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Queen Elizabeth honours five web pioneers with engineering prize

London, Mar 20 (): Five pioneers of the internet were announced on Monday as the first winners of the £1m Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering.

Tim Berners-Lee, Louis Pouzin, Vint Cerf, Robert Kahn and Marc Andreessen will share an award of 1 million pounds. They are credited for helping spawn the Internet, which the prize site stated as “an engineering achievement that has changed the direction of the world in recent decades.”

The site said, “The Internet and WWW led to a communications revolution of unprecedented power and impact”. The award was announced at the Royal Academy of Engineering in central London.

The chairperson of the judging panel, Lord Broers said: “Engineering is by its very nature a collaborative activity, and the emergence of the Internet and the Web involved many teams of people all over the world.”

Organisers said Kahn, Cerf and Pouzin had made “seminal” contributions to the design and protocols that make up the fundamental architecture of the internet.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee is the best known developer of the winners, certainly in the UK. He worked with others in the late 1980s and developed the World Wide Web, which completely simplified the way information could be shared on the net.

Queen Elizabeth will present the specially designed trophy on June 25 at the awards ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

The global award is sponsored by large organisations including Siemens, the British National Grid and Shell, but the actual prize winners are chosen by a panel of 16 judges, including leading academics.

Organisers hope that this $1.5 million award will one day become the Nobel Peace Prize of the engineering world. It was created to highlight the engineers and their world-changing contributions to the society. The award is given annually, which recognizes either one person or a group of people from any nationality who are responsible for “a ground-breaking innovation in engineering that has been of global benefit to humanity.”

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