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Thomas O. Mensah
Thomas O. Mensah
Fellow; National Academy of Inventors, USA.
OccupationPresident and CEO of the Georgia Aerospace Systems
Known for7 US Patents in Fiber Optics within a 6 year interval

Awards: AIChE 100, 2008 Fellow AIChE

Assoc Fellow AIAA

Percy Julian Award

MAC Eminent Engineer

Thomas O. Mensah (Dr.) was born in 1950 in Kumasi, Ghana and attended Wesley College Practice school from where he went on to attend Adisadel College in Cape Coast, one of the highest-performing boys high schools in Ghana. Dr. Thomas Mensah is an internationally recognized authority in Fiber Optics and Nanotechnology and also a renowned scientist and inventor with 7 USA and worldwide patents in Fiber Optics over a period of six years. He has at least 14 patents to his name in general.[1] He is the first black person to receive such number of patents in a short number of years, and was elected to the rank of Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in the USA.

One of his patents based on boundary layer theory led to the replacement of Nitrogen inert gas with the more soluble carbon dioxide gas permitting optical fibres to be coated at ultra-high speed beyond 50 meters per second producing high strength fibres used for submarine and undersea cables that connect continents and countries, leading to a global infrastructure for the modern day high speed internet.

In one of his patents he used his understanding of boundary layer theory to design a high speed draw and coating manufacturing system that eliminated bubbles and defects in optical fibers. Fiber Optics is one of the greatest innovations in this century, since the internet depends on it. Over one billion people today are connected to the Internet because of fiber optics. All emails, YouTube videos, Tweets and Facebook pictures are transmitted by lasers on fiber optics networks; both terrestrial and submarine platforms to cell phones, tablets and personal computers world wide.

As a leading Fiber Optics innovator, Dr. Mensah worked at both Corning Glass Works Inc, and AT&T Bell Laboratories.[2]

Thomas is currently the President and CEO of the Georgia Aerospace Systems, an Advanced Aerospace Composite manufacturing company which has supplied Nano composite materials structures for unmanned aerial vehicle systems for the US Department of Defense. He is also the Chairman of Lightwave Systems a Fiber Optics Cable Company that builds Broadband networks and Energy Platforms in the United States and Sub Saharan Africa.

Life and career

Early life

The father of Thomas O. Mensah; J.K. Mensah, was a businessman who shipped cocoa products to chocolate manufacturers in France.[3]

Thomas was a bright child and begun learning to read newspapers at an early age and becoming fluent in French. As a child, he often conversed in French with his father’s business associates.

Education

Thomas attended school in his home country (Ghana) up to the undergraduate level. He received his early education at the Adisadel College in Cape Coast. Dr. Mensah who is fluent in French won the National French competition in Ghana, both at the Ordinary Levels (1968) and Advanced Levels 1970. held at Accra.[4]

Thomas went on to receive a French government Fellowship to study chemical Engineering at Montpellier University in France while at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in 1974. In France he took part in a program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and received a certificate in Modeling and Simulation of Chemical Processes from the university in 1977. A year later, he graduated with a PhD.

Career

The first practical demonstration of the Optical Fiber in the world was initially conducted in the Laboratory at Sullivan Park Research center at Corning Glass works by three scientists, namely Dr. Bob Maurer, Dr. Don Keck and Dr. Peter Schultz. The speed of manufacturing remained at 2 meters per second for almost 15 years, until Thomas Mensah solved the manufacturing problem through a series of inventions at Sullivan Park Research Center leading to the worldwide replacement of copper media with Fiber Optics.[5]

Thomas' pioneering patents in relation to Fibre Optics reduced its cost to the same level as the copper media, leading to the spread of Fiber Optics in the US and the world. He received the Individual Outstanding Contributor Award, $10,000 IOC Prize at Corning Glass works in 1985. This innovation by Dr. Mensah and researchers at Corning and AT&T, led to the expansion of the Internet to many countries to support the modern day high-speed Internet platform.

Thomas holds a Ph.D in Chemical Engineering from Montpellier University in 1978, and a Certificate in Modeling of Chemical Processes from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1977). He has held high level engineering positions in US industry first at Air Products and Chemicals (from 1980–83), then Corning Glass Works, in Fiber Optics research Sullivan Park, New York (from 1983–86), where he built the fastest Fiber Optics draw and coating process at 50 meters per second. He holds 4 patents for this effort in this regard.

