John Tyndall Award

The John Tyndall Award is presented annually to a single individual who has made outstanding contributions in any area of optical-fiber technology, including optical fibers themselves, the optical components used in fiber systems, as well as transmission systems and networks using fibers. The contributions which the award recognizes should have met the test of time and should have been of proven benefit to science, technology, or society. The contributions may be experimental or theoretical.  Established in 1987, this award is jointly sponsored by the IEEE Photonics Society and the The Optical Society (OSA). Nominees need not be members of the sponsoring societies. The Award is endowed by Corning Inc. and consists of a specially commissioned Steuben crystal sculpture, a scroll, and an honorarium. The presentation is made the following year at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference (OFC).

 2019 Honoree



Kim Roberts

For pioneering contributions to the development of practical coherent communication systems.



Kim Roberts is a passionate evangelist of new optical and high-capacity packet technologies and holds the distinction of being Ciena Corporation's (previously Nortel's) leading inventor.  Kim holds more than 150 patents with many more pending.  Kim has been a major force in the field of digital signal processing (DSP) for optical transmission systems, and played a key role in virtually every optical innovation developed by Nortel.  These range from the Superdecoder (the use of electronic signal processing of optical signals), the OC-48 regenerator, and the original OC-192 (10-Gbit/s) system, to terrestrial optical amplifiers and the revolutionary WaveLogic-1 precompensating transmitter.  Building on these breakthroughs, Kim helped develop the DSP-assisted coherent transceivers that are at the heart of coherent 40, 100, and 400 Gb/s optical systems that are deployed around the world.  Today Kim is Vice President of WaveLogic Science at Ciena, leading an R&D team focused on pushing the optical boundries even further in terms of speed, distance and cost. 

In recognition of the pioneering role he has played in the industry, Kim was named an IEEE Fellow and a Nortel Fellow.  He received the Outstanding Engineer Medal in 2008 from IEEE Canada.

Kim holds a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis on mathematics, and a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering on the topic of processing of brain signals, both from the University of British Columbia.



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