THE TOP10 MAGAZINE EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2023:Cyprian Emeka Uzoh, Diaspora Nigerian professional of the Year

Cyprian Emeka Uzoh is one of the prominent scientists and engineers in the field of semiconductor technology. He has invented, developed and implemented innovations that have affected lives in so many ways. One of his singular inventions in the methods and structures for forming copper films without defects in very small cavities (submicron holes) in integrated chips is considered among one of the “Top Ten Inventions” in the Semiconductor industry. With his breakthrough inventions, semiconductor devices like microprocessors, memory chips, controllers, and  image sensors can be made more powerful, more reliable, less expensive, smaller and more energy efficient. This break through invention is profusely used cell phones, laptops, desktops, supercomputers, data centers and beyond.

Uzoh who is based in the United States, hails from Ojoto, the headquarters of Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State. He attended Ebenezer Primary School in Ibadan; graduated from Christ the King College, Onitsha, in 1971; and from University of Wisconsin – Madison, in 1978 where he studied metallurgical engineering. He pursued his graduate education in Materials Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York. His entire graduate education was funded by NASA and the Airforce Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR).

At Rensselaer, he was recruited by IBM T. J. Watson Laboratory to conduct research initially on X-ray Lithography and later on high performance chip interconnection technologies.

In 2006, he and his colleagues at IBM Research were awarded the “Inventor of the Year 2006” for their patent USPTO 6709562 “Method of Making Electroplated Interconnection Structures on Integrated Circuit Chips” by New York Intellectual Property Association. Uzoh as of November 13, 2023 has a very impressive portfolio of 360 Utility patents in the United States and more than 700 worldwide. Emeka Uzoh’s significant contributions to science and technology continue to shape the future of the tech industry and human lives. After leaving IBM, he relocated to the Silicon Valley in California, where he continued his work and roles in advancing the frontier of science and technology. He was the Vice-President of Research at NuTool Inc. before NuTool was acquired by ASMI Inc.where he became a Research Fellow. After ASMl, he joined Tessera, now Adeia, where he is working on foundational technologies to solve some of today’s and tomorrows troublesome complex problems. Uzoh, the author of more than 40 publications in technology journals, has been described as a genius by many of his colleagues.His keen intellect and his methods of clearly perceiving non obvious events from the atomic to the macroscopic level. With his keen insight, Uzoh invented many of the processes, structures and equipment used in the manufacture of the most complex devices in the world.

Uzoh is also the CTO of EmekaTech, Inc. a biotech start-up based in Santa Clara, California. It is an early stage, innovative biotechnology company, keenly focusing on developing environmentally responsible and sustainable products and also, to continue to push the boundaries of what is possible.

Prime Business Africa reports that in 2021, Mr. Uzoh is ‘gazetted’ in the US records of “Prolific Inventors” with 328 patents to his credit. The average inventor typically has three issued patents, and Uzoh’s 328 issued patents by 2021is clearly exceptional by most measures. The abstract of Mr Uzoh’s patent, US 11,056,390, issued in June 2021, according to the USPTO Patent Full Text and Image Database says it’s “A device and method of forming the device that includes cavities formed in a substrate of a substrate device, the substrate device also including conductive vias formed in the substrate. Chip devices, wafers, and other substrate devices can be mounted to the substrate device. Encapsulation layers and materials may be formed over the substrate device in order to fill the cavities.”

In a more recent development, on September 19, 2023 he was issued his 360 patent in the United States. The issued patent US 11,764,189 describes methods of stacking dies or wafers without intervening adhesive film and molding the stacked structure to improve their reliability and thermal management (heat extraction from the stacked devices).

In investigating the actual number and status of Uzoh’s patents, Prime Business Africa also found another US-based Nigerian from Akwa Ibom state, Patrick Usoro, who is also making a list of prominent Nigerians with a significant number of US patents. Usoro has 203 issued patents.

Cyprian Emeka Uzoh and his wife Mary live in San Jose, California. Their union has been blessed with three children – Nneka, Nwamaka, and Nwakaego. Their first daughter Nneka, a graduate of Hampton University (BA) and Tulane University (MA) and Kellogg MBA, is a Principal at Aligned Climate Capital. She is married to Joeffrey Kibuule, a senior engineer at Apple Corporation. The young couple lived in Oakland, California.  Amaka, their second daughter, studied Biomedical engineering at Harvard College, medicine at Emory Medical School – Atlanta and Health Finance at Wharton (MBA). Amaka is Investment Manager at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center, Manhattan New York. Their last child Nwakaego graduated in chemical engineering (BSc) and Supply Chain Logistics (MSc) from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Nwakaego was a manager at Accenture Corporation and now a MBA and MCP Candidate at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Cyprian Emeka Uzoh’s selection by The Top 10 Magazine as the Diaspora Professional of the Year award is in recognition of his prolific inventions, development and implementation of innovations that have affected lives in so many ways by providing solutions to current and future troublesome and complex problems worldwide.