After graduating as a Civil engineer in electromechanics, I was asked to start a PhD at the ETRO Department. Together with my promotors Prof Hichem Sahli and Prof Jan Conrelis, we started a whole new field of research at ETRO, namely the detection of anti-personnel landmines. First we used Ultrasound but soon we settled on Ground Penetrating Radar.
Near the end of the PhD work, ETRO’s system administrator, at the time, left, and I, together with my colleague Daniel Coppee, took over the System management of ETRO, which back then consisted primarily of a set of Unix servers with terminals.
After the PhD finished, I continued combining some post-doc research work with IT, but as Daniel and I were developing ETRO in a modern closed IT system, it was clear i needed to start working full time on the IT side.
Over the next few years ETRO grew from a group of 30 people on one floor, to a group of over 150 people, occupying 8 floors over 3 buildings. As the VUB network was not able to provide all the functionalities needed by cutting edge researchers in electronics and informatics, Daniel and I developed network that was able to face the challenges and demands of both research and researchers.
As Daniel left ETRO and the VUB network is now able to take over some of the challenges we were solving with our own network the current and future goals is to work towards a better integration between ETRO’s and VUB’s networks, all the while making sure the quality of service for the ETRO people is not diminished.