Charles Kuen Kao (高錕; Gāo Kūn; born in 4 November 1933) is an engineer and a pioneer in the use of fiber optics in telecommunications. He won the 2009 Nobel prize in Physics.

He was born in Shanghai in 1933, graduated in electrical engineering from the Woolwich Polytechnic (now University of Greenwich) in 1957,[1] and then worked as an engineer for Standard Telephones and Cables (STC) and their research centre Standard Telecommunications Laboratories in Harlow, England (now Nortel Networks).

He was awarded a PhD degree in electrical engineering by the Imperial College London in 1965, and the following year with George Hockham did his pioneering work in the realisation of fiber optics as a telecommunications medium, by demonstrating that the high-loss of existing fiber optics arose from impurities in the glass, rather than from an underlying problem with the technology itself.

Since leaving STL, he has worked as director of research at ITT, Vice-Chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and CEO of Transtech. He is currently Chairman and CEO of ITX Services. He is also a notable alumnus of St. Joseph's College in Hong Kong. He was awarded the Nobel prize(1/2 of the prize) in 2009 "for groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication".

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Andrew Viterbi
IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal
Succeeded by
Bernard Widrow
Preceded by
Nick Holonyak
Japan Prize
Succeeded by
T. Sugimura
Academic offices
Preceded by
Ma Lin
Vice Chancellor of The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Succeeded by
Arthur Li


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