Marie-Christine Sawley

At the beginning of 2008, Marie-Christine Sawley joined the Institute for Particle Physics of ETH-Zürich, currently headed by Professor André Rubbia. She is a member of the team at CERN working as senior scientist on the massive computing requirements of the CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) experiment.

Marie-Christine Sawley graduated in physics and engineering at EPF-Lausanne in 1980, and completed a PhD in plasma physics at CRPP-EPFL in 1985 on analytical and numerical studies of the coupling phenomena between electromagnetic waves and magnetically confined plasmas. In 1997, she attended the “Leadership Competence Program” at IMD in Lausanne on scholarship from EPFL

In 1987-88, she worked as a post-doc in the School of Physics at University of Sydney in Australia. At the end of 1988, she returned to Switzerland as Head of the User Consulting Group at the Scientific Computing Centre of EPFL and, during the period 1994-96, was Support Team Manager of the CRAY-EPFL Partnership Program on Parallel Applications. In 1998-99, she worked with the ETH Board President on the establishment of the Swiss Virtual Campus before joining the Direction de la Valorisation at EPFL in February 2000. In July 2003, she was nominated General Manager of CSCS, the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre and managed the centre under a 4-year performance mandate, with a total budget of 55 MCHF and a scientific and technical staff of 35. Under her leadership, the CSCS was the first high-performance computing centre in Europe to install in production a CRAY XT3 supercomputer system.

As a specialist of all layers of infrastructure for scientific computing for more than two decades, Marie-Christine Sawley has been active in a number of conference programmes committees, technology selection committees, as white-paper editor and as a speaker. She was one of the proponents and drivers for establishing the Vital-IT centre of the Swiss Institute for Bioinformatics in 2002. She has also conducted many activities in the area of scientific and technology outreach, such as for the EPFL CRAY collaboration in 1994-95, EPFL Alinghi project in 2002-03, and promotion of ETH Zurich and Swiss industries in the building of the CMS detector at CERN in 2008.

Married with two daughters, Marie-Christine Sawley has Swiss and French nationalities.