Marie-Christine Sawley graduated in physics and engineering at the Swiss Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL) in 1980, and completed a PhD in plasma physics at the CRPP-EPFL in 1985 under the direction of Prof. F.Troyon. Her dissertation work concerned analytical and numerical studies of the coupling phenomena between electromagnetic waves and magnetically confined plasmas. The simulation of solar and astrophysical plasmas formed the topic of her postdoctoral research studies at the School of Physics of the University of Sydney (Australia) where she worked with Prof. D. Melrose from 1986 to 1988. At the end of 1988, she directed her career towards IT management and was appointed head of the User Consulting Group at the Scientific Computing Centre (SIC) of the EPFL. She developed with her group the IT training programme for the EPFL personnel, launched a full programme of documentation and publications, and organized the HPC application support, including design and support for industrial contracts. In 1994, the Steering Committee of the CRAY-EPFL Partnership on Parallel Applications appointed M.-C. Sawley manager of the Support Team of the programme, a position held until the end of the partnership in 1996. She acted as an active member in a number of selection committees for HPC systems purchase and was President of the Speedup forum from 1995 to 1998. In 1997 she established the first commission at the EPFL for analysing and issuing recommendations for the platform of basic IT services for the students.

Member of the permanent CAPA bureau, in charge of services and communication, she contributed to the definition phase of the Swiss TX programme, in collaboration with Compaq, and to the founding of the SOS workshop series. In 1998 she left CAPA to work with the ETH-Rat President F. Waldvogel on the establishment of the Swiss Virtual Campus and the first NICT-based teaching projects.

In February 2000, M.-C.Sawley joined the Direction de la Valorisation of Prof. J.-J. Paltenghi, and is actively involved in the design and establishment of industrial or multi-institutional partnerships. Since 2001 she participates, together with Prof. G. Ben Arous, on the committee for collaboration in bioinformatics with the SIB. Since June 2002, she coordinates the programme for the development, support and knowledge dissemination of the Grid and HPC projects at the EPFL.

Graduate of the Mastering the Technology Enterprise programme in 1997, M.-C.Sawley is a member of IMD alumni.