Honorary Member

Ken-ichi SATO

Ken-ichi SATO  Dr. Ken-chi Sato graduated from the Graduate School of Engineering, University of Tokyo in March 1978, whereupon he joined Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (now NTT). He became a professor at the Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya University in April 2004. He retired from the university in March 2019, and is a professor emeritus of the same university. He continues his R&D activities at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.
  For over 40 years, he has been constantly engaged in R&D of advanced telecommunications network technologies, and cultivated a variety of new research areas, thereby making significant impacts on subsequent network development. His main achievements include the following:
(1) Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM): A trailblazer in research on ATM, Dr. Sato proposed the concept of the virtual path (VP) in 1985. This concept was adopted in CCITT (now ITU-T) recommendations in 1990. It is an essential and basic concept for the construction of an ATM network and has been used around the world for building a backbone for IP networks. It has subsequently been developed into the label switched path (LSP) in multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) for IP networks, which has become a core technology for constructing IP networks.
(2) Photonic network: In 1992, Dr. Sato became a pioneer to start research on a new network architecture that uses optical technology for routing processing in nodes, a technology now known as photonic network technology. He proposed the basic architecture for a photonic network, including the concept of the optical path, in which nodes route optical signals without converting them into electrical signals. He also undertook pioneering research and development of a range of key technologies and systems needed for the implementation of optical paths, such as optical cross-connect systems, optical add/drop multiplexers, and photonic router systems. The optical switch configuration he invented is now widely used in commercial node systems. The concept of a photonic network made a significant impact on the world, and ITU-T has developed a number of recommendations that use this concept.
  In recognition of his achievements, he was designated a fellow by IEEE and IEICE, and received an Achievement Award from IEICE and a Research Achievement Award from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
(3) Flexible optical network/node technology: Dr. Sato drove research on future optical network technologies, including the above areas. In particular, he invented a new optical cross-connect configuration, which enabled super-high-capacity optical networks, and also studied super-low-energy network configuration. For these research results, he received two IEICE Communication Society Best Paper Awards as well as many awards in international conferences.
  As stated above, Dr. Sato has led R&D of communications network technologies for over 40 years as a global technology and opinion leader, and has made significant contributions to the development and commercialization of broadband communications networks, which are now widely deployed in the world. For these contributions, he received the Distinguished Achievement and Contributions Award from IEICE and the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon from Japanfs Cabinet Office.
  Dr. Sato has also made contributions internationally by involving himself in the operation of more than 100 international conferences and workshops. In particular, he served as General Chair of IEEE/OSA OFC 2016. In Japan, he led research activities by serving in a number of IEICE posts: director of Editorial and Publishing Affairs, chair of the Technical Committee on Communication Systems and chair of the Technical Committee on Photonic Networks. He also made contributions to the operation of IEICE by serving as its vice president and president. As the chair of the Photonic Internet Forum, which includes members from industry, academia and government, he devoted himself to proposing and driving a variety of projects designed to enhance Japanfs competitiveness in the communications field and to fertilize educational activities.
  As shown above, Dr. Sato has made outstanding contributions in the electronics, information and communication field. We, therefore, confidently recommend that he be designated a fellow honorary member of the IEICE.