Five CSIRO scientists who developed wireless LAN (WLAN) technology nearly two decades ago were recognised for their work by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) this week.
John O'Sullivan, Diet Ostry, Terry Percival, Graham Daniels and John Deane were collectively one of six innovators to receive ATSE's 2010 Clunies Ross Award.
The award was presented to 'The team behind the WLAN technology that changed the world'. All five scientists accepted.
CSIRO's WLAN technology is said to underpin wi-fi systems installed in almost every laptop and wireless device worldwide.
It solved the problem of indoor multi-path interference, which is caused by radio waves bouncing around inside rooms, and creating multiple signals.
Last October, it was revealed that patent battles with 14 international vendors over the wi-fi technology had earned CSIRO $200 million from out-of-court settlements.
The team was subsequently recognised with CSIRO's Chairman's Medal, and O'Sullivan was awarded the 2009 Prime Minister's Prize for Science.
"While the science and engineering work that led to Wireless LANs was done in the early nineties, it took until recent years for the technology to be widely used," a spokesman told iTnews today.
"Therefore it is only in recent years that the magnitude of this achievement has become clear."
Other 2010 Clunies Ross Awardees were: the founders of Radiata Communications who contributed to a new data communication protocol; NICTA's John Parker for his work at Cochlear Ltd; Andrew Jessett of MineWare for his achievements in mining technology; UWA physicist Tim St Pierre; and University of Sydney's John Boldeman.