In July, Gwen Kao, the wife of Nobel Prize winning scientist Sir Charles Kao, visited the site on the Harlow Enterprise Zone which is named in his honour. In 1966 Sir Charles, along with George Hockham, led a team at Standard Telecommunications in Harlow which developed the technology behind fibre optics – which today facilitates much of the world’s communications. For this discovery the two men were awarded the Nobel Prize for Science in 2009. The site was later taken over by Nortel and is now at the vanguard of the Harlow Enterprise Zone. The developers of this site, Goldacre Ventures are creating a new business park and data centre campus, named in honour of Sir Charles. Work on this development commenced at the beginning of 2015.
Sir Charles Kao now lives in Hong Kong and is ill with dementia, but his wife Gwen was visiting the UK in July and came to the Enterprise Zone to see the latest developments on the site where both she and Sir Charles worked in the 1960s. She was taken around the site by David Bloom of Goldacre Ventures who outlined the development proposals for Kao Park. Mrs Kao was delighted that her husband’s legacy was being commemorated on the site where he undertook his most significant work and in a development that continues the site’s connection with new technology.
It is hoped that Gwen Kao will return to the site in 2016 to participate in events to mark the 50th anniversary of the development of fibre optic technology.