Willy Zwaenepoel


Biography and current work


Willy Zwaenepoel received his B.S. from the University of Gent, Belgium in 1979, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1980 and 1984, respectively. In September 2002, he joined EPFL. He was Dean of the School of Computer and Communications Sciences at EPFL from 2002 to 2011. Before joining EPFL, 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. In 2000 he received the Rice University Graduate Student Association Teaching and Mentoring Award. In 2007 he received the IEEE Tsutomu Kanai award. He was elected to the European Academy in 2009. 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 also an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems from 1998 to 2002.

Willy Zwaenepoel has worked in a variety of aspects of operating and distributed systems, including microkernels, fault tolerance, parallel scientific computing on clusters of workstations, clusters for web services, mobile computing, database replication and virtualization. He is most 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 interests include large-scale data stores and software testing. Most recently, his work in software testing led to the creation of BugBuster, a startup based in Lausanne.



Madeleine Robert
Building BC 347
Station 14
CH-1015 Lausanne

Tel. + 41 21 693 75 21
Madeleine Robert


JournalsConferencesBooks chapters


Xen:Optimizing Network Virtualization
Tashkent:Scalable database replication
Mirage:A framework for testing and distributing software updates
Willy Zwaenepoel's research is sponsored by the European Commission, the Hasler Foundation, the Swiss National Science Foundation, and Hewlett-Packard Corporation.


26th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS), Lisbon, July 4-7, 2006:
P2P, DSM, and Other Products from the Complexity Factory (pdf 1.4 MB)

Willy Zwaenepoel


Fax : +41 21 6937540

Fields of Expertise

  • Operating Systems, Distributed Systems