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The inaugural winners were announced by Lord Browne at a special ceremony on 18 March 2013 at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London.
The ceremony was also attended by HRH the Princess Royal, the judges, including Professor Brian Cox and Lord Alec Broers, and the Trustees of the Prize, including Sir John Parker.
The first QE Prize for Engineering was awarded to five people who made major contributions to the development of the internet and the WWW: Louis Pouzin, Robert Kahn, Vinton Cerf, Tim Berners-Lee and Marc Andreesen each played a significant part in the development of the technology.
Louis Pouzin, Robert Kahn and Vint Cerf made seminal contributions to the protocols (or standards) that together make up the fundamental architecture of the Internet. Tim Berners-Lee created the worldwide web (WWW) which vastly extended the use of the Internet beyond email and file transfer. Marc Andreessen wrote the Mosaic browser that was widely distributed and which made the WWW accessible to everyone. His work triggered a huge number of applications unimagined by the early network pioneers.
While each of the QEPrize winners each made major contributions to the development of the Internet and the WWW these systems were the result of collaboration involving engineers all over the world.
The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering (QEPRize) is a £1million global engineering prize, launched in 2012, that rewards and celebrates an individual (or up to three individuals) responsible for a ground-breaking innovation in engineering that has been of global benefit to humanity. The QEPrize aims to become as highly regarded internationally as the Nobel prizes and will be awarded biennially.
The winner (or winners), of any nationality, will have been responsible for advancing the positive application of engineering knowledge that has produced tangible and widespread public benefit. This does not mean that only ‘life-saving’ applications will be recognised; engineering shapes culture and creates culture shift; it inspires, informs, educates and entertains. Engineering helps us meet global challenges and underpins every aspect of day-to-day life.
During the search for a winner, the QEPRize will discover and celebrate stories of engineering success, raise the international public profile of engineering and inspire new generations of engineers to take up the challenges of the future.
The pre-eminent panel of 15 judges are leaders in the field of engineering and represent a wide range of internationally renowned institutions, academies and corporations. The QEPrize is funded through support from the following donor companies: BAE Systems, BG Group, BP, GlaxoSmithKline, Jaguar Land Rover, National Grid, Shell, Siemens, Sony, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Steel and Toshiba.