Prof. Gar Lam Yip, 1936-1999
On October 7, 1999, Prof. Gar Lam Yip of McGill Universitys Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. We lost a very dedicated and passionate researcher and teacher. Gar Lam was Canadas Father of Fiber Optics and had the talents and fortitude of a true pioneer. He was quick in recognizing the importance and the potential of optical fiber communication and pioneered optical fiber research in Canada in 1969. His pioneering research (published in over 130 journal papers), his teaching, his Post-Doctoral Fellows and his students provided the core know-how for exploiting fiber and integrated optics, so that when the opportune time arrived, Canada did not miss a step.
Gar Lams research life falls into three phases. The first phase from 1963 to 1976 was Waves in Plasmas. The second phase from 1969 to 1999 was in Fiber Optics. His contributions consisted of Greens Function techniques applied to step-index fibers, a Vector-Mode Method applied to radially inhomogeneous fibers, and a Scalar-Mode Method applied to self-focusing fibers. In the third phase from 1975 to 1999, Integrated and Guided-Wave Optics, Gar Lam produced original work that focused on glass and LiNbO3 waveguide devices. He established the Ti:LiNbO3 diffusion process, proton-exchange and ion-exchange technologies in his laboratory, believed to be the first in Canada.
Professor Yip was born on December 18, 1936 in Shanghai, China. In 1949, his family moved to Hong Kong, where he completed his secondary education. His university education was through Imperial College, University of London, England (B.Sc. Hon., 1960); Queens University, Kingston (M.Sc., 1963); University of Toronto (Ph.D., 1967). In 1967, he joined the Department of Electrical Engineering, McGill, where he was Assistant Professor in 1967, Associate Professor in 1973 and Professor in 1980.
Peter C. Noutsios, Ph.D.,
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