Father of fibre optics and patron of Sikh arts Narinder Singh Kapany dies at 94

Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, December 4

Narinder Singh Kapany, often described as the ‘father of fibre optics’, passed away on Friday. He was 94. 

Born in Moga, Kapany graduated from Agra University and did advanced studies in optics at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London. He received his doctorate from the University of London in 1955. Migrating to the USA, he had a successful career as a scientist.

Also read: The man who bent light

Dr Kapany’s research on fibre optic communications, lasers, bio-medical instrumentation, solar energy and pollution monitoring led him to gather more than 100 patents. He became a member of the US National Inventors’ Council. 

In 1960, he founded Optics Technology Incorporation and served as Chairman of the board, President and Director of research for 12 years. In 1967, the company went public with numerous corporate acquisitions and joint ventures in the US and abroad.

In 1973, Dr Kapany founded Kaptron Incorporation and was its President and CEO until 1990, when he sold the company to AMP Inc.

For the next nine years, Dr Kapany was an AMP Fellow, heading the Entrepreneur and Technical Expert Programme and serving as Chief Technologist for Global Communications Business.

As an academician, Dr Kapany supervised research activity of postgraduate students. He was Regents Professor at the University of California, Berkeley and at the University of California. At Stanford University, he has been a Visiting Scholar in the Physics Department and Consulting Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering. As an author and lecturer, Dr Kapany has published over 100 scientific papers and four books on opto-electronics and entrepreneurship.

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