Charles Kao returns to the Chinese University of Hong Kong as its Vice-Chancellor. He retires in 1996 and serves as Visiting Professor and in various honorary positions thereafter. Kao's latest projects focus on telecommunications and information network development.
Charles Kao is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Transtech Services Ltd., a Hong Kong fibre-optic company.
In 1948 Charles Kao's family moves to Hong Kong where he concludes his secondary education at St. Joseph’s College. He is a good student and he qualifies to apply for the University of Hong Kong. Unfortunately, in the aftermath of the war some faculties are not activated yet. He decides, then, to study electrical engineering in Great Britain.
Charles Kao moves to U.S. joining the electro-optical products division of ITT Corporation, the parent company of Standard Telephones & Cables, in Roanoke. Here he works as Chief Scientist and later as the Director of Engineering.
Charles Kao receives one half of the Nobel Prize in Physics "for ground breaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibres for optical communication". The other half of the Nobel Prize is shared by Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong contacts Charles Kao asking him to set up an electronics department. He agrees. He takes annual summer leaves to return to STL to follow the developments in the research field of optical fibres and to visit his parents, who have moved in Harlow.
Charles Kao is born in Shanghai to Kao Chun Hsin, Chinese judge in the Court for International Law, and Wong May-wan, a computer engineer. Until he is 10 years old he and his younger brother are educated at home by a tutor, studying Chinese classics and English.
Charles Kao attends Woolwich Polytechnic in London where he earns his B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering.
Charles Kao becomes First ITT Executive Scientist and he is transferred at the Advanced Technology Center in Shelton, Connecticut. In 1986, he is named Corporate Director of Research.
Charles Kao spends a year at SEL Research Centre in West Germany.
Charles Kao earns his Ph.D. in electrical engineering under Professor Harold Barlow at the University of London. He obtains his Ph.D as an external student while working at Standard Telecommunication Laboratories (STL) in Harlow.
While working at the Advanced Technology Center in Shelton, Charles Kao serves as Adjunct Professor and Fellow of Trumbull College at Yale University.
Charles Kao starts working at Standard Telephones & Cables, a British subsidiary of the American telecommunications company ITT. He rotates through different sections for a year before he chooses the microwave division. After two more years he applies for a lectureship at Loughborough Polytechnic.
In the ‘60s, Kao’s discovery of certain physical properties of glass lays the groundwork for high-speed data communication. He shows that light can be transmitted over long distances using thin glass filaments and that the loss of signal in fibre optic cables is a result of impurities in the glass, not a fundamental flaw in the technology. By carefully purifying the glass, he proves that bundles of thin fibres can carry huge amounts of data over long distances with minimal signal attenuation.
Charles Kao is offered a good position at ITT’s Standard Telecommunication Laboratories in Harlow. The plan to move to Loughborough vanishes. In Harlow, he leads his first ground-breaking work with the help of George Hockham under the supervision of Alec Reeves.