Conference speakers’ profiles

Dr Paul Ayris, UCL –  [Chair]

Dr Ayris was appointed as Director of UCL Library Services in 1997. Since 2017 his job title has been Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services). He is also the UCL Copyright Officer. Dr Ayris was the President of LIBER (Association of European Research Libraries) 2010-14; he is now Advisor to the LIBER Board on EU matters. He is Co-Chair of the LERU (League of European Research Universities) Community of Chief Information Officers. He chairs the OAI Organizing Committee for the Cern Workshops on Innovations in Scholarly Communication. He is the Chair of JISC Collections’ Electronic Information Resources Working Group. On 1 August 2013, Dr Ayris also became Chief Executive of UCL Press. He is a member of the Provost and President’s Senior Management Team in UCL.

He has a Ph.D. in Ecclesiastical History and publishes on English Reformation Studies.

Rachel Bruce, Jisc – [Panellist]

Rachel is Jisc’s deputy chief innovation officer responsible for research and development activities in the area of research data, research infrastructure and library and scholarly futures. Currently one of the main areas Rachel is overseeing is research at risk which aims to develop robust and sustainable infrastructure and services for research data management for UK universities, and as part of this she is leading Jisc’s strategy in the area of a long-term solutions in research data. She is also involved in technology foresight where a range of technologies and their impact on education and research is assessed. Rachel has a strong interest in the updating of infrastructure for the creation, sharing and managing of digital resources and related shared services, as well as the policy and practices required to improve their re-use and exploitation to enhance education and research, with the main focus being on research. This also includes issues of sustainability and transferring Jisc’s research and development work into services for colleges and universities.

Dr Paulo Budroni, UNIVIE – [Tutorial leader]

Head of Department Phaidra and Project Leader of e-Infrastructures Austria, implemented the institutional repository at the University of Vienna. His long-term involvement in digital asset management and the provision of aligned services in the scientific community have provided him with a thorough knowledge of technical systems and the requirements of the academic world. Thanks to his engagement, the University of Vienna has participated in the projects Europeana and OpenAIRE/OpenAIREplus. Currently, he has been appointed as first auditor of COAR. In the LEARN Project, he focuses on stakeholder engagement, policy development and alignment, impact and advocacy. He also offers his experience in the use of foreign languages in multi-national settings, his ability to plan and organise work programs and his good understanding of linkages between policies and cooperative practices.

Professor Kurt Deketelaere, League of European Research Universities (LERU) –  [Keynote and panellist]

Since July 2009, Kurt is the Secretary-General of the League of European Research Universities (LERU,, an association of twenty-three leading comprehensive and research-intensive universities, promoting the interests of frontier research, innovation and education with the EU institutions. For his “exemplary leadership of LERU”, he is awarded a doctorate honoris causa by the University of Edinburgh on 6 July 2017. Before joining LERU, he was the chief legal advisor (2004-2007) and the chief of staff (2007-2009) of the Flemish Minister for Public Works, Energy, Environment and Nature.
He is still a full professor of Environment, Energy, Climate and Construction Law (however on part-time leave since 2007) at the University of Leuven, the university where he studied law (1984-1989), obtained his PhD in Law (1989-1995) and spent (until now) his whole academic career. Furthermore, he is an honorary professor of law at the University of Malta and the University of Dundee, was awarded the Hou-De Honorary Chair at the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan, and has been a visiting professor of law at the Universities of London, Sydney, Singapore, Keio and Chuo.
He is a member of the International Advisory Board of IE University (Madrid) and Humanitas University (Milano), the High Level Advisory Board of the Insight Foresight Institute (IFI) in Madrid, and the International Leadership Advisory Board of the Center for Learning Innovations and Customized Knowledge Solutions (Dubai). Upon the invitation of the European Commission, he is a member of the Open Science Policy Platform and the ABS Consultation Forum.
Finally, he chairs the Flemish Environmental Damages Commission, co-chairs the Malta Legal Forum on Adaptation to Climate Change, and is on the board of a number of profit (MRBB, AIF, AVEVE, M-tech) and non-profit (I-Cleantech, VVBBCI) organisations in Belgium. He was chairman of the Flemish Energy Regulator (VREG) from February 2012 to February 2017.

Dr Emma Ganley, PLOS – [Panellist]

A UK native, Emma obtained her PhD in Molecular Biology from the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC-LMB) in Cambridge. This was followed by a move to the US to do postdoctoral research at University of California Berkeley, where she closely followed the Open Access movement and the debut of PLOS. Emma (then Emma Hill) originally joined the PLOS Biology editorial team in 2005 as an Associate Editor in the San Francisco offices. After two years at PLOS Biology, she moved to New York in 2007 to run The Journal of Cell Biology as its Executive Editor. During her time at the JCB, she was instrumental in the development and deployment of the JCB DataViewer for original microscopy image data. After returning to the UK in 2010, Emma took a position as Project Manager for the Open Microscopy Environment (OME), the Open Source software team with whom she had worked on the JCB DataViewer. Here, she was able to extend her experience into software development, while retaining an interest in Open Data. After returning to PLOS Biology in 2012 as a Senior Editor, Emma has since been delighted to take up the position of Joint Chief Editor and to take a lead role in the PLOS Data Program.

