Professor Neil Weste

Engineer, inventor and technologist

NSWNomineeSenior Australian of the Year2021

Prof Neil Weste, a key contributor in the development of Wi-Fi, has made a significant impact in engineering excellence.

From research at CSIRO and Macquarie University, Neil designed the first commercial microelectronic circuits that implemented the now ubiquitous Wi-Fi wireless networking standard.

These microchips provided a way to economically carry data over a radio signal – enabling wireless computing. In 1997, he and research partner Dr David Skellern founded Radiata Communications to commercialise the technology.

Throughout his career, Neil continued to demonstrate outstanding and consistent leadership at the very frontier of telecommunications and microelectronics. With 14 US patents to his name, Neil authored the textbook Principles of CMOS VLSI Designin 1984. Now in its fourth edition, it is a bestseller as an undergraduate text and reference book in more than 600 institutions worldwide.

As a member of the AusIndustry Innovation, Research and Development Board, Neil consulted in industry development policy, mentored many small Australian technology start-ups and gave lectures on innovation.