SEMI-CONDUCTOR: a material, typically crystalline, which allows electrical current to flow under certain circumstances


FLAT-PANEL DISPLAY: a thin, lightweight video display used in laptop and notebook computers


DIAMOND: a structure made from the single element, carbon, that is extremely hard and difficult to break


TOUCH SCREEN DISPLAY: allows users to access information by touching the display screen

Andre Cropper (Date of Birth: 4th Aug 1961)

Caribbean Icons in STI Vol 1

Dr. Andre Cropper wants to “change the way we look at TV”. He is the mastermind behind a Flat Panel Display Touch Screen made from thin layers of laboratory produced diamond called Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED).

The display emits light and will allow display screens such as those in televisions, computers, and mobile phones to be made as flat as a copybook and almost as light. They will be portable and need very little electrical power. Dr. Cropper holds two patents for the inexpensive manufacture of OLEDs for use in TV displays.

Andre Cropper was born on August 4th 1961. He grew up in St. James, Trinidad. His curiosity was not discouraged at Newtown Boy’s RC School or his parents. At Fatima College, his secondary school, he was excited by mathematics and fascinated by physics. He knew he wanted to be an electrical engineer.

His agile scientific mind was balanced by his dedication to swimming. His days began at 4:30AM at Flying Fish Pool where he swam laps before he went to school. He represented Trinidad and Tobago on its swimming teams in regional and international games during the 1970s.

At Howard University in Washington DC, He was an outstanding student who was once asked to teach a graduate laboratory course. Although he was eligible for the Trinidad and Tobago swim team to the 1984 Olympics, he declined in order to complete his master’s degree.

He taught at Norfolk State University in Virginia and began research on the use of OLED as a semi-conductor. He presented his work to NASA (National Aeronautical Space Agency) which was impressed by the idea, but required that he have his Phd. In 1995, he obtained his PhD in Electrical/Materials Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia.

He returned to Trinidad to teach at the University of the West Indies in the Department of Electrical Engineering. He then joined the Eastman Kodak Company in New York in 1999 to work on OLED applications and their varied uses in industrial and communications technologies.

Dr. Cropper has shared his knowledge through conferences and partnerships in several counties. He likes to engage young people in science through workshops at schools, universities and companies in the USA and his homeland. He enjoys swimming scuba diving, reading, dancing, travelling, nature walks, and the fine arts. He advises students to “nurture a curious mind, ask questions on why and how and seek to find the answers… go to the library and read.”