Dr. John Palmour Named Distinguished Engineering Alumnus

The award was presented by Dr. Louis A. Martin-Vega, Dean of the College of Engineering, at a banquet held Jan. 28 at the Park Alumni Center on the University’s Centennial Campus. The award honors alumni whose accomplishments further their field and reflect favorably on the university.

Dr. Palmour received his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in materials science and engineering from NC State in 1982 and 1988, respectively. He co-founded what became Cree, now one of the premier high-tech companies founded by NC State engineering graduates. The company has 4,000 employees worldwide.

Since Cree’s founding, Palmour has served as executive vice president of advanced devices, responsible for all aspects of Cree’s wide band gap RF, microwave and power switching device businesses, and as director of advanced devices, managing all of the research and development programs that focused on wide band gap RF, microwave and power devices. He has served as a member of the board of directors of Cree since October 1995, and has served as its chief technology officer of advanced devices since September 2008. During his career, he has authored or co-authored more than 266 publications and is a co-inventor on 46 US patents and 135 corresponding foreign patents.

An active alumnus, Palmour has played a significant role in driving research collaborations with NC State engineering faculty and students and has provided generous support for the College and University. He is a member of the University’s Leonidas Lafayette Polk Society, and he has endowed the Hayne Palmour III Scholarship in honor of his father, a longtime NC State ceramic engineering professor.