Topics 2018

Our topics selected for the 2018 edition are inspired by friends and colleagues working at Terres des Hommes, gluoNNet, Deep, United Nations and many other NGOs in and around Geneva.

  • Team Pier09

    When human aid actors face critical decisions, it is a challenging task to see trusted expertise and to keep an overview of relevant information. Recent developments in data management, analysis, and automation allow for the acceleration of knowledge extraction, as well as the optimised finding of meaningful information and the collaborations that can provide it. We aim to create a minimal-effort, transparent, neutral, and distributed knowledge exchange system to make decisions with more impact in less time.

    Human Aid Knowledge Exchange

  • Team Pier32

    Food, its cultivation, preparation and consumption as well as the connected service, products and emotions are a cultural heritage. A variety of databases capture the importance and the different “flavors” of food but do not map the associated emotions. We aim at bridging this gap using augmented reality, embedded technologies and other digital means.

    Take-Away Cultural Food Experience

  • Team Pier18

    An overwhelming flood of information is available in today’s humanitarian emergencies. Identifying key information and meaningful knowledge for prompt situation analysis is a challenge as it effects the ability to efficiently respond to crises. By automating the process of information extraction from data through Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing algorithms, we have the potential to allow for more informed decisions in crisis situations.

    Human Document Investigator

  • Team Pier68

    Researchers and practitioners need tools to quantify more accurately what can be gained from sanitation interventions in settlements with low hygienic conditions. Today most tests for bacteriological contamination look for the presence of E. coli, which doesn’t reflect the dozens of viral and protozoan pathogens that could be lurking in the environment and are dangerous to humans. Testing for the latter requires quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) assays, which require specialised laboratory equipment and training and even transport to Western countries for analysis. Local public health experts need to unravel the puzzle of multiple risk exposure pathways in order to take effective measures to improve hygienic conditions.

    Environmental Sanitation Tricorder

Teams 2018

Four inter-disciplinary teams with about 10 members each had 4 weeks of preparation time with video-conference meetings and a 60 hour final hackathon to build working prototypes and tangible solutions for real-life humanitarian problems.

Global coach entrepreneurship: Felix Stähli – Knowledge transfer: CERN KT

Team: Knowledge Compass

Human Aid Knowledge Exchange

Coaches: Daniel DobosKarolos Potamianos


Aidan Bonner (US)
Aidan is originally from New York City and has a BA in Psychology from Cornell University and an MSc in Geography from the University of Zurich. He is passionate about data science, and about global development and the empowerment of the marginalized in society; his research focus has been on global migration.



Andrea Choi (HK)
Andrea received her bachelor degree in economics and environmental studies from Dartmouth College. She worked on the trading floor of Louis Dreyfus Commodities in its North American headquarter and Beijing office for 4 years. In 2016, family brought her to Geneva, prompting her to reflect on her career and find what she really loves. During her self-discovery journey, she joined an ed-tech startup and worked in an International NGO. Currently, she is pursuing a masters degree in Standardization, Social Regulation and Sustainable Development (STAREG) at the University of Geneva.



Andy Andrea (UK)
Collaboration for tangible impact: Andy has a fundamental belief in the power of convening people to share experience, to resolve problems and create opportunities. He now has the luxury to build private sector collaboration with humanitarian organisations on emergency preparedness and response. His approach is based on lobbying and mediation experience that tailors high level objectives into the strategies of senior executives for practical outcomes. He has more than 25 years of experience within the following sectors: aid and development, global health, humanitarian relief, and armed conflict mediation (between rebel groups and governments) in the non-profit sector and United Nations agencies. His communications strategies incorporate Government relations and fundraising, information and knowledge management, as well as branding, media relations, social media and specific project campaigns.



Anna Gottschalk (DE)
Anna holds an MSc in Development Economics from the Rome University of Tor Vergata and a BA in European Studies from Passau University. She is PMP and Six Sigma Green Belt certified. Currently, she works as a Consultant Project Manager for the Stop TB Partnership of the United Nations, in Geneva. While her organization operates in the health sector, fighting to eliminate TB worldwide, Anna’s main professional focus is delivering IT projects for her organization (ERP, order management system, data warehouse). As such, she loves challenges, resolving problems and delivering result. She is passionate about new technologies, innovative ideas and new ways of humanitarian aid. In the past, she was lucky to have been given the chance to work on different IT and Finance related projects, all over the globe (Rwanda, US, Italy, UK). For the time being she enjoys life in Geneva. “If you want to learn to swim, jump into the water.”



