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Cyril Hilsum

Prof. Cyril Hilsum CBE FRS FREng DEng CPhys HonFInstP (born 1925) is a British scientist, with a long career in solid-state physics and semiconductors.

He was schooled at Raine's Foundation School in London. He obtained a BSc and PhD from University College London.



  • Admiralty Research Laboratory 1947-1950
  • Services Electronics Research Laboratory (SERL) 1950-1964.
  • Royal Radar Establishment 1964-1983.
  • Director of Research at GEC from 1983-1992.

Whilst working for the Ministry of Defence Cyril Hilsum was instrumental in the development of gallium arsenide as a semiconductor material. Applications of GaAs included transistors and lasers. He was involved in the use of indium antimonide as an infrared detector material, and carried out early work on flat-panel displays (LCDs).

Cyril Hilsum is a trustee of the Rank Prize Fund (for optoelectronics). He has served as corporate research adviser for the European Commission, Unilever and Cambridge Display Technology.


  • Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Engineering (for introducing III-V semiconductors into electronic technology),
  • Fellow of the Royal Society (1979)
  • Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (1978)
  • Fellow of the IEEE
  • Max Born Medal and Prize from the Institute of Physics in 1987
  • Faraday Medal from the Institute of Electrical Engineers in 1988
  • He was awarded the CBE in 1990
  • Honorary DEng from Sheffield University in 1992
  • Glazebrook Medal and Prize from the Institute of Physics in 1997,
  • Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Physics in 2001
  • Royal Medal in 2007


Hilsum's daughter, Karen Burt, died in 1997. He has endowed an award for young female engineers in her name.


  • Semiconducting III-V Compounds (Monographs on Semiconductors), C. Hilsum, 239 pages, Publ. Elsevier (1961), ISBN 0-08-009499-6
  • Liquid Crystals, C. Hilsum, Cambridge Univ Press (1985), ISBN 0-521-30465-2
  • Device Physics (Vol 4 of Handbook on Semiconductors), C. Hilsum and T.S. Moss (Editors), 1244 pages, Publ. JAI Press (1993) ISBN 0-444-88813-6
  • Communications After AD2000, C. Hilsum, D.E.N. Davies, A.W. Rudge (Editors), Chapman & Hall, (1993), ISBN 0-412-49550-3
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cyril_Hilsum". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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