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Ghanaian-American fiber optics innovator has passed away

Dr. Thomas Owusu Mensah, the Ghanaian-American chemical engineer who played a key role in advancing fiber optic technology has died aged 74.

He died on the March 27, 2024, at the Catholic Hope Exchange Hospital in Kumasi after a short illness, a statement issued by a family source and copied to the media said.

The family would announce the funeral and burial plans in the coming weeks, the statement said.

Dr Mensah’s work helped make fiber optics a practical and cost-effective solution for data transmission, contributing significantly to the technology’s widespread use today.

While at Corning Glass Works, he significantly improved the process of making fiber optic cables. Previously, the speed was limited to around 2 meters per second, making them expensive.

Through his innovations, Dr Mensah increased the speed to 20 meters per second by 1985, and eventually even higher.

This breakthrough brought the cost of fiber optics down to a competitive level with traditional copper cables.

His advancements in th
e manufacturing process also made fiber optics more affordable to produce, paving the way for their wider adoption in communication systems.

Dr Mensah received several recognitions for his work from some notable institutions including, the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and Ghana National Order of the Volta.

Source: Ghana News Agency