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Optics pioneer, Bob Tkach of Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, receives 2008 John Tyndall Award


Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) today announced that Bob Tkach, director of Transmission Systems research at Bell Labs, received the 22nd John Tyndall Award, the highest recognition in the optical telecommunications community, during a ceremony at the OFC/NFOEC conference in San Diego, California. Tkach was recognized for his long and prolific body of optical networking research that includes inventing many of the fundamental technologies that are now the basis of high-capacity wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) systems. These include:

* TrueWave® Optical Fiber, now generically known as NZDF (non-zero dispersion fiber), was a major leap forward in optical fiber and constitutes a major portion of the long-haul fiber plants in North America.
* Dispersion-management, without which optically amplified high-speed long-haul optical fiber systems would be impossible.
* Optical Pre-emphasis, which facilitates equalization of optical powers or optical signal-to-noise-ratios of all the WDM wavelength channels propagating in a fiber; and many other innovations.

Bestowed jointly by the Optical Society of America and the IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society (LEOS), this award is given annually to a single individual that “has made outstanding contributions of proven benefit in any area of optical telecommunications.”

The citation for Tkach’s award reads: “For pioneering breakthroughs in high-capacity transmission systems and networks, including the invention of non-zero dispersion fiber and dispersion management of optical fiber nonlinearities"

Of the 22 Tyndall Awards given since the program’s inception in 1987, 10 have been awarded to scientists for discoveries and innovations they developed while at Bell Labs. This is the second year in a row that Alcatel-Lucent has won this award. At OFC 2007 Emmanuel Desurvire, former senior director of Photonic Technologies within Alcatel-Lucent’s Optics division and, before that, a research with Bell Labs and the former Alcatel research center, received the 21st Tyndall Award.

“This indeed is a proud moment for Bob, for Bell Labs, and for Alcatel-Lucent,” said Jeong Kim, Bell Labs president. “It is richly deserved. For Alcatel-Lucent to receive this award back-to-back further demonstrates the continuing and outstanding strides made by researchers from Bell Labs in the field of optics.”

During Tkach’s long career he has received many awards and recognitions for his outstanding contributions to the optical networking community. He is currently the Chair of the Optical Fiber Communications Conference Steering Committee and has served as the General Co-Chair of OFC, Vice-President of the Optical Internetworking Forum, Associate Editor of the Journal of Lightwave Technology, and sat on the IEEE LEOS Board of Governors. In 1999, Bob received the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award from the Research and Development Council of New Jersey for inventing Truewave Optical Fiber and is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, the IEEE, and AT&T.


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