Charles K Kao’s Bio, Parents, Educational Background, Marital Status, Career

Charles K Kao's Net Worth as of June 2024 is $600 Thousand

Quick Facts of Charles K Kao

Net Worth$600 Thousand
SalaryNot Known
Height5 ft 8 in
Date of Birth4 November, 1933

Famous electrical engineer and scientist Charles K. Kao invented the use of fiber optics in communications. After graduating from high school, he relocated to England from Hong Kong, which was then governed by the British.

In the end, he joined Standard Telephones & Cables after completing his electrical engineering studies there. He was afterward transferred to STC’s research facility, where his duty was to look into fiber attenuation.

He rapidly understood that fiber imperfections were to blame for light loss.


Charles K Kao’s Bio, Parents

On November 4th, 1933, Charles Kuen Kao was born in Shanghai, China. His father, Shanghai-based attorney Kao Chun-Hsiang, graduated from Michigan Law School in the United States.

Later, he worked in Hong Kong as a legal counselor and teacher of Chinese law. King Tsing Fong was the name of his mother.

He was the older of the two still living children of his parents and had a younger brother named Timothy. Additionally, he had a sister and a brother who died away from measles before he was even born.

Charles K Kao’s Educational Background

The brothers directed a protected life as a result of the passing of their older siblings, starting their education at home with tutors. Charles K. Kao started his formal education at the renowned Shanghai World School in about 1943.

In 1948, the family made their permanent home in Hong Kong after a brief visit to Taipei. Charles was enrolled in St. Joseph’s College in this location. He shined in the classroom and received all A’s on his matriculation exams.

He relocated to England in 1953 and enrolled in the Woolwich Polytechnic, which is now the University of Greenwich, in London.

He continued on to the same institute’s engineering program after clearing his A-level exams there. He eventually earned a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering there in 1957.

Charles K Kao’s Marital Status

Charles K. Kao wed Wong May-wan (Gwen), another Standard Telephones & Cables engineer, in 1959. Simon, a boy, was born to them in 1961, and Amanda, a daughter, was born to them in 1963.

His Alzheimer’s illness was identified in 2004. He established the Charles K. Kao Foundation for Alzheimer’s Disease Limited with his wife in 2010 to raise awareness of the condition.


Charles K Kao’s Career

Charles K. Kao joined Standard Telephones & Cables (STC), a British division of International Telephone & Telegraph Co., in 1957, not long after receiving his college diploma (ITT).

He was forced to rotate through several departments for a whole year before settling down in the microwave division in 1958.

He applied for a lectureship at Loughborough Polytechnic in 1960 but chose to remain after receiving an offer from STC to work at their research facility, the Standard Telecommunication Laboratories (STL), in Harlow.

Their lawyers handled the legal issues of the Polytechnic and obtained a return of his home deposit.

Kao joined the optical communications research group at STL in 1963. His first job, which he shared with Antoni E. Karbowiak, was to explore fiber attenuation. As he went along, he began gathering samples and researching the characteristics of bulk glasses.

He succeeded Karbowiak as leader of the electro-optics research group in the latter half of 1963. By that time, he had established that the fibers’ imperfections were what was causing the light loss.

He now made the decision to ignore Karbowiak’s strategy and got to work on a new course.

When George Alfred Hockham joined Kao’s team in 1964, they began looking into material qualities in addition to optical physics.

Charles K. Kao took over the STL optical communication program in December 1964. He began working on his Ph.D. at the same time, and in 1965, the University of London awarded him a Ph.D.

Dielectric fiber surface waveguides for optical frequencies was the title of the first paper Kao and Hockham ever submitted, and it was presented at an Institution of Electrical Engineers conference in London in 1966.

In this research, it was suggested that ultra-pure glass fibers might transmit light across lengths of kilometers without experiencing any signal loss.

They were able to estimate the fundamental loss of majority silica at 4 dB/km in 1969 after continuing to develop the idea. It developed an ultra-transparent glass for the first time.

The first functional fiber-optic cable was successfully created in 1970. Charles K. Kao joined the faculty of the Chinese University of Hong Kong in the same year and took a two-year leave of absence from STL to assist in the establishment of the university’s electronics department. Later, the vacation was extended until 1974.

In 1974, Kao relocated to the USA and took a position as the division’s chief scientist for ITT’s electro-optical products in Roanoke, Virginia.

By that time, the firm wanted him to direct the work on his fiber optic cable proposal since it had advanced to the pre-production development stage.

He received a promotion in 1981, making him the division’s Vice President and Director of Engineering. He then received a job offer in 1983 to become the Executive Scientist and Director of Research at the Advanced Technology Center in Shelton, Connecticut, a post he maintained until 1987.

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