Academy award for founder and CEO of Cambridge spin-out

Dr Giorgia Longobardi, founder and CEO of Cambridge GaN Devices Ltd (CGD), has been named as a winner of the RAEng Engineers Trust Young Engineer of the Year competition. One of five young engineers singled out as “outstandingly successful in their respective fields at an early stage of their careers”, she will receive the award and a £3,000 prize at the Royal Academy of Engineering Awards Dinner in London on 11 July.

Cambridge GaN Devices, which spun out of the Electrical Power and Energy Conversion Group in the Department of Engineering, is developing highly efficient power electronics that could offer major energy savings in applications ranging from power supplies for consumer electronics to LED drives, data centres and wireless chargers. The company shared first prize in the 2016 Postdoc Business Plan Competition run jointly by the Entrepreneurial Postdocs of Cambridge (EPoC) and Cambridge Enterprise.

Dr Longobardi’s work is focused on gallium nitride (GaN) technologies, including sensors and system solutions for efficient power management. She was awarded a prestigious Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) at Gonville & Caius in Cambridge. Her company was spun out shortly after she after completed her PhD, in collaboration with NXP Semiconductors, and soon after receiving EPSRC IAA Follow-on-Fund support. After spending a year in Japan on a JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship, Giorgia led a successful seed fund investment round for Cambridge GaN Devices. The company now employs ten people and was recently selected as one of the best deep-tech startups to watch by the School of Entrepreneurship & Innovation in Turin.

Beyond her technical achievements, Dr Longobardi is passionate about promoting STEM subjects to the next generation, especially women. She has been a STEM ambassador engaging with school students all around the world and in Italy, UK and Japan.


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