Five pioneers of the Internet who radically transformed the way we communicate have been awarded the first-ever Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering. 

The $1.5 million award, which organizers hope will one day become the Nobel Peace Prize of the engineering world, was created to highlight engineers and their world-changing contributions to society. Given annually, it will recognize either one person or a group of people from any nationality who are responsible for "a groundbreaking innovation in engineering that has been of global benefit to humanity."

This year's recipients include Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web; Marc Andreessen, the co-author of the Mosaic web browser; Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf and Louis Pouzin, whose work created the protocols that make up the fundamental architecture of the Internet. 

"It's like waking up from a dream and realising the geeks are winning," Cerf told the UK Telegraph. "I can't imagine having anything more powerful than Her Majesty labeling engineering so significant."

To learn more about the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, visit the official website. Up next for the winners: A formal presentation of the prize by her majesty in June. 

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Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Internet pioneers win first-ever Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering
Award given to one person or a small team from any nationality who create a groundbreaking innovation in engineering.