Dieter Fensel

“The ESWC community has contributed significantly to the development of the Semantic Web over the last 20 years and I’m looking forward to seeing what will emerge from our discussions at ESWC 2023 and beyond.”

In 1989, Prof. Dr. Dieter Fensel earned both his Master in Social Science (Free University of Berlin) and his Master in Computer Science (Technical University of Berlin). In 1993, he was awarded his Doctoral degree in Economic Science, Dr. rer. pol. (Doctorate on Political Science), from the University of Karlsruhe. In 1998 he received his Habilitation in Applied Computer Science. Throughout his doctoral and post-doctoral career, Prof. Dr. Fensel has held positions at the University of Karlsruhe (AIFB), the University of Amsterdam (UvA), and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU).

In 2002, he took up a Chair of Computer Science at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. In 2003, after receiving a large grant acquired from the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), he founded the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and became the Scientific Director. In 2006 he created the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and became the Founding Director. In 2007, he established the Semantic Technology Institute International (STI2), which is organized as a collaborative association of interested scientific, industrial and governmental parties of the world wide Semantic Web and Service community that share a common vision. He is co-founder of several scientific events such as the European Semantic Web Conference Series (ESWC),, International Semantic Web Conference Series (ISWC), and the TourismFastForward (TFF), He has been an executive member in more than 100 international and national research projects with a total volume of several hundred million euro; he worked as scientific or project coordinator in several of these projects. He is co-founder of the company Seekda (, a multi-channel and direct booking solution, and Onlim (, an online marketing tool.

Asunción Gómez-Pérez

“As a community we have achieved a lot. I’m really looking forward to reflecting with my esteemed colleagues on what we learnt and what our future directions will be”

Prof. Dr. Asunción Gómez-Pérez is Vice-Rector for Research, Innovation and Doctoral Studies, Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences (EurASc) since 2018 and Full Professor at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM).  She was Head of the Department of Artificial Intelligence (since 2008), and she is Director of the Ontology Engineering Group (OEG) (since 1995), Academic Director of the Master’s Degree in Artificial Intelligence (since 2009) and Coordinator of the PhD Programme in Artificial Intelligence (since 2009) at the same University. 

Asun was awarded a Bachelor in Computer Science (1991) and PhD in Computer Science (1993) for the Computer Science School at UPM. Master’s Degree in Administration and Business Management (MBA) for the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas ICADE (1994). She realized a postdoctoral stay at the Knowledge Systems Laboratory of the University of Stanford (1994-1995). She was Executive Director of the Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence in the Computer Science School at UPM (1995-1998).

She has received the Award ARITMEL – National Prize of Computer Science 2015, the Annual Award of Investigation of the UPM (2015) and the National Prize Ada Byron for the Technologist Woman in its second edition (2015). She has been recognized with an Award to the Best Ideas of Business XII actúaupm (2015) and the software OntOlogy Pitfall Scanner! (Opps!) was rewarded in the III Course of Commercialization of Technologies UPM by its business potential (2014).

Frank van Harmelen

Frank van Harmelen (1960) is a professor in Knowledge Representation & Reasoning in the Computer Science department (Faculty of Science) at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. After studying mathematics and computer science in Amsterdam, he moved to the Department of AI in Edinburgh, where he was awarded a PhD in 1989 for his research on meta-level reasoning. After his PhD research, he moved back to Amsterdam where he worked from 1990 to 1995 in the SWI Department under Prof. Wielinga, on the use of reflection in expert systems, and on the formal underpinnings of the CommonKADS methodology for Knowledge-Based Systems.

In 1995 he joined the AI research group at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, where he now leads the Knowledge Representation and Reasoning Group.

Since 2000, he has played a leading role in the development of the Semantic Web, which aims to make data on the web semantically interpretable by machines through formal representations. He was co-PI on the first European Semantic Web project (OnToKnowledge, 1999), which laid the foundations for the Web Ontology Language OWL. OWL has become a worldwide standard, it is in wide commercial use, and has become the basis for an entire research community. He is a fellow of the European AI Society ECCAI (membership limited to 3% of all European AI researchers), in 2014, he was admitted as member of the Academia Europaea (limited to the top 5% of researchers in each field), and in 2015 he was admitted as Member of the Royal Netherlands Society of Sciences and Humanities (500 members across all sciences). 

Ian Horrocks

“The creation of web standards such as RDF, OWL and SPARQL was a major step forward in transitioning KRR from the lab into mainstream applications. This panel will be an opportunity for us to review the current State of the Art and see how we can build on that success.”

Ian Horrocks FRS is a professor of computer science at the University of Oxford in the UK and a Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford.His researchfocuses on knowledge representation and reasoning, particularly ontology languages, description logic and optimised tableaux decision procedures. After several years as a lecturer, senior lecturer, reader then Professor in Manchester, Horrocks moved to the University of Oxford in 2008. 

Horrocks was jointly responsible for development of the OIL and DAML+OIL ontology languages, and he played a central role in the development of the Web Ontology Language (OWL). These languages and associated tools have been used by Open Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) Consortium, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in America, the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and a range of major corporations and government agencies.

Horrocks is the current editor-in-chief of the Journal of Web Semantics and has served as program chair for the International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC).In 2020 Horrocks was awarded the BCS Lovelace Medal in recognition of his significant contribution to the advancement of reasoning systems. Horrocks was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2011 and won the Roger Needham Award of the British Computer Society (BCS) in 2005.

Moderator – John Domingue

“This panel brings together some of the main players who were there at the very beginning of the Semantic Web and whose work we’ve all followed and cited over the years. Like everyone else in the ESWC community I can’t wait to hear their reflections on what we did together and what we may achieve together in the short, medium and long-term.”

Having completed a degree in Computer Science at the University of Warwick and a PhD in AI at the Open University John Domingue is a full Professor of Computer Science at the Knowledge Media Institute, the Open University’s technology research and innovation centre, and since 2008 the President of STI International, a semantics focused networking organization which runs ESWC. He has published over 290 refereed articles in the areas of semantics, the Web, HCI, distributed ledgers and eLearning.

He was Chair of the 3rd ESWC Conference in 2006 and served as Programme Chair for ASWC in 2009. In 2016 he was a co-Chair for the European Data Forum whose keynotes included the CEOs of Philips, and TomTom and the European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society. From 2018-2021 John served as the leader of the first of five themes, on University Learners, for the £40M budget Institute of Coding where he led on the creation of a new accreditation standard for UK computer science teaching based on blockchain accreditation. The application of this work to Covid-19 vaccination certification attracted attention in the media

In 2017 Prof Domingue’s research in blockchains and education was referenced in the Joint Research Centre Policy Report Blockchain in Education for the European Commission. Prof. Domingue has given many talks on his work including at the Royal Institution in 2018 and at TEDx.

In 2019 he became a Fellow of the British Blockchain Association and in 2020 was an Honorary Professor at Amity University in Noida, India.

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