2019 Parsons Medal recipient Michael McLaughlin – founder, president and chief technical officer of Decawave Ltd – was recognised at a ceremony in Birr Castle Demesne recently for his outstanding work over the past 15 years which has resulted in Ireland being regarded as the global leader in highly accurate radio-positioning technology. The medal is awarded by the Irish Academy of Engineering for excellence in engineering.
Birr Castle is the ancestral home of Sir Charles Parsons, namesake of the medal. The eminent Irish engineer invented the compound steam turbine – his portrait is in the background of the photograph.
Mr McLaughlin founded Decawave with a view to developing and marketing a system that provides centimetre accuracy positioning using ultrawideband wireless signals. Today, it provides that system on a single chip. No other location technology offers the convenience and versatility of his single chip design.
Applications already using this solution include automobile security, factory automation, sports tracking and asset tracking. Decawave’s chip, despite its tiny size, is regarded as the most advanced and complex engineering device ever to come out of Ireland.