Monday, 22 December 2014

Robert Cailliau

Robert Cailliau collaborated with Tim Berners-Lee at CERN to create the foundation for the networked hypertext system that became the World Wide Web, and was instrumental in CERN putting the Web technologies into the public domain. In 1994 he called for and organised the first International WWW Conference, helped establish the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that oversees Web standards, and started the ‘Web for Schools’ project within the European Union. Between 1995 and 1997 he was focused on building the Consortium, the transfer of WWW technologies from CERN to the Consortium, the WWW Conferences, and CERN intranet services. He spent the last years of his career on public science communication for CERN, and retired in 2007. Cailliau trained in Mechanical and Electrotechnical Engineering at the University of Ghent and, having completed military service, joined CERN in 1974, working with Berners-Lee, then a contract programmer, on a project converting the analog computer controls of the Proton Synchrotron accelerator to a computer-controlled system. He moved to head Office Computing systems for CERN and began thinking of a hypertext system to link all documentation over the CERN networks, and subsequently teamed up with Berners-Lee on his return to the organisation, then undergoing restructuring, where they worked under the guidance of Mike Sendall. Cailliau has been awarded two PhD. Hon. (from the Southern Cross University, Australia and the University of Ghent, Belgium), the ACM Software System Award, the Plantin Prize (City of Antwerp), and the Medal of Recognition of the City of Geneva. He is Commander in the Order of King Leopold I of Belgium. [Robert Cailliau’s personal site.]


Presenter: Track 2: Openness and innovation: Networks, Applications, Data and Design