Swedish pioneer receives American prize
Three of the mobile phone pioneers who laid the groundwork for today’s smartphones will be awarded with the prestigious Draper Prize—considered the Nobel Prize of engineering—during a ceremony in Washington on February 19. And one of them is Swede Thomas Haug. He’s the first Swede ever to receive the prize. Thomas Haug (Dr.Sc.Eng.) was born in Norway in 1927 but is a Swedish citizen. Haug was one of the founders of Nordic Mobile Telephone, the mother of it all for following global mobile technologies such as GSM, 3G and most recently 4G. Haug worked at the Swedish telecommunications incumbent TeliaSonera between 1966-2002, and worked very closely with another mobile pioneer: the late Östen Mäkitalo. Following the launch of NMT, Haug became chairman in the joint Euopean standardization group for GSM. Haug has also been employed by Westinghouse Electric Corporation in Baltimore, developing military radio units as well as Ericsson.
“Considering Sweden’s world premiere launches of the mobile networks NMT, it is very pleasing the prestigious Draper Prize will be awarded a Swede,” says professor Bertil Thorngren, formerly head of the Center for Information and Communications Research at Stockholm School of Economics. “I'm very honored to be a prize recipient. We were several persons involved; from the operator as well as manufacturer side, in developing the first mobile systems, which few realized the full potential of at the time. NMT was groundbreaking as the world’s first modern mobile system developed to work across borders in all the Nordic countries which was unique at the time, and is the template for today’s mobile communication enabling people to communicate and access information almost everywhere and anytime,” says Thomas Haug, Draper Prize recipient 2013.