Simon Brueckheimer, one of the UK’s leading communications engineers, is to receive The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Silver Medal for his outstanding contribution to British engineering and commercial development. As Consultant Architect at Nortel, he is a pioneer of Next Generation Networks, which are changing the face of telecommunications by integrating voice, mobile, and broadband wireless and data communication into one digital system.

Mr Brueckheimer will receive his Silver Medal, which is only awarded to engineers aged under 50, at the Academy’s Awards Dinner in London on Thursday 2 June 2005.

“Simon is one of the leading communications engineers of his generation,” says Professor Peter Selway FREng, Research Fellow in Electronic Engineering at Imperial College, London. “In the mid-1990s he embarked on a programme of research at Nortel’s Harlow Laboratories that has led to a major new product range for the company and has revolutionised the design of communications networks. He is unique in that, as his career has progressed, he has maintained his position as a key innovator at the centre of developments in Next Generation Networks, both in terms of the sheer number of patents applied for each year and their subsequent value to the company.”

Mr Brueckheimer’s great insight in 1994 was to see how distinct services, previously carried over separate infrastructures, could be unbundled and moved to servers accessed by a single core network. This made it much easier and more cost-effective to offer broadband and other new, especially multimedia services. He also designed the first VLSI chip and the systems that enabled this unbundling, and paved the way for the transport of compressed voice signals over packet networks with high-quality.

Mr Brueckheimer’s leadership in the field over the last ten years has enabled Nortel to be one of the first companies in the world to offer carrier grade quality voice connections using Next Generation Network architecture. These networks are now being deployed in earnest throughout the world – a recent Infonetics market survey showed that worldwide revenues from Next Generation Networks voice products alone totalled $1.71 billion in 2004, with Nortel a leader in the field.

“It was extremely challenging yet exciting and rewarding to have been at the forefront of the development of modern packet-based communications. It is therefore a wonderful and unexpected bonus to receive such a prestigious award from the Academy for this work. I hope to continue contributing and solving the principal challenges that arise as network service intelligence is more widely distributed, and where several independent administrations require access to the network’s common resources. Some of the areas that interest me now are ubiquitous mobility, security, identity federation, and implementing fair and measurable policies to access the network’s resources.”

Notes for editors

  1. The Academy’s Silver Medals, instigated in 1995, are awarded annually to engineers aged 50 or under who have made outstanding contributions to British engineering. Only four awards may be made each year.
  2. This year’s other Silver Medals go to: Barry Trimmer - Research Technology and Engineering Director of Thales UK’s aerospace business, Peter Price – Director of Engineering and Technology for the Civil Aerospace sector of Rolls-Royce, and Nigel Schofield – Technical Manager Core Technology at BOC Edwards.
  3. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.
  4. Nortel is a recognised leader in delivering communications capabilities that enhance the human experience, ignite and power global commerce, and secure and protect the world’s most critical information. Serving both service provider and enterprise customers, Nortel delivers innovative technology solutions encompassing end-to-end broadband, Voice over IP, multimedia services and applications, and wireless broadband designed to help people solve the world’s greatest challenges. Nortel does business in more than 150 countries.

For more information please contact

Jane Sutton at The Royal Academy of Engineering
or Ben Roome at Nortel, Direct tel. +44 (0)1628 433113