Fred Kish

MC Dean Distinguished Professor NNF Director
 Monteith Research Center (MRC) 434
 Campus Box 7911


Fred A. Kish, received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1988, 1989, and 1992, respectively. His Ph.D. research work (under Nick Holonyak, Jr.) is part of the core Al-bearing III-V native-oxide technology that has enabled the development of the highest performance VCSELs and has been licensed to VCSEL manufacturers throughout the world.

From 1992-1999, he was at Hewlett-Packard where he co-invented and led the commercialization of the highest performance (efficiency) red-orange-yellow visible LEDs produced at the time (wafer-bonded transparent-substrate AlGaInP LEDs). The efficiencies of these devices exceeded those of incandescent and halogen lamps with products based on this technology resulting in over $2B in revenue to date. From 1999-2001, he was with Agilent Technologies as the III-V Department Manager.

In 2001, he joined Infinera Corporation where he co-invented and led the effort to research, develop, and commercialize the first practical (commercially deployed) large-scale PICs and first commercial fully integrated system-on-a-chip for optical communications. The large-scale InP PICs are at the core of Infinera’s optical network products and have been the enabling technology behind over $5B in PIC-based networking product sales. He served as Senior Vice President of the Optical Integrated Circuit Group at Infinera prior to joining NC State as the Director of the NC State Nanofabrication Facility.

Dr. Kish is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, Optica (formerly OSA) and IEEE and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. His awards include the IEEE David Sarnoff Award, the IEEE Photonics Society Quantum Electronics Award, the IEEE LEOS Engineering Achievement Award, the OSA Adolph Lomb Award, and the International Symposium on Compound Semiconductors Young Scientist Award. He has co-authored over 135 U.S. patents, over 170 peer-reviewed journal and conference publications, and 5 book chapters on optoelectronic devices and materials.


  • Ph.D. 1992
    Electrical Engineering
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Master's 1989
    Electrical Engineering
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Bachelor's 1988
    Electrical Engineering
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Recent News

Wolfspeed Ahead: An NC State Spinoff Powers the Future

Posted on October 24, 2022 | Filed Under: News and Research

The company that pioneered LED lighting now looks to improve the efficiency and performance of electric vehicles and other high-power applications. Meet the people building the world’s largest silicon carbide manufacturing facility in Chath …

Fred Kish Receives IEEE Photonics Society Quantum Electronics Award

Posted on July 14, 2022 | Filed Under: Awards

Congratulations to Fred Kish for receiving the IEEE Photonics Society Quantum Electronics Award which is given to honor an individual for outstanding technical contributions to quantum electronics, either in fundamentals or applications, or …

NC State ECE Faculty Members Ranked as Top Electronics and Electrical Engineers in United States

Posted on March 3, 2022 | Filed Under: News

Fourteen ECE faculty members have been ranked as the Top Electronics and Electrical Engineering Scientists in the United States.

Media Mentions

NC State names innovator and entrepreneur of the year winners

February 5, 2021

Robert Heath received the Innovator of the Year Award for his seminal work in signal processing and wireless communications. Fred Kish received the John S. Risley Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the success of multiple optical-communication technologies he’s helped commercialize. Kish‘s work has led to the launch of numerous telecommunications products, which have generated over $10 billion in total revenue.


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