He joined AT&T Bell laboratories in 1986 and led the program to develop fiber optic reels used in the guided missile program. This effort led to the development of a system that was successfully deployed at missile speeds up to Mach 1 (that is, the speed of sound). He received 3 US patents on this technology. FOG-M is the first demonstration of Non-Line of Sight smart weapon in the United States. In this system a small camera at the nosecone of the missile gathers wide angle pictures of targets and transmit them over the fiber to the cockpit display system for target acquisition.

Dr. Mensah Thomas is currently the President and CEO of the Georgia Aerospace Systems. Advanced Aerospace Composite manufacturing company, which has supplied. Nanocomposites structures for unmanned aerial vehicle systems for the US Department of Defense.

Dr. Mensah also Founded the high-tech firm Supercond Technology in Norcross Georgia which is now the research division of Georgia Aerospace in the USA. The firm specializes in Aerospace and Communication products. His firm focuses on advanced structural materials development for Supersonic US Fighter Aircraft like the F-22, and its newer version F-35, the fastest jets in the world.[6]

On the International level Dr. Mensah is a founding member of the Emerging Technologies area for the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). He is the first and only black person to serve as the National Chairman of the Materials and Engineering Sciences Division of the AIChE.

As a world expert in the field of advanced materials, Dr. Mensah has worked on specialized projects for NASA (Superconductors for space communications), the US Army (Smart munitions Picatinny Arsenal) and US Department of Energy (Fiber optics sensors for Highway Traffic monitoring). Dr. Mensah has additional patents pending in some of these areas. Dr. Thomas Mensah is a world leader in Green Energy and Sustainable development and served as a keynote speaker at the United Nations World Energy Forum in New York in September 2009. Dr. Mensah is an also a member of the Advisory Council of this UN Forum. Dr. Mensah is a member of the Executive Committee of the Nano Scale Engineering Forum (NSEF), the main committee on Nanotechnology Development of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers in the United States. Mensah also serves on the Advisory Board of the United States High Speed Rail Organization.

Thomas is the Deputy Director for Technology Region 2 for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, member, Associate Fellow and past Chairman of the Atlanta Chapter. He also served on AIChE National Board of Directors (1987–1990) and is a current Trustee of the Board of AIChE Foundation, and member of the board for the NASA Space Grant Consortium at Georgia Institute of Technology. He has published extensively and speaks authoritatively on Innovation and competitiveness in America.[7] Dr. Thomas was elected a Fellow US National Academy of Inventors in 2014,[8]

Dr Mensah’s creativity has also led to the conception and creation of 21st century environmentally friendly Amusement Parks; The World Success Park[9] that includes Success park America, Success Park Europe, Success Park Japan, Success Park China and the first African American and Latino Theme Parks.[10] Extensive Details of the Park are provided in the book "The Right Stuff comes in Black Too" On Amazon.com as well as the Spanish version Lo Correcto Viene en color Negro Tambien on Kindle.

Patents

Patents by Inventor Thomas O. Mensah

  • Methods of providing an optical fiber package[11] This patent was filed in May 2, 1990 and issued November 12, 1991. Thomas Mensah was among the inventors of the patent assigned to AT&T Bell Laboratories.
  • Guided vehicle system[12] This patent was filed in May 1, 1990 and issued July 30, 1991. Thomas Mensah was one of the inventors of the patent assigned to AT&T Bell Laboratories.
  • Optical fiber package and methods of making[13] This patent was filed in March 27, 1989 and issued September 11, 1990. Thomas Mensah was one of the inventors of the patent assigned to AT&T Bell Laboratories.
  • Method for coating optical waveguide fiber[14] This patent was filed in September 25, 1986 and issued December 20, 1988. Thomas Mensah was one of the inventors of the patent assigned to Corning Glass Works.
  • Apparatus and method for monitoring tension in a moving fiber by Fourier transform analysis[15] This patent was filed in December 9, 1985 and issued September 8, 1987. Thomas Mensah was one of the inventors of the patent assigned to Corning Glass Works.
  • Curing apparatus for coated fiber[16] This patent was filed in December 24, 1985 and issued January 13, 1987. Thomas Mensah was one of the two inventors of the patent assigned to Corning Glass Works.
  • Method and apparatus for coating optical fibers[17] This patent was filed in October 4, 1984 and issued July 30, 1985. Thomas Mensah was one of the inventors of the patent assigned to Corning Glass Works.

