Charles Kuen Kao (高錕 born November 4, 1933) is a pioneer in the use of fiber optics in telecommunications.
He was born in Shanghai in 1933, graduated in Electrical Engineering from the University of London in 1957, and then worked as an engineer for Standard Telephones and Cables (STC) and their research centre Standard Telecommunications Laboratories in Harlow, England (now Nortel Networks).
He was awarded a PhD in Electrical Engineering by the University of London in 1965, and the following year with George Hockman did his pioneering work in the realisation of fiber optics as a telecommunications medium, by demonstrating that the high-loss of existing fiber optics arose from impurities in the glass, rather than from an underlying problem with the technology itself.
Since leaving STL he has worked as director of research at ITT, Vice Chancellor of the Chinese University in Hong Kong, and CEO of Transtech. He is currently Chairman and CEO of ITX Services.