Corning optical fiber innovators take their place in the National Inventors Hall of Fame
A chemist, a physicist, and an engineer walk into a lab ... and change the way we communicate.
A Corning trio has more than 500 U.S. patents between them, and most of us use their inventions every day. In fact, you’re probably using a couple of them right now.
For these contributions, Corning scientists Pushkar Tandon, Ming-Jun Li, and Dana Bookbinder (retired) were inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) on May 5, 2022, in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
They join a cadre of legendary innovators – including 12 other Corning inventors – who’ve progressed the way our world works. The recognition honors their achievements in bringing bendable optical fiber – and the internet – right into our homes, offices, and schools.
At the ceremony, Ming-Jun and Pushkar placed their names in the Gallery of Icons™ exhibit at the NIHF Museum in Alexandria, Virginia, alongside more than 600 other inventors inducted since 1970.
“It was a great honor to be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame,” Ming-Jun said. “When I placed my name onto the Inductee Wall joining the other great inventors, it was a proud moment not only for myself, but also for Corning.”
The trio’s turn-of-the-century collaboration led to Corning’s development of what would become an industry-changing solution – ClearCurve® optical fiber. The development made fiber more accessible at a critical time in communications history.
In the early 2000s, Pushkar, a chemical engineer; Ming-Jun, a physicist; and Dana, a chemist, began collaborating on a new type of optical fiber. They started by infusing air bubbles into glass fiber, noting that the bubbles increased bendability.