Anne-Laure Lamure (FR)
Anne-Laure is a multi-purpose engineer who obtained her engineering diploma from Ecole Centrale Lyon, with a specialisation in applied physics and international project management at Ecole Centrale Paris. She worked as CERN fellow on carbon coating as a Large Hadron Collider vacuum material, and studied thermal finite element simulations for the ATLAS experiment. As foresight and futures engineer of the GHL, she created and organised AR & VR experiences at the Davos World Economic Forum 2018 Sustainable Impact. Hub.



Barbara Rusconi (IT)
Barbara works as Financial Support Officer at CERN where she takes care of EU funded FP7 and H2020 projects’ financial aspects, including Marie Curie Actions. She holds a B.Sc. in Management (Hons) and plans to start her master studies in Finance in order to widen her knowledge base hence maximizing her career opportunities. Her experience as intern auditor in a multinational company taught her how to work in team and to be reliable, responsible and productive. Being an open-minded and ambitious person, she looks forward to taking on new challenges and experiencing something fresh.



Ben Segal (UK)
Ben earned his BSc at Imperial College and his PhD at Stanford before he came to CERN in 1971 to work on computer networking. He adopted Internet protocols like TCP at CERN and helped Tim Berners-Lee with some World Wide Web design decisions, pointing to existing protocols to assist his invention of the HyperText Transfer Protocol. Ben is an honorary CERN staff member and an active advocate of volunteer computing and citizen science. More details at: Internet Hall of Fame.



Beris Gwynne (AU)
Beris brings extensive international relations and development experience (Vietnam, Poland, Mexico and Nauru) with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian “aid”. Positions in not for profit organisations included senior roles with a large international NGO, a think tank and an intergovernmental organisation. Beris launched her own platform (Incitāre) in 2016, using futures thinking to help design and demonstrate 21st Century-fit ways of thinking & working to accelerate achievement of the SDGs.



Duco Tellegen (NL)
Duco is an award winning filmmaker, communication specialists and developer with knowledge and experience in human rights. He started filmmaking at a School of Art in Utrecht. Besides directing and producing his own documentary films on different social issues, he worked as production- and director assistant, researcher and sound engineer for many film productions worldwide.



Elisabeth Pfund (CH)
Dedicated to building win-win relationships across sectors, Elisabeth secured strategic partnerships and mobilised resources in key European markets for the past 15 years. With a background in International Relations and corporate social responsibility, she combines experience across entrepreneurial, not-for-profit and private sectors. Lately, she headed partnerships for the UN hosted Global Humanitarian Lab, fostering cross- sector collaborations for innovation.



Evi Kavrochorianou (GR)
Evi is an undergraduate student majoring in Computer Science & Biomedical Informatics and an Open Source enthusiast. Her scientific interests encompass various disciplines of Computer Science in the context of how they affect humans, especially as agents of positive social change. When not tinkering with code, Evi can be found exploring a small number of creative hobbies, picking up spoken languages, and definitely not making puns.



Jean-Marie Le Goff (FR)
Jean-Marie Le Goff is a senior applied physicist and computer scientist that focuses on applying advanced IT techniques and concepts to Particle Physics. He first studied how to move objects over the internet using CORBA to service the control system middleware of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiments at CERN. He then worked on extending the concepts of Unified Modeling Language (UML) layers with a description-driven layer for classes and objects which led to the development of a software (C.R.I.S.T.A.L.) dedicated to the tracking and assembly of detector parts. This versatile software found applications outside particle physics, in particular in industry as Enterprise Resource Programming (ERP) software and Business Process Management (BPM), and in accounting and finance. He is currently working on the use of emerging graph, semantic and structural abstraction techniques for data management and visualization in conjunction with techniques acquired in his previous work. This led to the development of the Collaboration Spotting software, a generic platform for visual analytics of complex datasets. The platform is being used to build various demonstrators including for compatibility and dependency relationships in software and metadata of an experiment at CERN, in scientometry with publication and patent information, pharmaco-analytics and neurosciences. Jean-Marie Le Goff holds a PhD in experimental particle physics and a DPhil in Computer Science. From 06/2003 – 06/2009, he has been Visiting Professor at the University of the West of England, Bristol, UK.



John Skidmore (UK)
John has an extensive background in Business, Project and Change Management. His 30 year career has mainly been based in the IT sector, working with Shell, Natwest Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Deutsche Bank. More recently, John has been involved in Business & Project Management with high net-worth individuals in London and the Middle East.



