The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering goes to none other than the creators of the internet. There isn't anyone better than those engineers that I can think of who deserve the award more. Each of the 5 engineers will be rewarded 1 million pounds, or about $1.5 million each. The internet and the world wide web have changed the world's way of life, with over 2.1 billion people using the internet every single day.
There is over 330 Petabytes of data used every year, and that all wouldn't be possible without the help of Louis Pouzin, Robert Kahn, Vint Cerf, Tim Berners-Lee, and Marc Andreesen. Without them, we wouldn't be able to Google our problems, shop online for items, communicate with friends through Skype, or stream music off Pandora. We'd be back in the old ages where people still bought cookbooks, or read newspapers.
Pouzin, Kahn, and Cerf all made contributions to the protocols that "make up the fundamental architecture of the internet". Berners-Lee created the worldwide web (www), which brought the internet to the next level from its previous state of just emails and file transfers. Lastly, Andreessen created the Mosaic browser which made the worldwide web mainstream and accessible to everyone.
All of these engineers made significant contributions that helped make the internet the way it is today. Through their collaborative efforts, the field of technology was able to dramatically advance. These engineers are the first engineers ever to win the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering. It'll be very interesting to see who next year's nominees will be.
[via QEPrize for Engineering]