Stewart D. Personick 2000 John Tyndall Award Winner


Stewart Personick was awarded the 2000 John Tyndall Award during ceremonies at the Plenary Session of the Conference on Optical Fiber Communication (OFC 2000). Stewart was recognized “for pioneering research in optical receiver design, system engineering, and optical time domain reflectometry, and for leadership in education and the promotion of fiber optics.”

Stewart D. Personick is the E. Warren Colehower Chair Professor of Telecommunications and Information Networking at Drexel University; and the Director of Drexel’s Center for Telecommunications and Information Networking.

He has devoted the first 30 years of his career to performing and managing research and systems engineering programs in the areas of telecommunications and networked-information-system technology and applications. He has now shifted his career focus to education, university research, participation in government-sponsored advisory committee activities, and private sector consultation.

Upon completing his Doctorate at MIT in 1969, he spent 15 years as an individual contributor and research manager (Bell Laboratories, TRW, Bellcore) in the field of optical communications technology and applications. During this time he made pioneering contributions in the areas of: optical fiber system receiver design; modeling of propagation in multimode fibers with mode coupling; optical time domain reflectometry; and the end-to-end modeling of the performance and capabilities of optical fiber systems and free space applications of optical technologies.

In recognition of this work he was elected a Fellow of the IEEE (1983), a Fellow of the Optical Society of America (1988), and a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (1992). He also served as Technical Program Committee Co-Chairperson, and General Co-Chairperson of the 1983 and 1985 U.S. Fiber Optic Conferences (OFC), respectively.

Since 1985 he has focused his research and management activities on emerging and next-generation telecommunications systems, technologies, and applications. He was a Vice President, in charge of a wide variety of research and systems engineering efforts, at Bellcore (now Telcordia Technologies) from September 1985-July 1998. These included: ISDN, Intelligent Networks/Advanced Intelligent Networks, SONET, digital subscriber lines, broadband networking, “gigabit” networking, Internet, and wireless research and systems engineering activities. Under his leadership, research activities at Bellcore evolved continuously to meet the changing needs of the telecommunications industry.

During this time, he was responsible for many of Bellcore’s pioneering efforts in next generation networking architectures, including Bellcore’s pioneering work on distributed network operating system platforms and their associated application drivers. He served as the senior management link from Bellcore and its Telecommunications Industry clients to the emerging Internet Community. He served as a member and as Chairman of the U.S. Federal Networking Council Advisory Committee during the critical transition of the NSFnet to the current set of commercial and federally sponsored networks.

In September 1998 he joined Drexel to pursue a lifelong plan to teach in a University setting, and to continue leadership research activities in next generation networks.

The 2000 John Tyndall Award Committee consisted of Michael Ettenberg, Chair; Milton Chang, Kenneth Hill, Giok-Djan Khoe, Steven Newton.

The John Tyndall Award is sponsored by the IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society and the Optical Society of America. The award includes a specially commissioned Steuben glass sculpture, a scroll, and an honorarium funded through an endowment and gift of Corning, Inc.


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