Peter Glenday (UK)
Peter Glenday is Programme & Research Director at the School of International Futures. He has seven years’ experience delivering consultancy and research projects including horizon scanning and foresight projects for governments, consulting in the non-profit sector, and academic research. He has worked on horizon scanning projects for School of International Futures for clients including BOND Development Futures, UK Government, Arts Council England, IATA and a refresh of the Technology and Innovation Futures project commissioned by Government Office for Science, as well as facilitating scenario planning and foresight workshops. He previously worked at the Horizon Scanning Center, Government Office for Science as a lead researcher on the 2010 Technology and Innovation Futures and ‘Dimensions of Uncertainty’ projects.



Nicoletta Garelli (IT)
Nicoletta is a particle physicist looking back at a career of more than 13 years working within the ATLAS experiment at CERN (Geneva) and SLAC (California). She became a skilled problem solver with experience in silicon and gas detectors, readout, data acquisition, trigger systems, and software development. Always results in mind, Nicoletta held several coordination roles, driving work until its conclusion while being a good team player motivating the colleagues with an optimistic approach. Beyond that, Nicoletta has extensive experience in organizing professional trainings, conferences and workshops. Looking for sharing her passion for science, she led the CERN contribution at Expand Your Horizons 2017 in Geneva.



Nina Laribi (DZ)
Hej 🙂 ! I’m a passionate lifelong learner from Algeria. I’m deeply driven by the idea of having a positive impact on the world using science and technology. I love experiencing life in different countries and cultures as I believe it enriches our understanding of our counterparts; so far I have studied and lived abroad in France, Sweden and currently The Netherlands. Through exciting events and jobs in different fields, I also like travelling intellectually from one technological field to another and I am always questioning and exploring the possibility of combining them to create meaningful change. As a side-project, I’m currently working on the possibility of applying tech in creating a drug-free alternative for those suffering with certain mental disorders. I’m also super interested in working with and meeting those ambitious enough to want to try to make the world a better place! If you think we are meant to work together, let us grab a coffee in some part of the world 😀 ! More here



Margot Montassine (FR)
Margot is a young professional with work experiences in leading global companies on particularly challenging missions (project management, talent management, skills development). She is a strong problem-solver, with analytical curiosity and agility, trained in design thinking. She is specifically interested in offering thrilling experiences to employees and exploring innovative ways of learning. Passion: Build a compelling, effective and meaningful learning experience to enrich people’s life.



Mathis Gerdes (DE)
Mathis is a graduate student at the elite MSc course on theoretical and mathematical physics at the LMU and TU Munich. He studied physics at the University of Göttingen and specialized in computer science during an ERASMUS year abroad at the University of Edinburgh. Mathis was a summer student at CERN in 2018 and is passionate about exploring the impact of data and information technology on society.



Randolph Kent (UK)
Randolph is a former senior United Nations Coordinator in emergency operations in several East African crisis zones including Somalia, Rwanda, Sudan, Ethiopia as well as UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Kosovo. He is the programme director of the Humanitarian Futures Programme of the King’s College London which helps organisations to prepare for future humanitarian threats.



Richard Forster (HU)
Richard received his BSc degree working on GPU acceleration of computing intensive algorithms, further exploring scheduling of parallel algorithms on GPUs, that concluded in his MSc degree. He was responsible of the GPU acceleration of the medical imagining software at GE Healthcare. He was involved in multiple projects at CERN both during my studies and while being a World Laboratory Fellow and he was doing his PhD work also at CERN working on graph visualization and processing using heterogenous architectures. Now he is responsible for database related operations and deployment.



Robin Coupland (UK)
Robin Coupland studied at the Cambridge University School of Clinical Medicine, UK. He worked as a field surgeon and medical adviser in the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) from 1987 until he retired in 2015. He developed a public health approach to a variety of issues relating to violence and weapons. He has published medical textbooks and numerous articles about care of wounded people and all forms of armed violence.



Simone Montesano (IT)
Simone is an applied physicist with 8-years experience in overseeing the R&D of new technologies for CERN accelerators, from the overall strategy to the design of optimised devices, to the data analysis. As a scientist, he is convinced that true development stems from a deeper understanding reality and shall bring benefits while reducing costs and side effects. He has learned that bringing together diversity of expertise, culture and method is fundamental for advancements in knowledge and for innovation.


