Louis Pouzin, Robert Kahn, Vinton Cerf, Tim Berners-Lee and Marc Andreessen have been awarded the first ever Queen Elizabeth Prize For Engineering.
The Queen Elizabeth Prize aims to focus attention of engineering worldwide, to demonstrate how engineers and engineering are making a real difference across the world. and to inspire the next generation of young people to consider a career in engineering.
The prize is also envisaged as a "Nobel Prize for Engineering" just as the Turing Award is "the Nobel Prize in Computing".
The brief to the panel of fifteen judges is that this new bi-annual global award with prize money of £1 million (approximately USD $1.51 million) should "reward an outstanding engineering-led advance that has produced tangible and widespread public benefit".
The announcement of the winners of the inaugural prize was made by Lord Browne of Madingley (Chair of the Trustees of the QEPrize) at ceremony at the Royal Academy of Engineering attended by HRH the Princess Royal. Two of the prize winners,
Robert Kahn and Louis Pouzine who with Vinton Cerf were recognized and for their contributions to the protocols that make up the fundamental architecture of the Internet, attended the event in person. Vint Cerf and Tim Berners Lee, included in the award for having created the World Wide Web, made virtual appearances via the Internet. The final recipient is Marc Andreessen, who co-authored the Mosaic browser.
Commenting on winning the award Tim Berner's Lee said:
"The prize recognises what has been a roller-coaster ride of wonderful international collaboration. Bob and Vint’s work on building the internet was re-enforced by Louis’ work on datagrams and that enabled me to invent the Web. Marc’s determined and perceptive work built on these platforms a product which became widely deployed across nations and computing platforms. I am honoured to receive this accolade and humbled to share it with them. I want the Web to inspire and empower new generations of engineers --boys and, especially, girls-- who will build, in turn, their own platforms, to improve our global society. I hope the message behind this award, along with the work we are doing with the World Wide Web Foundation and W3C, will assist in achieving the vision of a web that is open, accessible and of value to all."
The prizes will be presented to all five winners by HRH, the Queen at a ceremony later this year.