CSIRO wireless team wins top Aussie science award
The technology – invented by CSIRO scientists Dr John O’Sullivan, Diet Ostry, Dr Terry Percival, Graham Daniels and John Deane – underpins the wireless communication system found in almost every laptop computer and associated wireless device produced today and used in homes and offices around the world.
All five scientists accepted the Award, which recognises innovations that have made a real difference to Australia, at a gala ceremony in Melbourne last night.
“The WLAN research was undertaken by an exceptional team from diverse backgrounds,” said CSIRO Chief Executive, Dr Megan Clark.
“Together, they found a solution that had eluded some 20 major research groups from around the world who were also trying to solve the same problem.”
According to WLAN team leader, Dr O’Sullivan: “Great science is like sport. It’s no good just having a fantastic full forward, you need a great team to get the ball in the right place to score.”
“In the years that we worked on the WLAN invention, each of us on the team brought different skills to bear and together we solved what had proved to be a really difficult problem,” he said.
Dr Clark said their invention and the widespread adoption of WLAN technology helped enable a global revolution in mobile computing and in the way we live and work.
Last year the team was recognised with CSIRO’s Chairman’s Medal and Dr O’Sullivan was awarded the 2009 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science.
Dr O’Sullivan and Mr Ostry are still employed at CSIRO, Dr Percival is Director of the Neville Roach Laboratory at National ICT Australia, and Mr Deane and Mr Daniels have retired.
Licensing of CSIRO’s WLAN technology has drawn significant revenue to CSIRO and led to the rejuvenation of the Science and Industry Endowment Fund to support research and development for the benefit of Australia.