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Ghanaian-American fiber optics innovator Dr. Thomas Owusu Mensah dead

Dr. Thomas Owusu Mensah, a Ghanaian-American chemical engineer who made significant contributions to the development of fiber optic technology, has died at the age of 74.

He died on Wednesday, March 27, 2024, after a short illness at the Catholic Hope Exchange Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana.

Dr. Mensah’s work is credited with making fiber optics a more practical and cost-effective solution for data transmission. During his time at Corning Glass Works, he revolutionised the manufacturing process for fibre optic cables.

Previously limited by speed and cost, Dr Mensah’s innovations increased production speed to 20 meters per second by 1985, and further advancements followed. This breakthrough significantly reduced the cost of fiber optics, making them competitive with traditional copper cables.

His contributions extended beyond speed; Dr Mensah’s advancements in manufacturing processes also made fibre optic cables more affordable to produce, paving the way for their widespread adoption in modern communication systems.

Dr. Mensah’s achievements were widely recognised. He received accolades from prestigious institutions including the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and Ghana’s National Order of the Volta.

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