Sir Tim Berners-Lee

Portrait of Sir Tim Berners-Lee in front of a large window and tree.

Categories: QEPrize

11 March 2014


Sir Tim Berners-Lee, born 8 June 1955, is a British computer scientist and the inventor of the World Wide Web. Having studied physics at Queen’s College Oxford, graduating in 1976, he started as an engineer in the telecommunications and microprocessor software industry.

"I hope the message behind the QEPrize, along with the work we are doing with the World Wide Web Foundation and W3C, will assist in achieving the vision of a web that is open, accessible and of value to all." - Sir Tim Berners-Lee
QEPrize winners and spouses lined up outside for an official photograph.

In 1980, while working as an independent contractor at CERN, Berners-Lee described the concept of a global system based on using hypertext to share information between researchers and built a prototype system called Enquire, which formed the conceptual basis for the World Wide Web. In 1989 he published his landmark paper, ‘Information Management: A Proposal’, built the first WWW server and web browser ‘’. In 1994, he founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). He holds the 3Com Founders’ chair in Engineering at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), and also a chair in Computer Science at the School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton.Sir Tim is an advocate for Internet freedom and open data. In 2009 he founded the World Wide Web Foundation, and in 2012 he co-founded the UK’s Open Data Institute (ODI). Among his many accolades, Berners-Lee was awarded a Knighthood and the Order of Merit, and was the first recipient of Finland’s Millennium Technology Prize. He was awarded the Charles Stark Draper Prize and the Mikhail Gorbachev award for “The Man Who Changed the World.” He has been named among Time Magazine’s 100 most important people of the 20th century.

"It is fantastic to see how the Prize is inspiring new generations of engineers. I look forward to seeing who will come up with the Prize winning ideas of the future." - Sir Tim Berners-Lee
QEPrize winners and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in Buckinam Palace's throne room. The winners are holding their trophies whilst the Queen (middle) delivers a speech.

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