Charles Kao

Charles Kao
Charles Kao
Shanghai, China
Death date
Associated organizations
ITT Corporation
Fields of study
Fiber optics
IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award, IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal History


Charles Kuen Kao, who was born in 1933 in Shanghai, China, received a B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from the. University of London in 1957 and a Ph.D degree in Electrical Engineering, also from the University of London, in 1965.

He was the Chairman and Professor of Electronics of the Electronics Department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong from 1970 to 1974, and in 1974 he became associated with the ITT Electro-Optical Products Division as a Staff Scientist, which position he presently holds. Dr. Kao was a pioneer in the field of optical fiber communications and has worked in this field since 1963. His experience includes theoretical studies and basic research in optical communication systems, fiber optic waveguide communications, circuits and systems design, and quasi-optical techniques applicable to microwave systems.

Dr. Kao has been elected a Fellow of IEE (UK) and was a Life Fellow of IEEE. He received the 1976 Morey Award from the American Ceramic Society for outstanding contributions to glass science and technology and in 1977 was awarded the Stewart Ballantine Medal by the Franklin Institute for his conceptual work on Optical Fiber Communication Systems. He was the recipient in March 1978 of the Sir Arthur Rank Prize of the Royal Society of England for his pioneering work in optical fiber communication. He has written many technical papers and held 11 patents.

Dr. Kao resided in Roanoke, Virginia, with his wife, Gwen, his son and daughter. His hobbies included pottery and tennis.

Further Reading

Charles Kao oral history