Honorary Member


Kazuro KIKUCHI  Professor Kazuro Kikuchi completed his doctorate at the Graduate School of Engineering, the University of Tokyo in 1979 and became a lecturer in the Department of Electronic Engineering of the same university. In 1984, he was promoted to an associate professor. From 1986 through 1987, he worked for Bell Communications Research, U.S.A. as a consultant. He became a professor of the University of Tokyo in 1993, then of the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology of the same university in 2006, of the Department of Frontier Informatics of the same university in 2007, and of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Systems of the same university in 2008. He became a professor of the National Institution for Academic Degrees and Quality Enhancement of Higher Education in 2016. Since 2017, he has been its Specially Appointed Professor.
   Throughout his career, he has consistently devoted himself to research and education on optical fiber communications, specifically optical devices and optical communication systems. Since its early development, optical fiber communications have seen consistent demand for increased communication capacity and transmission distance. Up to the end of the 20th century, the main modulation method was a combination of intensity modulation and direct detection, where digital information is superimposed on optical intensity while the property of light as a wave was not fully exploited. Around 1980, Professor Kikuchi set out to study coherent optical communications, in which information is superimposed on optical complex amplitude, which is then detected using optical interference. He demonstrated the effectiveness of this method by conducting optical fiber communication experiments. In parallel, he undertook a wide range of research: noise analysis of semiconductor lasers and semiconductor optical amplifiers, and generation, transmission, measurement and control of optical pulses. In the 2000s, as the limit began to appear in the limitation of long distance and large capacity optical fiber communications based on the combination of erbium-doped fiber amplifiers and wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) technologies, Professor Kikuchi invented digital coherent optical communications. In digital coherent optical communications, digital signal processing is used for optical phase synchronization, demodulation and signal equalization. This enables multi-level modulation/demodulation of optical complex amplitude, leading to a dramatic increase in spectral efficiency. In addition, chromatic dispersion and polarization mode dispersion, both of which have adverse impacts on signal transmission, can be compensated for at the receiving end. The digital coherent optical communications that he developed have been extensively applied on a commercial basis since 2010, and they are used in the current 100 Gbit/s long-distance WDM transmission systems. Today, optical fibers are recognized as more ideal transmission media than wireless transmission channels, and hence advanced modulation/demodulation methods are being applied to digital coherent optical communications. In the latest research on expanding transmission capacity using multi-core fibers, digital coherent optical communication technology is recognized as an essential core technology.
   Professor Kikuchi has also dedicated himself to education, producing many excellent researchers and engineers for careers in industry and academia. He serves on the advisory board of Alnair Labs Corporation, a venture capital enterprise founded at the University of Tokyo to promote commercialization of university research results. He has also made an important contribution to the industry by playing a central role in industry-academia collaboration projects for commercial development of digital coherent optical communications.
   For the above-mentioned achievements, he has received the 8th Japan IBM Science Award, the 80th Hattori Hokokai Foundation Award, Ericsson Telecommunications Award, Shida Rinzaburo Award, the Prime Ministerfs Award in the 11th Commendation of Distinguished Contributors to Industry-Government-Academia Collaboration, NEC C&C Award, and the John Tyndall Award. He also received the Achievement Award and the Distinguished Achievement and Contributions Award from the IEICE. He was made a fellow by the IEICE in 2004, by IEEE in 2013, and by OSA in 2015.
   As mentioned above, his contributions to electronics, information and communication technology through his research in the IEICE and related academia and industry are outstanding. We hereby recommend that he be designated as a fellow, honorary member of the IEICE.