Three MIT Graduate Students Win Unisphere
Solutions-backed $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Team Prize for Innovation
in Telecommunications & Networking
Cambridge, MA, February 9, 2000 — MIT graduate electrical engineering students Michael Lim, Jalal Khan and Thomas Murphy are blazing a new trail in the growing field
of high capacity optical telecommunications transmission. Their
fabrication and design research methodology focusing upon Bragg-grating-based
high-performance integrated optical devices has already won them
According to Henry I. Smith, Keithley Professor of Electrical Engineering
at MIT, the development by this team of methods to design and fabricate
such devices as "their optical add/drop filter is truly an amazing
accomplishment … (it) will have a profound effect on the future
development of optical communication. This in turn, will have a
profound effect on our access to information via future versions
of the Internet."
The Lim-Khan-Murphy team was selected by the Lemelson-MIT Program
as winner of a student competition for the Unisphere Solutions/Lemelson-MIT
$30,000 Student Team Prize, recognizing innovation in telecommunications
and networking. Unisphere Solutions, a leader in Service Ready Networking
for Internet service providers and telecommunications carriers,
joined with the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology (MIT) to sponsor this first-ever student team competition.
"We are delighted that an award celebrating team-based innovation
in our chosen field has come into existence. It gave us a first-time
opportunity to submit in contest format our doctoral research on
the fabrication of integrated optical communication devices," said
team leader Michael Lim. "All three of us are committed to careers
in the high-capacity telecommunications transmission industry. We
hope our efforts and example can validate Unisphere's and Lemelson-MIT's
great goal of generating interest among American youth in invention,
innovation and entrepreneurship."
Winning Lemelson-MIT Student Team Prize members Lim and Murphy
already have succeeded in obtaining a U.S. patent for their reconfigurable
wavelength-selective optical add/drop switch, another complex integrated
optical device. The team will use its prize money as a seed fund
for attracting more venture capital to further their research into
the alignment and fabrication of both passive and active optical
devices on a compact and highly functional scale. Much of this research
employs skills involving nanofabrication (x-ray, e-beam and optical
lithography) that will expand greatly the impact of optical communications.
The team believes that the ability to economically manufacture Bragg
grating-based integrated optical devices on a large scale will yield
dramatic increases in both network bandwidth and functionality.
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Michael H. Lim plans to graduate in 2000 with a Ph.D. in
Electrical Engineering from MIT. He has an M.S. in Electrical Engineering
from the University of Southern California (1995) and received a
Bachelor's in Science from MIT (1993). Lim also is conducting graduate
research at MIT on improving x-ray lithography masks; he holds a
joint patent for a new x-ray mask configuration. Lim was born in
Seoul, South Korea.
Mohammad Jalal Khan is a candidate for a Ph.D. in Electrical
Engineering from MIT in 2000. He obtained his Master's and Bachelor's
degrees in the same field from MIT in 1996 and 1994, respectively.
An expert in the cutting-edge methodology of wavelength division
multiplexing (WDM) as applied to high-capacity optical telecommunications,
Khan conducted experiments last summer at Hawthorne, N.Y.-based
Tellabs, Inc. to gauge the performance of WDM optical links. He
has spent more than three years conducting research in the field
of integrated optics at the MIT Research Laboratory of Electronics.
Khan is from Karachi, Pakistan.
Thomas E. Murphy expects to receive his Ph.D. in Electrical
Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 2000. He also has a
Master's from MIT (1997) in Electrical Engineering and received
his B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a Bachelor's in Physics from
Rice University (1994). In addition to the patent he holds jointly
with Michael Lim for their reconfigurable wavelength-selective optical
add/drop switch, Murphy has been the recipient of many awards. These
include a National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship
in 1994-97, the T.W. Bonner Book Prize in Physics (1993, 1994) and
numerous engineering scholarships. Murphy is a native of Arlington,
About the Lemelson-MIT Program
Based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.,
the Lemelson-MIT Program was established in 1994 by independent inventor
Jerome H. Lemelson and his wife, Dorothy. The program celebrates inspirational
role models in the fields of science, engineering, medicine and entrepreneurship,
in the hope of encouraging future generations to follow their example.
About Unisphere Solutions, Inc.
Unisphere Solutions, Inc., based in Burlington, Mass., designs,
markets and supports converged network ready solutions used to construct
telecommunications services for the next millennium. Founded in
March 1999, Unisphere Solutions is a product of the combined assets
of the internationally recognized Siemens and the acquisition of
three Massachusetts companies ‚ Argon Networks, Castle Networks
and Redstone Communications. The company brings together the know-how
of more than 500 people, including global assets from Siemens Information
and Communication Networks Group, to deliver end-to-end networking
solutions for converged networks. More information on Unisphere
Solutions can be found on the Internet at http://www.unisphere.cc.
Unisphere Solutions is a trademark of Unisphere
Solutions Inc. All other company and product names are trademarks
or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
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