University of Central Florida College of Optics and Photonics Professor Shin-Tson Wu is a pioneer in LCD research, and his students revere him.

That combination earned Wu international recognition as the 2011 Slottow-Owaki Prize winner. The award recognizes professional achievement as well as lifetime achievement in teaching.

Wu will be honored at the Society of Information Display’s annual meeting in May.

Current and former students say the honor is well deserved.

“Professor Wu loves us as his own children,” said Linghui Rao, the president of the UCF chapter of the Society of Information Display. “He equips us to be leaders. He often motivates us with his life experiences in both industry and academia.”

More than 30 students whom Wu has taught and mentored throughout his academic career sent the society letters urging the Honors and Awards Committee to select him as this year’s winner. All of the letters described his pioneering work and his personal touch when it comes to educating students to be the best and move the industry forward.

“Professor Wu devoted himself to education and training of graduate students,” said Yi-Hsin Lin, a former student and now an assistant professor at National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan. “When the job opportunity came, the way he introduced me to potential future employers is like a proud father promoting his own daughter. Under his guidance, I published 28 peer-reviewed journal papers before I graduated and received many student awards.”

There is no doubt Wu is a leader in the field of LCD. Before joining UCF in 2001, he worked at Hughes Research Laboratories for 18 years. His pioneering work helped create technology that we commonly use today in our televisions, iPods and cell phones. His work in liquid crystal technology has also led to breakthrough uses of adaptive lenses. He and his research team have obtained more than 70 patents for their work.

Renowned Swiss physicist and LCD inventor Martin Schadt officially nominated Wu because his work will go on for generations thanks to his amazing ability to teach and inspire.

“The best measure of the success of an educator is the success of his students,” Schadt said in his nomination letter. “Shin-Tson’s outstanding students’ work is convincing proof for his amazing capabilities as an outstanding educator.”