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OCR for page 200

OCR for page 200
STEWART E. MILLER 1918-1990 BY C. CHAPIN CUTLER AND JOHN R. WHINNERY STEWART EDWARD MILLER, a pioneer in microwave and optical communications, cried February 27, 1990, in Midciletown, New Jersey. Most of his career was with the Bell Laboratories, but following his retirement from there in 1983 he was active as a consultant to Bellcore until his cleath. His fifty-year career in telecommunications established him as one of the most produc- tive and influential leaders of this field. Stewart (known to friends ant} colleagues as "Stew") was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on September I, 1918. He attended high school in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, and three years at the University of Wisconsin before transferring to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, receiving S.B. and S.M. degrees in electrical engineering there in 1941. He joined the Bell Tele- phone Laboratories (nowAT&T Bell Laboratories) thatyear and began work on microwave racier and its components. He was a technicalleaclerin design of X-band (3 cm) microwave plumbing for the radar bombsight used on B-29 aircraft cluring World War lI. Following the war, he became the key person on the L-3 coaxial cable carrier systems, but saw the potential for greater information capacity through the use of higher carrier frequen- cies and other wave-guicling systems. He transferred to the Radio Research Department in Holmde} and macle vital contributions to circular-electric modes for low-loss millimeter-wave guides, 201

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202 MEMORIAL TRIBUTES microwave ferrite design, and many other millimeter-wave com- ponents. In the early 1960s, following the demonstration of the laser, Stew was among the first to recognize the potential of optical communications and from that point on concentrated on this rapidly cleveloping technology. At that time there was no good transmission medium for optics because fibers of that date were impossibly lossy. As a result, Stew, who was then director of Guicled Wave Research, initiated a program to investigate a variety of periodic lens systems. With the availability of low-loss fibers in the late 1960s, he proposed and participated in the demonstration of single-material fibers that achieved single- mode and multimocle guiding through transverse variation of the dielectric material. He also proposed the combination of several optical components on one semiconductor chip, and proposed the name "integrated optics" as analogous to the "integrated circuits" of moclern electronics. This proposal stim- ulated a lively research endeavor, resulting in units that are now being placed in systems. Stew was made director of Lightwave Research at Bell Labora- tories in 1980. Following his retirement from that position, his work at BelIcore concentrated on analysis of semiconductor lasers for improvements in noise and linewidth properties im- portant to advanced fiber-optic communication systems, and he also contributed to the new field of neural networks. lust a year before his death he wrote a fundamental and incisive paper on modal partition noise that was published in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' (IEEE) journal of Quantum Electronics (February 1990, p. 242~. He had more than forty journal papers and eighty patents to his credit and was also coeditor of two very comprehensive books, OpticalFiber Telecom- munications (with Alan Chynoweth) and Optical Fiber Telecommu- nications II (with Ivan Kaminow). Stew was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1973. He was also a fellow of the Optical Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Life Fellow of the IEEE, and a member of the honor societies Sigmi Xi, Tau Beta Pi, and Eta Kappa Nu. He was instrumental in

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STEWART E. MILLER 203 establishing the annual Optical Fiber Conference, with the first meeting in 1975, and was active in many other conference and professional society committees. He received the Naval Ord- nance DevelopmentAward in 1945, the IEEE Morris Liebmann Award in 1972, the IEEE W.R.G. Baker Prize Award (with Tingye Li and E.A.J. Marcatili) in 1975, the Stuart Ballantine Medal of the Franklin Institute in 1977, and in 1989 the John Tyndal1 Award of the Laser and Electro-optics Society of IEEE for distinguished contributions to fiber optics technology. Stew was an active member of the Freehold, New Jersey, Rotary, and was an enthusiastic and skillful renovator of Cor- vairs. He is survived by his wife Helen and three sons, Chris Richard of the U.S. Foreign Service; Stewart Ferguson, a pathol- ogist in Tom's River; and Jonathan James, a software designer. His family, friends, and colleagues are prouc! of the key role he played in the development of lightwave communicationsone of the major technologies of this century.