Showing posts with label Kao Wu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kao Wu. Show all posts

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Kao Kuen 高錕

Sir Charles Kao
KBE, GBM (Hong Kong), PhD (London) 

Kao Kuen or Charles Kao was born on 4 November 1933 in Shanghai to Kao Chun-hsiang 高君湘, a Professor of Law at Soochow University. Charles' grandfather, Kao Sit 高燮 was a notable Chinese scholar. In 1959, Charles married Wong May Wan 黄美芸 in London, and has a son and a daughter. Charles is belonged to a well-educated family, his brother, Kao Wu 高鋙 or Timothy Kao was a Professor Emeritus in Civil Engineering at the Catholic University of America. And his uncle, Kao Ping-tse 高平子 was a notable astronomer, Kao Crater on the moon was named after him.  

Charles received his early education at home, studying Chinese classics together with his brother. He also attended an international school in Shanghai, and studied French and English. In 1948, his family migrated to Hong Kong, and Charles was enrolled to St. Joseph's College and completed his study in 1952. He then furthers his study at Woolwich Polytechnic and obtained a degree in electrical engineering. 

In 1965 he completed his doctoral degree in electrical engineering from the University College London under the supervision of Professor Harold Barlow. He was then an engineer for the Standard Telephones & Cables working as a researcher at the Standard Telecommunication Laboratories in Harlow.  It was during this time, he developed the transmission of light in fibre optic in telecommunications and was notably honoured with the Noble Prize in Physics in 2009. Today he is known in the modern science as the Father of Fiber Optic Communications.

In 1996, he endowed a research grant to the Yale University and founded the Charles Kao Fund Research Grant. Since early 2004, Charles suffered Alzheimer's disease and  has difficulty to talk. He is currently living with his children and grandchildren at Mountain View, California.

During his early time, Charles was awarded numerous accolades in recognition for his work and has received at least 17 honorary degrees  from the universities in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, China, Japan, Hong Kong and Italy. He also held various positions in public and private organisations, and was most notable for being honoured to be a Life Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in the United States.