After receiving her PhD in Physics from Columbia University, Prof Evelyn Hu worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories from 1975 to 1984. She was Professor at the Departments of Electrical & Computer Engineering, and Materials at the University of California at Santa Barbara from 1984-2008. She served as the founding co-director of the California NanoSystems Institute, a joint initiative at UCSB and the University of California at Los Angeles. She is currently the Tarr-Coyne Professor of Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering in Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She was awarded a Doctor of Engineering honoris causa from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) in 2013. She is also the Visiting Professor of HKUST Institute of Advanced Study.
Her research involves the synthesis and fabrication of nanoscale photonic devices in semiconductors, metals and complex oxides. Her group has explored optimal coupling of novel emitter materials to distinctively-designed cavities for enhanced, controlled light emission and energy-efficient operation. Prof Hu is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, US National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Academia Sinica of Taiwan. She is also a Fellow of the IEEE, the American Physical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She also holds honorary Doctorates from the University of Glasgow, Heriot-Watt University, and the University of Notre Dame.
She has been a recipient of an NSF Distinguished Teaching Fellow award and an AAAS Lifetime Mentor Award. She also holds a Star Family Prize for Excellence in Advising (2018) and a Capers and Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising (2018).