Honorary Degrees
1918 - Present

James Robert (Bob) Biard 
Doctor of Science  2013
Status: conferred

James Robert (Bob) Biard received the world's first patent for the light emitting diode (LED), shared in 1961 with his colleague Gary Pittman while they worked together at Texas Instruments. Today LEDs are found in devices from digital clocks and remote controls to television screens and traffic lights. Biard earned B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University. In addition to the LED, he holds more than 60 U.S. and foreign patents for his inventions, such as the metal oxide semiconductor read-only memory (MOSROM) and Schottky clamped logic circuits. Other devices developed by Biard include one of the first transistor DC differential amplifiers and small optical amplifiers for fiber optics. Biard was chief scientist of the Honeywell MICRO SWITCH division from 1987 to 1998 and now serves a consultant to Honeywell. He also is an adjunct professor of electrical engineering at Texas A&M. He was elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering and is a Life Fellow of IEEE. For his outstanding contributions in the field of optoelectronics, especially in development of the LED, Southern Methodist University is honored to confer upon James Robert (Bob) Biard the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.