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Department of Commerce Gold Medal


Award Winner: Sae Woo Nam


The highest honorary award granted by the Secretary of Commerce.  A Gold Medal is defined as distinguished performance characterized by extraordinary, notable, or prestigious contributions that impact the mission of the Department of Commerce and/or one operating unit and which reflects favorably on the Department.


Dr. Nam is recognized for enabling breakthrough advances in ultra-secure quantum communication and quantum metrology by developing the world's best single photon detectors and the only practical detectors capable of counting single units of light. These detectors achieve nearly 100% quantum efficiency–the best of any in their class–and operate at the commercially important telecommunications wavelengths. These breakthrough tools have already enabled researchers to set world records for absolutely secure communication of secret quantum keys over long distances.


Award Date: December 13, 2011

Campus: Boulder

Awarding Organization: Department of Commerce

Awarding Organization Contact Name: Kent Rochford

Organization Phone: 303-497-4384