Dr Claudio Gutiérrez, Universidad de Chile / Center for Semantic Web Research – [Keynote and panellist]

Dr. Claudio Gutierrez is a permanent professor in the Computer Science Department at Universidad de Chile. His main research interests are linked data, open data and data semantics on the Web. He has authored over one hundred articles on these topics and has been the editor of several books.
Also, Dr. Gutierrez is currently a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Web Semantics. He has received diverse international awards, including two “Test of Time Award”, given to outstanding papers still relevant after a decade, in the area of Semantic Web and Database Theory. Dr. Gutierrez has worked in several open data projects for the government of Chile, including a technical norm for electronic documents, the technological implementation of transparency and the Chilean data portal.


Simon Hodson, CODATA  – [Panellist]

Simon Hodson has been Executive Director of CODATA since August 2013. CODATA exists to promote international collaboration for Open scientific data. Supporting the mission of ICSU, the International Council for Science, CODATA aims to strengthen international science for the benefit of society by promoting improved scientific and technical data management and use.
Related to this role, he sits on numerous project Steering Boards and strategic Working Groups in the area of research data. These include the GEO Data Sharing Working Group, the GEO Data Management Principles Task Force and the Scientific Advisory Board of CESSDA, the European data infrastructure for the social sciences. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Dryad Data Repository, a not-for-profit initiative to make the data underlying scientific publications discoverable, freely reusable, and citable.
As well as these strategic activities, Simon is directly involved in hands-on activities and research in a number of data related areas. He is co-chair of the RDA-WDS Data Publication Working Group on Cost Recovery for Data Centres; co-chair of the CODATA-RDA Data Working Group for Data Science Summer Schools in Developing Countries. He is an expert on data policy issues and research data management and has recently contributed to reports on ‘Current Best Practice for Research Data Management Policies, A Report for the Danish e-Infrastructure Cooperation and the Danish Digital Library’ and on strategic research data management infrastructure development for a consortium of UK research institutions.

Dr Per Öster, CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd, Finland [Keynote]

Per Öster is Director at CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd, Finland where he is leading the Research Infrastructure and Policy unit. The unit is managing the relations with major research infrastructures and have responsibility for CSC’s and Finland’s participation in e-infrastructures and major initiatives such as EUDAT, EGI, PRACE, Research Data Alliance (RDA), Nordic e-Infrastructure Collaboration (NeIC), and hosting of the Finnish node of the biocomputing infrastructure ELIXIR. Öster is one of the founders of EGI and was its first Council chair. He is presently chair of the executive board of the collaborative data infrastructure EUDAT and represents also Finland and CSC on the board of ELIXIR. Further he represents CSC in Knowledge Exchange, a partnership to promote open scholarship and improve services for higher education and research in Europe.
He has more than 20 years of experience in computational science from both academia and industry. He has a background in theoretical atomic physics and received, in 1990, a doctorate in physics from the Department of Physics, University of Gothenburg/Chalmers University of Technology.

Dr Eva Méndez Rodriguez, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), Spain [Keynote and panellist]

Eva Méndez Rodriguez holds a PhD in Library and Information Sciences and she is an expert in metadata. She has been a lecturer at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) since 1997. She has been an active member of several international research teams on various standards for the Web. She is member Advisory Committee of the DCMI (Dublin Core Metadata Initiative) since 2005 and of OpenAire from 2015. During 2005-06 she was awarded a Fulbright Research Scholarship, as part of the European Union postdoc programme, at the Metadata Research Center (USA).
She has taken part in and led several research projects and acted as advisor to many more in the fields related with standardization, metadata, semantic web, open data, digital repositories and libraries, in addition to information policies for development in several countries. She is one of the original signatories of The Hague Declaration on Knowledge Discovery in the Digital Age. In 2015 she won the Young Researcher of Excellence award of her University, and from May this year she is Deputy Vice President for Strategy and Digital Education of the UC3M (Spain). Currently, she is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Spanish Network of Academic Libraries (REBIUN) and from May 2016 she belongs to the High Level Expert Group European Open Science Policy Platform.

Prof David Price, UCL – [Opening welcome]

Prof David Price is UCL Vice-Provost (Research), with responsibility for promoting, supporting and facilitating UCL’s research performance, including securing the highest-quality research outputs across UCL and maximising the impact of its research. He is Professor of Mineral Physics at UCL, a Member of the Science & Technology Facilities Council, and Co-Convenor of the Committee of Vice-Rectors of Research of the League of European Research Universities.


Barbara Sánchez Solís, UNIVIE [Tutorial leader]

Barbara Sánchez Solís is the coordinator of e-Infrastructures Austria, a nationwide project for the coordinated establishment and development of repository infrastructures throughout Austria. Ms. Sánchez Solís is experienced in project coordination and monitoring on a national and international level. She has experience in the setup and management of information infrastructures, fostering of customer/partner relationships and profound knowledge of issues concerning planning, costs and legal aspects. Within the scope of OpenAIRE, she performed a study on research data (Factors for Enabling Sharing and Reuse of Research Data). In the project, she concentrates on dissemination, stakeholder engagement, impact and advocacy.


Paul Stokes, Jisc [Tutorial leader]

Paul Stokes has responsibility within Jisc for supporting the exploration and, where appropriate, the take-up of innovative technologies and standards that will have a demonstrable positive impact on further and higher education in the UK.