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Chemical Engineering

James H. Edgar | University Distinguished Professor

Photo of Jim EdgarTom H. Barrett University Faculty Chair in Chemical Engineering

Ph.D., 1987 - University of Florida
Chemical Engineering
M.S., 1982 - University of Florida
Chemical Engineering
B.S., 1981 - University of Kansas
Chemical Engineering

Contact Information:
1005 Durland Hall

Professional Experience
Professor J.H. Edgar received a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Kansas in 1981. He next attended the University of Florida, where he earned master's and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering in 1982 and 1987, respectively. He joined the chemical engineering department at K-State in January of 1988 as an assistant professor, and received promotions to associate and full professor in 1993 and 1997, respectively. Edgar was a research fellow at the NASA Lewis Research Center in the summers of 1990 and 1991, a sabbatical fellow at the Naval Research Laboratory (1994-1995) and a guest lecturer at Radbound University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands (2006-2007). In 2013, he was named a Kansas State University Distinguished Professor. He is currently on temporary assignment as a manager of the Electronic and Photonic Materials program of the National Science Foundation (2019-2021).

Edgar’s research is focused on the applications of chemical engineering principles to improve semiconductor processing. Specific areas of interest include crystal growth, epitaxy, and characterization of wide band gap semiconductors including group III nitrides (aluminum nitride and gallium nitride), silicon carbide, and boron compound semiconductors (boron nitride and icosahedral boron arsenide). Improvements in the quality of these semiconductors have made possible solid state ultraviolet light emitters (light emitting diodes and diode lasers), energy-saving high efficiency power electronics, neutron detectors, and nanophotonics.

Academic Highlights
Edgar entered the research field of wide band gap semiconductors in its infancy. Since then, the field has grown from a topic of interest to a handful of researchers into several multi-billion-dollar businesses, including high energy efficiency light emitting diodes for general illumination and energy-saving power electronics. This technological revolution has been made possible through advancements in material quality.

Edgar has authored and/or co-authored more than 170 refereed journal articles, 50 conference proceedings, and is the editor of two books. According to Google Scholar, the total number of citations to his work exceeds 64,000, and he has an h-index of 35. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Office of Naval Research, the American Chemical Society, and the II-VI Foundation. The total funding for his research exceeds $9 M. He has overseen the successful completion of 22 Ph.D. and 17 M.S. degrees in chemical engineering.

As department head, he manages 17 faculty, four staff, 290 undergraduate students, and 25 graduate students, with a total department budget of $3.6 million. Highlights as department head include hiring 15 new faculty, supervising the $2.5 M renovation of Durland Hall research laboratories (2012), and expanding the space available to the department.