DTG’s Keith Hayler awarded IET Achievement Medal for advancing digital radio and TV

DTG Technical Oversight Group chairman Keith Hayler has been awarded a prestigious IET Achievement Medal for his work in advancing digital TV and radio.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology handed out just five of its annual awards in 2014, which recognise some of the world’s top engineering talent, who have made an exceptional contribution to the advancement of science, engineering and technology.

Keith’s career in broadcasting innovation began with pioneering Nicam stereo audio broadcasting at the BBC, and continues today with his leadership of the Digital TV Group’s (DTG) Technical Oversight Group.

Keith said: “It’s a mark of all the work I’ve done in my career and I was rather chuffed to look through the list of previous winners and see myself alongside someone like Adrian Newey.

“The IET has only awarded five medals this year instead of six, and the other recipients are three professors and a doctor.

“Working with the DTG is a very welcome continuing credit for me and it’s exciting to be working across developments like Ultra HD, TV White Space and connected TV.”

Former IET Achievement Medal recipients include Formula One racing car designer Adrian Newey, world wide web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, astronaut Chris Hadfield and cyberneticist Professor Kevin Warwick.

Among the early highlights of a broadcast engineering CV which began on BBC transmitters in 1973 is helping the BBC to develop the world’s first VHF distribution system for Nicam stereo on TV, and developing the technical specification for the launch of the world’s first Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) radio network in 1995.

Keith lead the development of the world’s first national DVB digital TV network for Ondigital and the BBC in 1998, and later worked with the DTG and Crown Castle (now Arqiva) on Freeview’s launch after the commercial demise of Ondigital in 2002.

One of his key achievements with Freeview was to resurrect Ondigital’s abandoned seven-day programme guide, then develop, test and launch it within a live broadcasting environment.

He was also a technical advisor on Freeview Playback (now Freeview+) and was extensively involved through DTG Working Groups on drafting D-Book 7.

Now 59, Keith left Arqiva in 2012 and continues to consult as a broadcasting technologist, chairing the DTG’s Technical Oversight Group, where he encourages the chairs of other DTG Working Groups to think freely about the technical challenges both within and across their specialist areas.

Simon Gauntlett, Technology Director for the DTG, said: “We would like to congratulate Keith on this richly deserved accolade.

“Keith has been an active supporter of the DTG for many years, contributing to many specifications and guidelines, and he has been a great asset as chair of the DTG Technical Oversight Group.”

William Webb, IET President said: “The Institution of Engineering and Technology Achievement Awards recognise individuals who have made a truly outstanding contribution to engineering and technology, from talented young professionals through to engineers at the pinnacle of their careers.

“The IET is passionate about promoting engineering excellence and the Achievement Awards showcase some of the world’s best engineering talent. The winners should be extremely proud of their achievements.”

Keith Hayler was nominated for his award by long-time colleague Russell Inman, senior network architect at the BBC. He will be presented with the IET Achievement Medal on November 19 at a ceremony in London.

DTG Staff  |  20.10.2014

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