Robert W. Tkach, director of transmission systems research at Alcatel-Lucent Bell Laboratories' Crawford Hill, N.J., facility, received the 2008 John Tyndall Award during Tuesday's plenary session at OFC/NFOEC (Optical Fiber Communication Conference & Exposition and the National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference) in San Diego. The award, given jointly by the Optical Society of America (OSA) and IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society (LEOS) and endowed by Corning Inc., is the highest professional honor in the optical telecommunications industry, presented annually to an individual for contributions to optical telecommunications. Tkach, who will receive a glass sculpture and $3800 in cash, was honored for his pioneering research in high-capacity transmission systems and networks, including the invention of nonzero dispersion fiber dispersion management of optical fiber nonlinearities, fundamental technologies that are the basis of high-capacity wave division multiplexing systems. Before joining Bell Labs, he was chief technical officer at Celion Networks,a division manager of the Lightwave Networks Research Div. at AT&T Labs and a member of the technical staff at AT&T Bell Labs. He has received numerous awards, including the Thomas Alva Edison Patent award from the Research and Development Council of New Jersey. Tkach has served as chair and general co-chair of the Optical Fiber Communications Conference steering committee, vice president of the Optical Internetworking Forum, associate editor of the Journal of Lightwave Technology and a member of the IEEE/LEOS board. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, the IEEE and AT&T. The John Tyndall Award is named for the 19th-century UK physicist who characterized the scattering of light by dust and large molecules in the air (now known as the Tyndall Effect), among other acheivements.