An Irish engineer, whose research has contributed to the development of technology underpinning the internet and medical devices, has been honoured by the Irish Academy of Engineering.

UCD Professor Tony Fagan received the 2016 Parsons Medal for his work in the area of Digital Signal Processing (DSP).

Described as an "engineering visionary" the Professor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering set up a research group in UCD in the 1980s which acted as the precursor to the development of a DSP ecosystem here.

According to the academy, Dublin now has "a 'DSP Valley' that is the envy of many high-tech regions elsewhere" and a number of Irish companies are leaders in the area.

100 research students have graduated with Master's degrees and PhDs from Professor Fagan's research group.

He has also published over 130 papers in the area, and raised €4.5 million in funding during his career.

The accolade is given by the academy to engineers or engineering scientists of exceptional ability in research or engineering technology.

It is named after Sir Charles Algernon Parsons, an Anglo-Irish engineer, who invented the steam turbine.

"As a result of DSP, information can be transferred at speeds a million times faster than was previously possible," said Eoin O'Driscoll of the Irish Academy of Engineering .

"If you watch television, connect to the Internet, use a digital camera, make a cell phone call, drive a car, type on the keyboard of a home computer, or use a charge or debit card, you are taking advantage of DSP -  the technical brains in all those devices."

 "Professor Fagan has achieved this by contributing some innovative ideas that were derived from his advanced engineering research."

"Also, he has enabled many important industry-based developments directly and through his education and mentoring of a substantial number of engineers to PhD level and higher."