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Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs luminary Alfred Y. Cho awarded U.S. National Medal Of Technology


Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) today announced that Alfred Y. Cho, Adjunct Vice President of Semiconductor Research at Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs, has been chosen as a recipient of the 2005 U.S. National Medal of Technology. The U.S. National Medal of Technology is the highest honor awarded by the President of the United States for technological innovation. This is the eighth time Bell Labs and its scientists have received this award.

Cho, a 39-year veteran of Bell Labs, is being recognized for his contributions to the invention of molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) and his continuing work to refine it into a commercial process. MBE ‘grows’ ordered materialsone atomic layer at a time, allowing engineering of the highly precise semiconductor components needed for advanced electronics and photonics. This technology has enabled many of the advanced devices critical to the modern electronic age including RF switches and front-end and power amplifiers in cell phones, and the semiconductor lasers used in today’s compact disc players and CD-ROM drives.

“The impact of MBE cannot be understated. Al’s invention makes it possible to produce materials that cannot be duplicated by nature or fabricated using any other known technique,” said Jeong Kim, Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs President. “MBE is used today not only for everyday applications but is also critical for advanced research, done by Alcatel-Lucent’s research teams and other research laboratories, into areas as diverse as topological quantum computing, multilayer crystal growth, and radically new devices such as high-speed transistors, microwave devices, laser diodes and detectors. Decades before anyone was talking about ‘nanotechnology’, Al Cho was making it a reality.”

Cho holds B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois. He joined Bell Labs in 1968. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, as well as a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

He also received the National Medal of Science in 1993, the American Physical Society International Prize for New Materials in 1982, the Solid State Science and Technology Medal of the Electrochemical Society in 1987, the World Materials Congress Award of ASM International in 1988, the Gaede-Langmuir Award of the American Vacuum Society in 1988, the Industrial Research Institute Achievement Award of the Industrial Research Institute, Inc., in 1988, the New Jersey Governor’s Thomas Alva Edison Science Award in 1990, and the IEEE Medal of Honor in 1994.

He received the 1990 International Crystal Growth Award of the American Association for Crystal Growth, the 1994 Von Hippel Award of the Materials Research Society, the 1995 Elliott Cresson Medal of the Franklin Institute, and the 1995 Computers & Communications Prize of the C&C Foundation, Japan.

Bell Labs was the first organization to be honored with a U.S. Medal of Technology, cited in 1985 for “contributions over decades to modern communications systems.” Since then, several other outstanding innovators from Bell Labs have been awarded the medal, including:

Arun Netravali (2002) for pioneering contributions in digital image and video compression technology.
Kenneth Thompson and Dennis Ritchie (1998) for creating the UNIX operating system and C Language.
Richard H. Frenkiel and Joel S. Engel (1994) for their fundamental contributions to the theory, design, and development of cellular mobile communications systems.
Amos Joel (1993) For his vision, inventiveness and perseverance in introducing technological advances in telecommunications, particularly in switching, that have had a major impact on the evolution of the telecommunications industry in the U.S. and worldwide.
W. Lincoln Hawkins (1992) For his invention and contribution to the commercialization of long-lived plastic coatings for communications cable that has saved billions of dollars for telephone companies around the world; and for his leadership in encouraging minorities to pursue science and engineering careers.
John S. Mayo (1990) for providing the technological foundation for information age communications and for overseeing the conversion of the national switched telephone network from analog to digital-based technology.


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