Technical Skills Educator Award

The IEEE Photonics Society Technical Skills Educator Award is given to recognize educators specializing in bringing technician and technical skills training within the PHO field of interest to traditionally underserved communities.  While candidates teaching at the technical skills level, such as at US community colleges, are targeted, we also welcome applicants from any accredited, degree- or certificate-granting institutions worldwide.

The award will recognize effective, impactful, and innovative educators who bring specialized training to communities for whom photonics is not typically viewed as a common educational and career path. Contributions to curriculum and course development, industrial and governmental education programs, textbook development, will all be considered in the award evaluation.

The Awards consist of a certificate of recognition and honorarium equaling $1,500.00, with an additional $1,000.00 towards travel to attend the IEEE Photonics Conference for the presentation.


2022 Honoree


Stephen Musamuli Kichinda

For outstanding contributions to the technical education of Fiber Optic practioners in Africa for Government, Industry, and Academia.



Stephen Musamuli Kichinda is an Independent Fiber Optics Consultant and Instructor based in Nairobi, Kenya. He is currently a part-time consultant and instructor with African eDevelopment Resource Centre (AeDRC) as a regional instructor of Fiber Optic Technology to mostly technicians working for various telecommunication service providers and contractors.

Mr. Kichinda joined AeDRC in 2011 after getting Fiber Optic Association (FOA) certification as an Instructor in Fiber Optics. Prior to joining AeDRC, he worked with the Multimedia University of Kenya and its predecessor Kenya College of Communication of Kenya (KCCT) since 1988 as an Instructor in Telecommunication Outside Plant Engineering. He however started teaching, training and instructing Optical Fiber Technology in 1993 after attending a Telecommunication Outside Plant Engineering course in Japan in 1992. He learned many things, but he recalls that the best part of the course was optical fiber technology and this may explain why he started teaching fiber the following year. He retired from the Multimedia University of Kenya in December 2017.

Apart from teaching, he participates in many private and public national and regional fiber optics projects including network design, installation, and maintenance. During this time, he has acquired a lot of knowledge and skill in fiber optics which he feels responsible to share with those who need it to better their lives and that of others.

He is a graduate of KCCT after attending a three-year Telecommunication Engineering course from 1980 to 1983. Thereafter, he worked in the Cable Network Planning Office in the then Kenya Posts and Telecommunication Corporation before moving to KCCT in 1988. He is therefore doing his 42nd Year in Telecommunications!