Awards

Mensah is a recipient of several awards including Turner’s Trumpet Award for Fiber Optics Innovation, Percy Julian Award, Golden Torch Award, the highest award by NSBE, William Grimes Award and Eminent Engineers award by AIChE. He has been profiled in Ebony Magazine October 2006 and Chemical Engineering Progress Magazine, October 2008 and March 2009.[18] He served on the visiting committee in Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1988–1992.

Dr. Thomas O Mensah was elected Fellow of the prestigious US National Academy of Inventors on December 4, 2014, and was also named a member of the AIChE 100 which include 100 engineers selected out of a thousand top engineers during the centennial anniversary of AIChE in Philadelphia in 2008. He was also the Invited Keynote Speaker at Microsoft Corporation Headquarters Redmond Washington on Nov 14, 2014 and is Founder of AIChE MAC Eminent Engineers Forum.

Books and publications

Below are selected publications by Dr. Mensah.[19]

  • Author, Book "The Right Stuff" Comes in Black,Too ISBN 9781492802747
  • Thomas O. Mensah et al., Radiation Effects on Optical Fibers; Proceedings of the European Conference on Optical Fibers, ECOC, Helsinki, 1987.
  • Thomas O. Mensah. Enhancement of Strauss secondary flow mixing in thin film commercial reactors. Chemical Engineering Communication Journal, 1985.
  • Thomas O. Mensah et al. Analysis (Finite Element) of Composite Overwrap, Filament wound structures, Proceedings, Army Research workshop Conference, New Orleans, September, 1994.
  • Thomas O. Mensah et al. Optical Properties of Epitaxial PLT Thin Films, Proceedings of Material Research Society, Annual Conference, Boston, 1995.
  • Thomas O. Mensah, Editor, Superconductor Engineering ISBN 0816905673, AIChE Symposium Series Book Volume 88, No. 287, 1992.
  • Thomas O. Mensah, Editor, Fiber Optics Engineering ISBN 0816904189

, AIChE Symposium Series, Book Volume 283, 1987.

  • Thomas O. Mensah, US Patent number 5,035,169 Guided Vehicle System, July 30, 1991.
  • Thomas O. Mensah, US Patent number 4,692,615, Apparatus for monitoring Tension in a moving fiber, September, 1987.
  • Nano-based Materials for use in Missile Sub-systems and Components. (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Proceedings Weapon Systems Effectiveness Conference), 2012. This paper was co-authored by Dr Mensah, Dr. Paul B. Ruffin, Christina Brantley and Eugene Edwards.
  • Book author: Lo Correcto Viene En Color Negro Tambien ISBN 9781499127058
  • News of Dr. Mensah on IPWatchdog [20]
  • Dr. Thomas Mensah at #BeU United Athletes Foundation College Hackathon Event by Microsoft Supplier Diversity [21]

References

  1. "Mensah Thomas". JRank. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  2. "Profile – Thomas Mensah". AICHE. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  3. "Thomas Mensah". Black Inventor. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  4. "Mensah Thomas". JRank. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  5. "About the Author – Thomas Mensah". Right Stuff Comes in Black. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  6. "Dr Thomas Mensah Profile". Ghana Web. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  7. "Thomas Mensah". Official Website. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  8. "Academy of Inventors". Academy of Inventors. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  9. "Success Park, Japan".
  10. "About the Author – Thomas Mensah". Right Stuff Comes in Black. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  11. "Methods of providing an optical fiber package". Justia Patents. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  12. "Guided Vehicle system". Justia Patents. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  13. "Optical fiber package and methods of making". Justia Patents. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  14. "Method for coating optical waveguide fiber". Justia Patents. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  15. "Apparatus and method for monitoring tension in a moving fiber by Fourier transform analysis". Justia Patents. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  16. "Curing apparatus for coated fiber". Justia Patents. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  17. "Method and apparatus for coating optical fibers". Justia Patents. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  18. "Thomas Mensah". Official Website. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  19. "Dr Thomas Mensah Profile". Ghana Web. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  20. "Dr Thomas Mensah on IPWatchdog".
  21. "Dr Thomas Mensah at Microsoft Hackathon event, December 2014".