Academic Report Given by CAE Foreign Member Tingye Li in Beijing
On April 29, 2011, CAE Foreign Member Tingye Li gave an academic report entitled “Strategic Research and Innovation: An Excited-State Lifetime at AT&T Bell Labs” in CAE office building in Beijing. CAE President Zhou Ji attended the lecture, which was chaired by CAE Member Wang Dianzuo, former Vice President of CAE.
Academician Tingye Li joined AT&T Bell Labs in 1957, and his research interests covered antenna, microwave transmission, laser and optical communication. His early work in the laser resonator mode helped to lay a solid foundation for laser operation later. In the late 60s of the last century, he launched his forward-looking exploration into light wave technology and optical communication system. Starting from the 90s, he led researches in optical amplifier based WDM transmission system, the achievements of which resulted in sharp price reduction of long-distance telecommunications network, as well as large-scale transmission capacity upgrading, thus leading a technological revolution in the field of optical communication.
Prof. Li’s outstanding achievements in various areas earned him a lot of honors. Among many others, he was elected to be a Member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), USA, in 1980. He was elected to be a Foreign Member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) in 1996. In addition, he was elected to be the Chairman of Optical Society of America (OSA) in 1995. In his lecture, Li demonstrated the importance of strategic R&D and innovation for enterprises in a fairly vivid manner by depicting his own 40 years of working experience at AT&T Bell Labs, and a lot of research achievements as well as technological invention and innovation were employed for better illustration. After the lecture, Prof. Li had a lively discussion with his audience. In the end, CAE Member Wang Dianzuo, also the chair of the event, sang high praise for the lecture for being substantial in content and persuasive, thus quite informative and enlightening.
The audience of the lecture included teachers and students coming from Tsinghua University, research fellows with Shenhua Group Cooperation Limited, apart from CAE office personnel, who expressed their feeling of being enlightened, excited and inspired by the lecture. They also said that the lecture proved to be most beneficial, and one example was that Li helped to sort out a clear distinction between important concepts like research and development, invention and innovation. After all, Li’s 40 years of unyielding dedication and commitments to business R&D and innovation, his splendid achievements, and more importantly, Prof. Li’s codes of conduct, noble character as well as moral integrity moved the new generation present, who believed that Li’s example would exert quite positive influence on their future. (By Kang Jincheng, May 2011; translated by Liu Chang)