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Robert Cailliau

Last Edit: 10/01/17

Robert Cailliau is well known as one of the pioneers of the World Wide Web. Although he may not be as acclaimed and well known as Tim Berners-Lee: he worked alongside Berners-Lee in developing the World Wide Web. Like Berners Lee he was a member of CERN.

Robert Cailliau
(Pictured: Robert Cailliau working at CERN on the WWW project)

Robert Cailliau has had a history of developing document systems. The idea of a document system linked through hypertext was the brain child of Berners-Lee. Therefore, it is incorrect to suggest that Robert Cailliau invented or co-invented the Web. Instead he helped in it's initial and on going development. He also played a key role in finding funding for the project.

Robert Cailliau was born in Belgium, in the city of Tongeren. Tongeron is located in the Flemish region of the country, and is very close to the border of the Netherlands and Germany. The province the city is located in is called Limburg. Cailliau later went on to study in Ghent. He initially studied Engineering, but showed a keen interest in computers, and implemented them in academic study whenever possible.

Cailliau left Belgium to complete his Masters degree in the US. He studied in Michigan and completed a degree in computer information and data collection. Cailliau eventually returned to Belgium to continue his academic work and study. In 1994 he joined CERN. Cailliau has worked in various research divisions in CERN. In 1987 he joined the computer division to assist in handling data.

By 1990 he began his collabative work with Berners-Lee; helping to form a proposal for funding and technical aspects of the Web. Two years later he moved on to developing new projects: such as helping to create the first Web browser (named MacWWW) for the Macintosh home computer. Since the year 2000, Cailliau has continued his work at CERN.: two of his primary responsibilities has been to maintain the CERN website and private computer network (Intranet).