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Two alumni awarded 2009 Marconi Prize

Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs scientists Andrew R. Chraplyvy, M.S. '75, Ph.D. '78, and Robert W. Tkach, M.S. '79, Ph.D. '82, have been jointly awarded the 2009 Marconi Fellowship and Prize. They were honored for their research into optical fiber nonlinearities and their development of novel mitigation techniques that vastly increased the transmission speed and capacity of optical fiber communications systems.

The scientists, who have been research partners for more than two decades, will receive the $100,000 award Oct. 9 at the annual Marconi Awards Dinner at the Palazzo Re Enzo in Bologna, Italy.

The Marconi Society was established in 1975 and annually recognizes a living scientist whose work in the field of communications and information technology advances the social, economic and cultural improvement of all humanity.

"By demonstrating the dramatic capacity limitations imposed by nonlinearities on long-distance transmission via fiber, Andy and Bob not only brought attention and resources to address the challenge, but went on to find novel mitigation techniques," said Robert Lucky, chairman of the Marconi Society and a former Bell Labs colleague and manager of the two scientists.

At Bell Labs, Chraplyvy is vice president for optical transport networks, and Tkach is director of transmission systems and networks research.

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Blaine Friedlander