Skip Shelly (US)
Skip Shelly is Associate Teaching Professor & Faculty Director at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). A graduate of the CMU School of Design and seasoned consultant, Skip was a director at MAYA Design group, founded a strategic design consultancy and negotiated its acquisition by an IBM business partner. At CMU Skip design curriculum and teaches Digital Service Innovation, Service Design and Interaction Design Studio.


Stefan Haselwimmer

Stefan Haselwimmer (UK)
Stefan has been developing innovative technology solutions since the 1990s. He launched The Independent and Mirror newspapers on the internet, set up the UK’s first telephone voice portal and is currently developing “”, the world’s first “citizens game” for literature-based knowledge discovery. He has a Philosophy degree from Cambridge and writes screenplays in his spare time.



Tina Beattie (UK)
Tina is an economist (econometrics & pure mathematics) with a 30 year career in Financial Services and senior Investment Banking Research Director roles. She was heading the Research team of Merrill Lynch Australia, integrated it in the USA business and was EMEA Head of Research Management. For ABN AMRO she was as Global Head of Research running 950 analysts in 44 global location. For Julius Baer she served as Executive Director and for the UNOPS hosted Global Humanitarian Lab she headed Impact Investment & Operations.



Umang Mishra (IN)
I am a sophomore at New York University Abu Dhabi, pursuing a double major in Physics and Computer Science. I am currently working on a research project in collaboration with The Icecube Neutrino Observatory, optimizing algorithms to help in the detection of magnetic monopoles. I enjoy using Computer Science as a tool to get a better understanding of the physical world, and am very passionate about educating people around me in whatever way I can. I have been involved in community projects which ranged from delivering leadership workshops to high school students to astronomy workshops to walking along the beach in search of the endangered hawksbill turtles’ nests so we can protect them. When I am not working on Computer Science or Physics projects, I can be found reading/writing poetry with my lovely (toy)kitten sitting on my table.

Team: OrbEat

Take-Away Cultural Food Experience

Coaches: Joao PequenaoJosefina EspinosaJames Jennings


Anna Matuszynska (PL)
Anna uses her mathematical knowledge to understand biological phenomena, and as a postdoctoral researcher based in Germany, she is developing models of plant photosynthesis. Through basic research she can combine her curiosity and passion about nature with addressing global societal challenges. She also tasted what it means to work in the financial sector in Poland, developing cost models in a debt collection company, before going back to education. She is a proud mother of a baby son who will soon speak better German than she does.



Amelie Dorn (AT)
Amelie is a Senior Researcher at the Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities, Austrian Academy of Sciences. She was Management Committee member of the COST action IS 1305 “eLexicography”. Currently, Amelie is working in the project “exploreAT!” developing cultural lexicography and post-dictionary navigation paths, co-designing and co-creating with a wide range of collaborators and citizen actors. She has lived in different European countries including Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Poland and has a keen interest in foreign languages and culture. Against the background of linguistics, she is currently a selected member of the second edition of the “Lab for Open Innovation in Science (LOIS)”.



Carmen Margiotta (IT)
Carmen is an undergraduate student at the University of Sussex in Brighton, UK. She will be graduating in 2019 in Anthropology and International Development, she is very passionate about a wide range of topics, from environmental to social justice issues. She is especially interested in how Western countries and the Global North could have a great positive impact on our planet and society by simply changing some of their actions and behaviours and she hopes to build a career on this belief in the future. Carmen has had the chance to study abroad in many different places and she is excited to see where life will take her and who she will become.



Duygu Saykan (TR)
Duygu is a strategic communication professional with an immense interest for food, culture and travelling. She was born and raised in Ankara and lived and worked in Turkey, Portugal and the United Kingdom. Although her initial interest was to keep working in media and communications; her intercultural experiences across various platforms made her realise she is a lot more keen on developing her career in cultural policy and project management fields. Currently pursuing her PhD in Interculture Dialogue and The Role of Food; Duygu is excited and initiative about change and life long learning.



Eveline Wandl-Vogt (AT)
Eveline is experimentalist, innovation manager and network facilitator, founder and coordinator of exploration space @ ACDH @ Austrian Academy of Sciences. Currently, she is research affiliate at Harvard University (US) and studies Social Innovation at Danube University Krems (AT). Against a multidisciplinary background, she is ambassador for Crowd-Innovation, Open Science and Open Innovation in Science. Her current work, carried out in international, multicultural settings, challenges traditional Humanities Studies and research infrastructures, aims to boost Innovation and follows a challenge driven approach to carry out societal impact. Eveline is a global citizen with roots in the Tyrolean montains, where she owns a small business. She is a visionary thinker with passion for visual arts and creative writing.



