- Ghanaian-American chemical engineer and inventor, Dr Thomas Mensah, is one of the great minds of the 21st century
- He solved a 15-year-old fibre optics problem and moved the technology from the lab to commercialisation and industry
- Dr Mensah made fibre optics cost as cheap as copper and helped replace all fibre optics throughout the world
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Ghanaian-American chemical engineer and inventor, Dr Thomas Mensah, has recounted the achievements that elevated him to the ranks of the greatest minds of the 21st century.
The renowned vibre optics and nanotechnology expert made it possible for the world to enjoy its current high level of digital communication and even helped the US military to assert its supremacy in the field of laser-guided missiles.
He contributed immensely to the development of laser-guided missiles for the US military.
Solving a 15-year-old problem
Speaking in an interview with Ameyaw Debrah, Dr Mensah recounted that fibre optics was developed in the lab and stayed in the lab for 15 years because they couldn’t take it out of the lab and put it in industry.
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''So they called MIT to ask for one of their brightest boys to come take fibre optics commercial and I went to Corning Glass Works. Within one year, something that had been in the lab for 15 years, I solved the problem,'' he said.
Dr Mensah recounted that he moved the technology from the lab two meters a second to commercialisation and industry to 20 meters a second.
His contribution made fibre optics cost as cheap as copper, he said, adding that ''we then replaced all fibre optics in America and even the whole world.''
Dr Mensah's achievement was the breakthrough the industry needed for a spectacular take-off, which earned him the Corning Glass Works Individual Outstanding Contributor Award in 1985.
In addition to the numerous recognitions, he became the first African to be inducted into America’s elite National Academy of Inventors in 2014.
Watch his video below;
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But that didn't deter him from pursuing his goal to start a high-quality delivery and pickup system, which became known as LocQar.
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