Dr. Willy Zwaenepoel

2007 Tsutomu Kanai Award Recipient


“For contributions to cluster-based
distributed computing for scientific and
Web applications”


Willy Zwaenepoel is Professor and Dean of the School of Computer and Communication Sciences at EPFL. He received the B.S./M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Gent, Belgium, in 1979, and the M.S. in Computer Science and the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, USA, in 1980 and 1984, respectively.


Before joining EPFL in 2003, Willy Zwaenepoel was on the faculty at Rice University, where he was the Karl F. Hasselmann Professor of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering. He was elected Fellow of the IEEE in 1998, and Fellow of the ACM in 2000. He won best paper awards at SigComm 1984, OSDI 1999, Usenix 2000, Usenix 2006 and Eurosys 2007. He was program chair of OSDI in 1996 and Eurosys in 2006, and general chair of Mobisys in 2004. He was an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems from 1998 to 2002. In 2000, he received the Rice University Graduate Student Association Teaching and Mentoring Award. In 2008 he was elected to the Academia Europaea.


Willy Zwaenepoel has worked in a variety of aspects of operating systems and distributed systems, including microkernels, fault tolerance, parallel scientific computing on clusters of workstations, clusters for web services, and mobile computing. He is well known for his work on the Treadmarks distributed shared memory system, which was licensed to Intel and became the basis for Intel’s OpenMP cluster product. His work on high-performance software for network I/O led to the creation of iMimic Networking, Inc, which he led from 2000 to 2005. His current projects include database replication, I/O performance of virtual machines, and software update mechanisms.