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Ming-Jun Li Wins 2023 John Tyndall Award


By Photonics Society

Li Ming Jun square
Li Ming Jun

NEW JERSEY — IEEE Photonics Society, and Optica (formerly OSA), have named Ming-Jun Li, a Corporate Fellow at Corning Incorporated, USA, the 2023 John Tyndall Award recipient. Li is recognized for “seminal contributions to advances in optical fiber technology.”

“Dr. Li’s work revolutionized the telecommunications landscape, opening new possibilities for global connectivity,” said 2022 Optica President Satoshi Kawata. “This work benefits us each day and is a testament to how innovation has improved our daily life. We are proud to honor Dr. Li for his outstanding contributions.”
“Ming-Jun Li possesses an extraordinary level of expertise in the design of optical fibers,” added IEEE Photonics Society President René-Jean Essiambre. “The novel fibers he has developed greatly contributed to the worldwide high-speed internet connectivity we are enjoying today, with a remarkable impact on society.”

The award, one of the top honors in the fiber optics community, is named for John Tyndall, a 19th-century scientist who was the first to demonstrate the phenomenon of total internal reflection. It recognizes an individual who has made pioneering, highly significant, or continuing technical or leadership contributions to fiber optic technology.

Committed to fiber optic technology innovations, Corning sponsors the award but does not serve on the selection committee. The award, which consists of a specially commissioned glass sculpture, a scroll, and an honorarium, will be jointly presented by Optica and IEEE Photonics Society at OFC 2023, the world’s leading conference and exhibition for optical communications and networking professionals. The hybrid conference will take place from 05 – 09 March 2023 in San Diego, California, USA.

Li received his B.S. in applied physics from Beijing Institute of Technology, China. He received his M.S. in optics and signal processing from the University of Franche-Comte, France, and his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Nice, France.

He joined Corning, one of the world’s leading innovators in materials science, in 1991 and is currently a Corporate Fellow. He has contributed to Corning’s development of many optical fiber innovations, including bend-insensitive fiber for fiber-to-the-home, fibers with large effective area, low polarization mode dispersion, low-loss fiber for high data rate, and long-haul transmission, as well as high bandwidth multimode fiber for data centers, and multicore, few-mode, and reduced diameter fibers for space division multiplexing. He also worked to develop many other Corning fiber optic advancements, such as: low-stimulated Brillouin scattering fiber for high-power transmission, fiber lasers, connectors, sensors and endoscopes, and glass waveguide devices for optical interconnect and sensing applications.

Li received the French National Prize on Guided-wave Optics, Corning’s Stookey Award, and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for ClearCurve® bend-insensitive optical fiber. He was a member of teams who won the R&D 100 Award for LEAF® fiber and for ClearCurve® fiber, the ACS Northeast Regional Industrial Innovation Award, Corning’s Outstanding External Publication Award, and the ACS Heroes of Chemistry Award.

A member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, he is also a Fellow of Optica and IEEE. An engaged volunteer, he has served as a chair and member of planning committees for many international conferences, including OFC. He has been a guest editor for several special journal issues and served as Deputy Editor for the Journal of Lightwave Technology. He is a named inventor on more than 260 of Corning’s U.S. patents and has published seven book chapters and over 330 papers in journals and conferences.

About Optica
Optica (formerly OSA), Advancing Optics and Photonics Worldwide, is the society dedicated to promoting the generation, application, archiving and dissemination of knowledge in the field. Founded in 1916, it is the leading organization for scientists, engineers, business professionals, students and others interested in the science of light. Optica’s renowned publications, meetings, online resources and in-person activities fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate scientific, technical and educational achievement. Discover more at:

About IEEE Photonics Society
The IEEE Photonics Society forms the hub of a vibrant technical community of more than 100,000 professionals dedicated to transforming breakthroughs in quantum physics into the devices, systems and products to revolutionize our daily lives. We organize, contribute to and participate in technical conferences, journals and other activities covering all aspects of photonics in order to share and disseminate our breakthroughs. And provide our members with professional growth opportunities, publish journals, sponsor conferences and support local chapter and student activities around the world. Learn more at