- Charles Stark Draper Prize Awarded to Fiber Pioneers
WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 -- The National Academy of Engineering has awarded the 1999 Charles Stark Draper Prize to three major figures in the development of fiber optics -- Charles K. Kao, Robert D. Maurer, and John B. MacChesney.
Kao theorized about how to use light for communication instead of bulky copper wire while working at ITT's Standard Telecommunications Laboratories in the 1960s. In 1970, Maurer headed a team of Corning Inc. researchers that designed and produced the first optical fiber. Four years later, MacChesney and his colleagues at AT&T Bell Laboratories -- now Lucent Technologies -- developed the Modified Chemical Vapor Deposition process, which allows for the mass production of optical fiber.
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