A Clemson University professor whose research has helped advanced the manufacture of computer chips and solar cells has won an award that recognizes outstanding technical accomplishments.

Dr. Rajendra Singh is the 2014 recipient of the SPIE Technology Achievement Award.

He did some of the fundamental work in rapid thermal processing, a technology that helped lay the foundation for the $1-billion-a-year semiconductor-manufacturing industry.

Singh’s work in rapid thermal processing has also been applied to solar-cell manufacturing, cited by other researchers around the world and featured in textbooks. Solar cells convert sunlight into energy.

The award is given annually by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

Singh was chosen for this year’s award to recognize his efforts “in the elucidation and exploitation of photonic effects in rapid thermal processing for semiconductor manufacturing and technical leadership of photovoltaic technology.”

Dr. Randhir Thakur, a former Ph.D. student in Singh’s research group, endorsed his nomination for the award in a letter to the SPIE awards committee. Thakur wrote that Singh has made seminal contributions and a played a visionary leadership role in developing rapid thermal processing.

Singh has also served as a role model for a number of researchers throughout the world and championed the needs of industry, providing intelligent solutions, according to Thakur, who is now executive vice president and general manager of the silicon systems group at Applied Materials in Santa Clara, Calif.

“Professor Singh has the uncanny ability to initiate research work ahead of industry needs,” Thakur wrote. “During such periods, there is little support, and pioneering work done by Professor Singh has created critical mass to solve industrial needs.

“For his contributions he has received the highest professional recognitions.”

Singh has also won the 1998 Thomas D. Callinan Award of the Electrochemical Society and  the 2003 J.F. Gibbons Award.

Photovoltaics World selected Singh as one of the ten “global photovoltaic technology champions” in 2010. He has received a number of other awards and honors. Singh has been named fellow of the professional societies SPIE, IEEE, AAAS and ASM.