Giuseppe Reale (IT)
Giuseppe is a Neurology resident at University Hospital “Agostino Gemelli” in Rome. Since he was a student, he loves brain and its complex interconnection with human behavior, from movement to art. His research is focused on stroke and brain connectivity. He likes challenges requiring a “think outside the box” approach and he believes that only multi-disciplinary teams can face the nowadays multi-complex problems. He plays keyboards in a rock band and is passionate of trekking, philosophy and movies. He has a beautiful son, named Nicola.



James Jennings (US)
For more than 25 years James Jennings has been working as a consultant and executive to help businesses grow faster. Most relevant to this hackathon, he worked 9 years in coffee in marketing & sales and several years in weight management to help people overcome the successes and excesses of the food industry and a less active modern life. Early on, he worked in restaurants as a cook and supervisor. Before moving to Switzerland, James made maple syrup on his 10 hectare farm in Vermont USA so he understands taste of place. He has a BA from Grinnell College and an MBA from Cornell University. He speaks English, German, and French. James was a participant in the 2017 hackathon.



Joseph-Paul (TZ)
Joseph Paul is a 24year old Medical Student, aspiring to become a cardiothoracic surgeon.



Norwin Schnyder (CH)
Norwin is studying Information Technology and Electrical Engineering at ETH Zurich (Switzerland). He is interested in system-level software development, algorithm design and network security. He has been doing an internship at Open Systems (Switzerland), working on data analysis in the context of a global distributed firewall and next-generation firewall services. In his free time Norwin likes to cook and to entertain people with pyrotechnics shows.



Pierre-Alexandre Fonta (FR)
Pierre-Alexandre has a background in Computer Science, Engineering, and Pure Mathematics. He is currently working at the Blue Brain Projet (EPFL) as a Research Software Engineer. However, it is not so easy to define him with a unique label. You can find him contributing to building a Knowledge Graph or working on Knowledge Extraction, but also trying to make sense of (Big) Data or designing Scalable Architectures for Decision Support Systems. He is interested in how citizens and scientists could have a better analytic view of data to take more informed decision and to support more effectively their research. Having worked in both academia (University of Geneva, University of Applied Science of Western Switzerland) and the private sector (Capgemini Paris, start-up), he can build bridges between the two mindsets. He enjoys designing global and innovative solutions to complex problems, turning them into working and pragmatic systems using cutting-edge technologies, and contributing to meaningful and pioneering projects.



Sophie Ashcroft (UK)



Human Document Investigator

Coaches: Karolos PotamianosBenjamin Krikler


Aayush Chadha (IN)
Aayush is a third year student of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Manchester. Originally hailing from India, Aayush’s fascination for computers began with the use of chess engines. Since then, the fascination has expanded to natural language processing and data wrangling. His time at university is divided between working at a startup as a developer, assisting with research into Parkinson’s Disease at the University of Manchester and travelling to hackathons on the weekend.



Andrea Cupertino (IT)
Andrea studied Nanotechnologies for ICTs in a joint master of science among EPFL, INP Grenoble and Politecnico di Torino, before joining Stanford University for his master’s thesis on organic and printed electronics. He is passionate about how science and technology can help solving humanitarian challenges, for which reason he put effort into many volunteering activities with Ingegneria Senza Frontiere Italy.



Antonio Gilardi (IT)
I’m Antonio, a Ph.D. student at the University of Naples Federico II based at CERN, working on the Wakefield studies on CLEAR (a linear accelerator at CERN). I’m graduated in the same university with a thesis on the parasitic resonances. I don’t feel comfortable to say “I’m an expert” but I have a quite good competence on beam dynamic, 3D simulations, and some good electronic skill!



Bashir Khoshnevis (IR)
Bashir was born in Tehran, studied Computer Science at ShahidBeheshti University. He worked as researcher, developer and system analyst at many companies. Since mobile devices have always been one of his interests, he made a community for iPhone developers and users right after unlocking the first iPhone in Iran which is now the biggest in the country. A few years ago Bashir co-funded a company to offer advanced repair services for laptops and cell phones also training coerces in hardware repair and electronic.



