LEDs Magazine

Carrie Meadows has more than 20 years of experience in the publishing and media industry. She worked with the PennWell Technology Group for more than 17 years, having been part of the editorial staff at Solid State Technology, Microlithography World, Lightwave, Portable Design, CleanRooms, Laser Focus World, and Vision Systems Design before the group was acquired by current parent company Endeavor Business Media.

Meadows has received finalist recognition for LEDs Magazine in the FOLIO Eddie Awards, and has volunteered as a judge on several B2B editorial awards committees. She received a BA in English literature from Saint Anselm College, and earned thesis honors in the college's Geisel Library. Without the patience to sit down and write a book of her own, she has gladly undertaken the role of editor for the writings of friends and family.

Meadows enjoys living in the beautiful but sometimes unpredictable four seasons of the New England region, volunteering with an animal shelter, reading (of course), and walking with friends and extended "dog family" in her spare time.