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EPFL Middle East prominently represented in the UAE Higher Education CIO Council Share Share

Dr. Alaeddine El Fawal takes on a leadership position in academic IT circles in the UAE

 

Alaeddine El Fawal

In February of this year, Dr. Alaeddine El Fawal, Head of IT at EPFL ME, was elected to serve as a member of the executive committee of the Higher Education CIO Council in the UAE. The council, which unites the chief information officers (CIOs) of most major universities in the UAE, aims to facilitate collaboration between them and provides a platform to collectively address challenges they encounter in their work.

 

As an EPFL alumni of Lebanese origin, Dr. El Fawal combines an understanding of Middle Eastern culture with expertise in computer sciences. He received his PhD in communication systems in 2009 and continued working at EPFL until 2010 before joining EPFL Middle East later that year.

 

At EPFL ME, Dr. El Fawal set up the IT infrastructure of the EPFL’s offshore hub to act as a direct extension of the University’s network in Switzerland. As a result, visitors from the Swiss campus can open their laptop at EPFL ME and continue their work session as if they were still at their home campus. He also made EPFL Middle East the first university in the UAE to be connected to Eduroam, providing visitors from one of the many other worldwide participating universities easy access to the Wi-Fi network on campus. And more recently, he developed a disaster recovery system for the IT infrastructure at EPFL ME, drastically shortening the time it takes for the IT services to recover in the case of a disaster in the data center. The disaster recovery site is hosted by Ankabut (UAE national research and education network), 250 Km away from the main site, and serves as a pilot project for other universities.

 

As one of three members of the executive committee of the Higher Education CIO Council, Dr. El Fawal will oversee the regular meetings, which bring together over the chief information officers of over 15 universities present in the region. Besides being in position to effectively contribute to innovative IT services and solutions, he will thus be in a position to effectively influence the directions of strategic ICT development in academic circles in the UAE.