The 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics went to IEEE Fellows Charles Kuen Kao (1979), Willard Sterling Boyle (1971), and George Elwood Smith (1975).
Kao received half the prize "for groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication".
Kao was elevated in 1979 to IEEE Fellow "for contributions to the practical use of optical waveguides for communications".
Boyle and Smith each received one-quarter prize "for the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit".
Boyle's elevation in 1971 was "for scientific contributions, inventions and technical leadership in semiconductor electronics".
Smith was honored in 1975 with IEEE Fellow status "for contributions to the development of charge-coupled devices"