Dr C.T.A.M. de Laat (1956) has been appointed Professor of System and Network Engineering at the University of Amsterdam's Faculty of Science.
Cees de Laat conducts research on the application of optical networks and computer, data and visualisation infrastructures in modern scientific practice. Nowadays, the large-scale gathering, processing, storage and interpretation of experimental data involves global collaborations. In order to facilitate these alliances, the hybrid networking paradigm was developed. The UvA played a central role in this development. This has helped secure a key position for Science Park Amsterdam - hosting SURFnets NetherLight and Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX) - that now serves as a vital hub in the global scientific Internet. The SARA computing centre and multidisciplinary NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) institutes play a supporting role.
Developments in the application of ICT by modern science are referred to as eScience (enhanced Science). eScience comprises the system-level design of complex integrated environments for multidisciplinary and international research teams. The development of those underlying infrastructures raises a number of fundamental questions with regard to their scalability, management, controllability and applicability. Combining all these aspects in order to create automatic application-based dynamic infrastructure in a manner that is both efficient, energy-conscious and self-organising is one of the major challenges facing De Laat's discipline.
De Laat has served as an associate professor at the UvA's Institute for Computer Science since 2001, where he currently leads the System and Network Engineering research group. Prior to this time, he worked at Utrecht University as a assistant professor in Physical Informatics. In the period between 2002 and 2007, De Laat played a key role in the Open Grid Forum, in his capacity as Area Director for P2P and Infrastructure. He is chairman of the Grid High Performance Networking working group and founder and chairman of Gridforum Nederland (Gridforum.nl). He also serves as a Member of the Board of the Dutch chapter of ISOC Internet Society. He is a founding member of CineGrid, a global community focused on the production, use and exchange of sound and images of exceptional quality. In 2006, De Laat and several partners initiated the Amsterdam CineGrid Exchange. Since early 2009, he has served on the management board of the Virtual Laboratory for eScience (VL-e) project. Other duties include membership of the editorial board of Future Generations Computer Systems, an international periodical on grid computing and eScience, and membership of the Future Internet Research Experimentation (FIRE) Expert Team.