Kenichi Iga was born in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan in 1940. He received his B.E. in 1963, his M.E. in 1965, and his Dr. Eng. Degree in 1968 from Tokyo Institute of Technology. From 1968 he joined the P&I Lab., Tokyo Institute of Technology, became Associate Professor in 1973, and Professor in 1984. He has been awarded Teiichi Yamazaki Chair Professor since 1993. In 2000, Prof. Iga served as Director of Institute Library and Director of P&I Microsystem Research Center. He retired Tokyo Institute of Technology in March 2001 and was awarded by Professor Emeritus. Dr. Iga joined Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) as Executive Director since April 2001. He is also a guest professor of Kogakuin University. From 1979 to 1980 he stayed at Bell Laboratories as Visiting Technical Staff Member.
Prof. Iga first proposed (in 1977) and pioneered the research of surface emitting semiconductor lasers. His idea has triggered research activities in surface emitting lasers, which have become very important as coherent light-sources with 2-dimensional parallelism. He is an active proponent of microoptics, utilizing gradient-index microlens arrays, and has been working toward the dream of realizing 2-D arrayed optical devices in combination with surface emitting lasers. He is the author of "Fundamentals of Microoptics" published by Academic Press, "Fundamentals of Laser Optics" published from Ohm-sha and Plenum, "Introduction to Optical Fiber Communication" from Ohm-sha/John Wiley & Sons, "Process Technology for Semiconductor Lasers" from Springer, "Surface Emitting Lasers" from Ohm-sha and Kyoritsu-Publishing Co. Ltd., and several other books.
A Fellow of IEEE, he served as an Asian Representative, Lasers and Electro-Optics Society since 1984 till 1990. He was elected as a member of Board of Governor for IEEE/LEOS for 1991-93. He received 1992 William Streifer Award for Scientific Achievement. A fellow of OSA, he served in the Program Committees of all Topical Meetings on Gradient-Index Optical Imaging Systems since 1979, and Conference Chair of its 1989 Meeting. He has worked as a CLEO Japanese Subcommittee Chair for 1988-1990. Dr. Iga received the 1998 John Tyndall Award and the 3rd Millennium Medal from IEEE in 2000.
A member of the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers of Japan, he received the Inada Memorial Prize in 1966, the Distinguished Book Award for "Introduction to Optical Fiber Communications" in 1978, the Paper Award in 1986, 1990 and 1994, and Achievement Award in 1991. He served as the President of Electronics Society for 1996.
He received the Sakurai Memorial Prize in 1987 from Optoelectronic Industry and Technology Development Association (OITDA), IEE Premium Award in 1988, Ichimura Award in 1990, Toray Award in 1995, and Asahi Award in 1998, for the pioneering research on surface emitting lasers and parallel microoptics, respectively. He also received Distinguished Scientist Award from Tokyo in 2000. Prof. Iga was honored by the Purple Ribbon Medal from Japanese Emperor in 2001. He received the 2002 Rank Prize from the Rank Prize Funds, UK.
Dr. Iga began to play a double bass when he was an undergraduate student of Tokyo Institute of Technology and served as the advising professor until he retired. He is an active double bass player in Machida Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and had a performance at Berlin Philharmonie Hall in 2000.