Dr. Xunming Deng, UT professor of physics, stood before an audience of about 200 at the Erie Street Market this summer and accepted the Toledoan of the Year Award for innovation.
The ceremony honored outstanding Toledoans who contribute to the betterment of the city in the categories of humanitarian, innovation, mentorship, leadership and business community investment.
The 40 award nominees were selected by a panel of judges along with Mayor Carty Finkbeiner based on their contributions to the city of Toledo.
One week before the event, Deng said he was told that he had been one of three finalists for innovator of the year.
“I’m very proud and honored to be named Toledoan of the Year,” Deng said. “It’s nice to build a company in Toledo and to be recognized by the city and community.”
Deng is co-founder and president of Xunlight Corp., a pioneering enterprise that in 2006 signed with UT, which gave the company the resources needed to begin production.
Since its inception, Xunlight has become an industry leader in clean, renewable energy, and its employees build some of the most advanced solar panels in the country.
Other finalists from the University were Dr. Morris Jenkins, associate professor of criminal justice, and Dr. Michael Rees, associate professor and medical director of the human donation science program.