Bowers's talk, titled "Energy Efficiency: From the Data Center to the Third World," will begin at 7:30 a.m. at El Paseo Restaurant, 813 Anacapa St. in Santa Barbara. The cost is $20. Reservations are requested by calling (805) 893-2877. Checks should be made payable to the UC Regents and mailed to the Office of Public Events, MC 1135, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, 93106.
Bowers, who also holds UCSB's Fred Kavli Chair in Nanotechnology, is widely known for his research in optical switching and other uses of light to transmit and process data. That makes Bowers an efficiency expert as well, because light can carry far more information than electricity at the same energy level, without generating heat. His research seeks breakthroughs in the science and engineering behind three promising technologies in energy: photovoltaics, thermoelectrics, and solid-state lighting.
Bowers will be joined by Claude Dorais, vice president and co-founder with Bowers of Unite to Light, a nonprofit organization based in Santa Barbara that distributes high-efficiency solar-powered LED lamps to the developing world. The LED lamps replace the traditional kerosene lamps, and provide more and healthier light for schoolchildren doing homework in the evenings. The organization is a direct outgrowth of the work done at the Institute for Energy Efficiency, and Bowers continues to serve as its director.
Dorais will speak briefly about Unite to Light, the importance of technology in aiding developing countries, and the ways in which UCSB makes such technology possible.
Bowers earned his Ph.D. at Stanford University, and worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories and Honeywell before joining the faculty at UCSB in 1987. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Optical Society of America (OSA), and the American Physical Society.