Exa4mind – Extreme Analytics for Mining Data spaces

Meet the EXA4MIND

External Advisory Board
& Ethical Advisor

External Advisory Board & Ethical Advisor

The EXA4MIND External Advisory Board (EAB) aims to provide strategic advisory support to ensure that the EXA4MIND project evolves appropriately and pursues its objectives. It is crucial for the project to receive continuous feedback from experts in the field.

EAB members will contribute to identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the project in the context of European priorities and challenges and will help connect the EXA4MIND project with other strategic initiatives.

The EXA4MIND EAB is formed by the following experts:




Alessandro Laio is a full professor in statistical and biological physics at the International School for Advanced Studies (Sissa), Trieste.
He obtained a master’s degree in nuclear engineering in Turin and, in 1999, a PhD in condensed matter physics. His research mainly focuses on the development of techniques aimed at simulating rare events and meta-stability in complex many-body systems, such as phase transitions, chemical reactions and protein folding.

One of his most important contributions in this field is metadynamics, an approach that allows efficient estimation of free energy in many dimensions. He is also working on the development of techniques for the analysis of complex data landscapes. In this field, he has developed Density Peak Clustering, an approach that has quickly become a popular tool for data analysis.




In May 2022, Wieland Brendel joined the Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems as an independent group leader and is now a Hector Endowed Fellow at the ELLIS Institute Tübingen (since September 2023). Brendel received his diploma in physics from the University of Regensburg (2010) and his PhD in computational neuroscience from the École normale supérieure in Paris (2014).
He joined the University of Tübingen as a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Matthias Bethge, became a principal investigator and team lead in the Tübingen AI Center (2018) and an Emmy Noether Group leader for robust machine learning (2020).

He received the 2023 German Pattern Recognition Award for his substantial contributions to robust, generalisable and interpretable machine vision. Besides his research, Brendel co-founded a nationwide school competition (bw-ki.de), and a machine learning startup focused on visual quality control (layer7.ai, today: maddox.ai).


Professor Yannis


Professor Yannis Manolopoulos holds a 5-year diploma degree in electrical engineering (1981) and a PhD degree in computer engineering (1986), both from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Currently, he is a professor at the Open University of Cyprus, professor emeritus at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Member of Academia Europaea and Member of the Board of the University if Macedonia. His research interest focuses on data management. He has co-authored 6 monographs and 10 textbooks (in Greek), and 350+ journal and conference papers.
He has received 18,000+ citations from 2,800+ distinct academic institutions from 100+ countries (h-index=61 according to Google Scholar, d-index=61 according to Research.com).
He has also received 5 best paper awards from SIGMOD, ECML/PKDD, MEDES (2x) and ISSPIT conferences.
He supervised and acted as mentor for 27 doctoral graduates.

Mark-Van de Sanden


van de Sanden

Mark van de Sanden works as an enterprise architect at SURF, which is the national organisation that provides ICT services for research and education in the Netherlands.
He has over 25 years of experience in managing supercomputers and large-scale data infrastructures and has participated in European projects. He is a data and storage expert who has led the data services team for over ten years.

In EUDAT, Mark is the technical coordinator and member of the secretariat. He has been involved in many EOSC-related projects (e.g. EOSC-Hub, EOSC Future, DICE, FAIRCORE4EOSC) and has been a member of the EOSC Architecture Working Group. Currently, he is a member of the EOSC Association Task Force on Technical Interoperability of Data and Services.




Ethical Advisor

Josef Spillner is senior lecturer / associate professor at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (Switzerland), where he holds the position of Deputy Head of Distributed Systems. His teaching areas at this university are Operating Systems and Infrastructure and Serverless and Cloud-native Application Development. His scientific research focuses on big data computing, cloud-native computing and serverless computing. In addition to his activities as a teacher and researcher, he is also a fellowship holder of the digitalisation initiative of the canton of Zurich and a senior member of the IEEE organisation.