Milestone-Proposal talk:First Fiber Bragg Grating Demonstration at Communications Research Centre Canada in 1978

Advocates and reviewers will post their comments below. In addition, any IEEE member can sign in with their ETHW login (different from IEEE Single Sign On) and comment on the milestone proposal's accuracy or completeness as a form of public review.

Advocate's Review -- Dmichelson (talk) 11:36, 4 January 2020 (UTC)

I've significantly edited the proposal, including the title and citation. I've removed a duplicate set of references and added a significant amount of clarifying text.

Note that the current version of the citation addresses the issues raised by John V, Jason H and others below.

The original proposal focused strictly on the events of 1978. There was little mention of subsequent events or the many awards and recognitions that this achievement has received.

The original proposal made frequent mention that this achievement "established an unknown photosensitivity of the fiber." This wording seems a little to me so I've substituted what I believe is more clear.

"In 1978, CRC researchers were the first to observe photosensitivity (photo-induced change of refractive index) in glass optical fibres and demonstrate that the phenomenon can be used to write permanent refractive index gratings that act as very selective in-line optical filters. Fiber Bragg Gratings of this type overcome significant limitations of the prior art and have revolutionized modern optical system design."

The section concerning the obstacles that had to be overcome fails to address the question and should likely be rewritten. However, the rest of the proposals now in good shape.

In my opinion, the case for this proposal is among the strongest that I've yet encountered. I hope that it is approved easily.

Given the number of awards and recognition that this work has received, I don't believe that it is necessary to seek more than one additional expert review.

Re: Advocate's Review -- Vengu (talk) 16:27, 6 January 2020 (UTC)

Replace this text with your reply

This is a very deserving candidate. Fiber Bragg Gratings have had tremendous influence on optical fiber communication and this work by Hill et al. was indeed pioneering. I see no reason not to honor it as a milestone in photonics.

Re: Re: Advocate's Review -- John Vardalas (talk) 20:02, 8 January 2020 (UTC)

As to the technical merits of this proposed Milestone, I defer to my more knowledgeable colleagues. But I do have two concerns. One is about process and the other is about the citation itself.

Isn't the Milestone vetting process supposed to include at least two external reviewers?

Although the citation may be technically accurate, it fails, in my view, to explain the wider significance of the achievement in language that the non-expert can understand.

Re: Re: Re: Advocate's Review -- Ebruton (talk) 11:56, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

I entirely agree with John - the text needs to be amended to explain the wider significance of this achievement. Vengu says above that Fiber Bragg Gratings have had tremendous influence on optical fiber communication. Can this impact be explained in a way a non-expert would understand and, if so, how?

Proposal Review -- Jason.k.hui (talk) 18:51, 11 January 2020 (UTC)

This proposal still requires one expert review. In addition,

1) Spell out CRC as not everyone in the general public may be familiar with the acronym

2) Is the parenthesis in the first sentence necessary?

3) What does "prior art" mean?

4) What is the significance of "revolutionized modern optical system design?" Why would the general public care about this particular technical achievement?

External Expert review -- Administrator4 (talk) 14:18, 13 January 2020 (UTC)

On behalf of Ilya Golub, Professor at Algonquin College in the Bachelor of Information Technology (Optical Systems and Sensors) Co-op Program, I am posting his review:

Proposal review: This Milestone proposal elaborately describes the historical significance of the contribution of the CRC group headed by K. Hill to the Fiber Bragg Gratings discovery; the section about obstacles needed to be overcome, while well written, only partially addresses the question. The proposal also concisely/to the point addresses the features that set the Hill's work aside from similar achievements. Overall, I believe it is adequate and very strong proposal for the breakthrough discovery of fiber photosensitivity/FBGs .

External expert review -- Administrator4 (talk) 14:53, 13 January 2020 (UTC)

On behalf of Valery Tolstikhin, I am posting his review:

Valery Tolstikhin, D. Sc., President and CEO at INTENGENT, INC., Ottawa, Canada. Areas of current activities: advanced photonic devices for tele- and datacom, photonic integrated circuits, fabless photonic integrated circuits in indium phosphide. Well familiar with the fields related to use FBG in optical communications, even though never worked directly in this field.


The pioneer work that led to and culminated with the First Fiber Bragg Grating Demonstration at CRC in Ottawa, Canada in 1978 is a critical and well recognized contribution to fiber optics. The importance of this achievement, which gave rise to multiple areas of application in fiber-optics communications, data processing, and sensing is difficult to overestimate, while the time, place, and authors of this breakthrough work – 1978, CRC, and group led by Dr. Ken Hill, respectively, are undisputable and well supported by publications, references, citations, awards, etc.


The Milestone-Proposal “First Fiber Bragg Grating Demonstration at Communications Research Centre Canada in 1978” should be supported as it is timely to recognize the discovery made by Dr. Hill and the team at CRC as a true milestone in the area of fiber optics, which 40+ years later continues to be a booming area of research and technology, not to a small degree owing to that discovery.


The Proposal well describes the events reseeding and following the first demonstration of the FBG. It also correctly outlines the areas of applications, e.g. in DWDM optical communication links, which have come to existence because of this milestone discovery. The Proposal provides brief yet accurate historical background, clear description of the scientific and technological significance, and key references to original publications and review papers for further reading. All in all, the Proposal deserves to be published as a Milestone

Proposer's comments (posted on proposer's behalf) about the citation -- Administrator4 (talk) 14:27, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

As for the citation, my preference would be to return, if possible, the name of Dr. Kenneth Hill as the principal researcher behind the Fibre Bragg Grating demonstration that this milestone celebrates. From the evidence submitted with the milestone proposal it is obvious that he is widely recognized as such by other researchers. In addition, this discovery was made made 42 years ago, and, at least in my mind, there are no reasons for preventing the appearance of Dr. Hill's name in the citation - that actually makes the citation more specific and more interesting to read for all future visitors of the milestone. As a disclaimer, I would like to mention that I have no connection to Dr. Hill whatsoever. This small change would be easy to implement, it is enough to just replace the word "researchers" by "(Dr.) Ken(neth) Hill et al." I marked the optional parts by parentheses.

Another, small editing suggestion would be to include the word "Canada" after "Communications Research Centre" as the actual name of the organization is "Communications Research Centre Canada". The last editing suggestion would be to consider deleting the words "the possibility of" as unnecessary in hte part of the citation that reads "... demonstrate the possibility of ..." so as to read "... demonstrate the writing of ..." since this is what was demonstrated in this first Fibre Bragg Grating demonstration.