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Thomas Hanson To Receive Lord Kelvin Award In Tel Aviv

By Staff | Oct 15, 2009


Thomas A. Hanson, who grew up in Emmetsburg, has been invited to Tel Aviv, Israel, to receive the prestigious Lord Kelvin Award. It is being presented at the general meeting of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on Oct. 20. The other two recipients are from Germany and Japan.

The IEC prepares international standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies. Tom received one of the first IEC awards given to an American in 2004. It is called the 1906 Award marking the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of IEC in London.

Tom is honored by the Lord Kelvin Award in recognition of his substantial contributions to the IEC body of work in the telecommunications sector for optical communications. He has been active in the IEC and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for 25 years, attending international meetings.

Tom has been a key contributor, author, project leader and Convenor for the body of work on optical fiber and cable, as well as optical systems. He has also ably served as a key liaison between IEC on corresponding work in the ITU ensuring smooth alignment and complimentary efforts at the international level.

Hanson is recognized as one of the world’s experts in fiber optics for strength and fatigue (reliability) and polarization mode dispersion (PMD), which limits the amount of information an optical fiber can carry. In his conduct as a Convenor, Tom was exemplary in ensuring that all voices were heard. As a leader and contributor to the North American Standards group, Tom was also instrumental in the development of a large volume of industry test and measurement procedures. His contributions were key to the modern communication systems which are based on optical fiber.

In his travels to meetings of the IEC and the ITU, Tom has visited most of the countries in Europe. He has been on every continent except Antarctica. He found that Istanbul and Hanoi were the most interesting places. His favorite was Cork, Ireland.

Now retired, Hanson, who resides in Corning, NY, was Standards Engineering Manager and Engineering Associate at Corning Incorporated. Tom holds a BS degree in mathematics from the University of Iowa and a MS degree in statistics from Iowa State University.

He is the son of Verna Hanson and the late Joseph Hanson of Emmetsburg. He graduated from Emmetsburg High School in 1970. Tom’s wife, RoxAnn, will be accompanying him to Tel Aviv.