Un-Chul Paek

In Memoriam: Un-Chul Paek

May 03, 2011

In Memoriam: Professor Un-Chul Paek, 1934-2011


Professor Un-Chul Paek, an OSA Fellow who was an Emeritus Professor at the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) in Gwangju, South Korea, died on 3 May 2011.  He was 76.

Prof. Paek received his B.S. in Engineering from the Korea Merchant Marine Academy in 1957.  He undertook graduate studies at the University of California at Berkeley, receiving an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1965 and a PhD in Applied Physics in 1969.

Prof. Paek joined AT&T Bell Labs in 1969 and spent much of his career there, serving as a Member of the Technical Staff (1969-1983), Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff (1983-1986), and Bell Labs Fellow (1986-1991).  He was an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey, from 1987-1993.

In 1991 Prof. Paek returned to Korea as the Executive Vice President of the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology, a position he held until 1993.  In 1994, he joined GIST as Professor and Director of the Ultrafast Fiber-Optic Networks Research Center (UFON).  He was named a Chaired Professor in 2000 and Professor Emeritus in 2006.  From 2009 to the present he was also a Chaired Professor at the GIST World-Class University (WCU).

Prof. Paek was a pioneer in fast optical fiber drawing technologies, which enabled the installation of current global fiber optic networks.  His primary research interests included fiber design for high speed WDM systems; specialty fiber fabrication and fiber devices; and large capacity fiber production process.

An OSA member since 1977, Prof. Paek served as a topical editor of OpticsLetters from 2002-2005. He received the Paul F. Forman Engineering Excellence Award from OSA in 1991, and he was named an OSA Fellow in 1992.  He was elected as a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 1998 “for the practical production of optical fibers.”

If you would like to make a donation to the OSA Foundation in memory of Professor Paek, please visit www.osa-foundation.org/give.