NICTA CTO wins NSW computer scientist award

Network engineer Dr Chris Nicol lauded for developing world-first mobile phone technology

NCITA's Chris Nicol

NCITA's Chris Nicol

Dr Chris Nicol has won the NSW Scientist of the Year Award for Computer Science.

Nicol, chief technology officer for the National Information and Communications Technology's (NICTA) embedded systems division, received the government award at the inaugural 2008 NSW Scientist of the Year Awards.

He is credited with pioneering new mobile networking techniques and establishing the Asia Pacific region’s first Bell Labs facility.

Nicol’s Agere Systems research team developed the world's first MIMO chip (Multiple-input multiple-output), pioneering advances in spectral efficiency that are used to enhance mobile phone networks.

The chip is used in millions of mobile phones on Hutchison Three mobile networks across Australia, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and Italy.

“I would like to acknowledge the many people I have worked with over the years who contributed to this most welcome recognition,” Nicol said at Government House in Sydney last Friday.

The awards are an initiative of the NSW Department of State and Regional Development to recognise leading technology, health and environmental research within the state.

Nicol was named the Entrepreneur of the Year in 2005 by Engineers Australia.

Solar energy expert Professor Martin Green was named overall 2008 NSW Scientist of the Year.

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