Distinguished Alumni Awards

Suzanne R. Nagel

Suzanne R. Nagel
To Suzanne R. Nagel for outstanding research in fiber optics, for excellence in technical leadership, and for promotion of careers in science and engineering, especially among women and minorities.

Director of Manufacturing Process Research and Development Laboratory, AT&T Bell Laboratories Engineering Research Center, Princeton, New Jersey

  • MS, Ceramic Engineering, 1970
  • PhD, Ceremic Engineering, 1972

Suzanne R. Nagel led a team of researchers at Bell Labs that played a crucial role in developing silica fiber materials in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Nagel joined AT&T Bell Laboratories in 1972 as a member of the technical staff in the Glass Research and Development Department. In 1980 she became supervisor and in 1982 department head of working in lightguide R&D. During her distinguished 20-year career at Bell Labs, she has directed research in glass used in fiber-optic applications and has been awarded two patents in lightguide fabrication. Her investigations include manufacturing processes important in fiber production, quality of fibers, lifetime, and other factors involved in providing fibers suitable for long-time economical application of glass fibers for communication. She was recently appointed as an AT&T Bell Laboratories Fellow: this is the highest technical level of recognition in Bell Labs. Of more than 80 appointees, she is the first woman to receive this recognition.

Nagel has been actively involved in promoting careers in science and engineering, particularly for women and minorities. She has used her position with Bell Labs and her national visibility in professional societies to be a strong role model, leader, and enthusiastic advocate for engineering. Her efforts have been acknowledged by the New Jersey YWCA Tribute to Women in Industry Award (1985), Rutgers Engineering Alumni Association Distinguished Engineer Award (1988), and Douglass College Alumnae Association Award (1985). She was recently featured in the Chicago Museum exhibit “My Daughter the Scientist,” which is touring the United States. She and her work were featured as a chapter in the Jeremy Berstein book Three Degrees Above Zero.

She is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Optical Society of America, and American Ceramic Society and is an active member of other professional and honorary organizations. In 1990-91 she chaired the Glass Division of the American Ceramic Society; she presently serves as president of the IEE/Laser and Electro-Optics Society.

Current as of 1993.