Benjamin Krikler (UK)
Ben is a particle physicist from the University of Bristol, searching for Dark Matter both on the CMS experiment at CERN and on the LZ experiment at SURF in South Dakota. He finished his PhD at Imperial College London on the COMET experiment, looking for muon-to-electron conversion in Japan. Whilst Ben’s mission in life has always been to understand the universe as best as possible, he also wants to put the data-analysis and problem-solving skills of his research to use on more tangible, real-world problems. In his spare time, Ben enjoys learning languages, traveling, and, after too long, has rediscovered how good it is to read science fiction.



Bibek Pandeys (NP)
I am Bibek Pandey from Togglecorp Solutions, Kathmandu, Nepal. And I’ve been working here for around a year. I mostly work in Natural Language Processing and occasionally write web apps in Django. I am particularly interested in NLP/Machine Learning, algorithms, mathematics and generative arts. I got a Bachelor of Computer Engineering Degree from Institute of Puchowk Campus, Tribhuwan University, in 2016.



Ewan Oglethorpe (US)
Ewan is a Data Scientist based in the US who is passionate about applying modern Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing techniques to the humanitarian context. He is the co-founder of DEEP, a collaborative platform for collecting and analyzing secondary data. Through the data collected in DEEP and other avenues, he is excited to develop algorithms and systems to automatically extract data from humanitarian secondary information.



Lennart Heim (DE)
Lennart is currently pursuing his master’s degree in Electrical Engineering with the specialisation Computer Engineering at RWTH Aachen in Germany. His studies are focussed on embedded systems, electronic design automation and wireless networks.
During his studies he works in two research groups – one in the field of human chemosensory perception, where he helps designing, building and running hardware setups for olfactory stimuli, often during fMRI experiments. The other one focuses on networked systems, where he’s doing research in the field of mm-wave wireless networks. In his freetime, Lennart reads and learns about topics to enable a positive future for humankind, like environmental sustainability, the impact of technologies on society, and neuroscience. For more information you can visit his personal website:



Natalia Gutanu (RO)
Natalia is a 2nd year Human-Computer Interaction student at the University of Manchester. She sees technology as a means for enhancing human life, so she often engages herself in projects that describe her view. Currently, she’s part of a startup where she develops a social platform that tries to minimize the risks of hiking in her native country of Romania. She has an immense passion for learning and extending her knowledge, whether that comes from coding, reading, travelling, watching movies, listening to music, writing a novel or dancing salsa.



Navid Rekabsaz (IR)
Navid Rekabsaz is a post-doctoral researcher at the Natural Language Understanding lab of the Idiap Research Institute (EPFL affiliated). Before then, he perseued a PhD and master program in computer science at the TU Vienna. He explores the pioneering data-driven methods for natural language processing, and information retrieval, specially the ones based on deep/representation learning. He is curious about deeply understanding the opportunities that such methods bring to tackling real-world problems as well as their implications on society.



Roy Allela (KE)
Roy Allela is a Technical Evangelist for Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things at Intel. He is also an Intel Innovator and he has a strong passion for the application of nascent technologies to solving everyday problems. He is a Royal Academy of Engineering 2018 LIF Fellow and he emerged the Global Winner of the 2017 Edition of American Society of Mechanical Engineers ISHOW competition. He has a background in Microprocessor Technology and Instrumentation from The University of Nairobi.



Wilhelmina Welsch (DE)

Team: Safe Soil

Environmental Sanitation Tricorder

Coaches: Saco HeijboerKarolos PotamianosOliver Paul


Diego Cammarano (IT)
Diego is a computer scientist currently working at EMA in London, supporting the development, planning and testing activities related to the new EU Clinical trials and EV Vet portals. During his master’s degree in Computer Science he worked at INGV in Rome, developing satellite data processing algorithms used for monitoring the main Italian volcanic areas. He is mainly interested to the applications of computer science in different research fields and sectors as healthcare, earth observation, artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, considering their innovative solutions very important and strategic in everyone’s life in the next years. He loves to travel, sharing ideas and experiences, cycling, TED/TEDx talks, music and photography.



John Brogan (US)
John has worked in international development and humanitarian relief projects for 20 years with a focus on water sanitation, hygiene, disaster risk reduction,  nutrition, and child protection in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Volunteering experiences at various points in his career have been tremendous portals for insight and fulfillment, especially with the Peace Corps in rural Mauritania and with the Isha Foundation in southern India. 
At Terre des hommes (Tdh), John currently leads initiatives on water, environment, livelihood and disaster risk management. With colleagues in the Swiss Water and Sanitation Consortium, they recently published the Blue Schools Toolkit designed to help children learn about Sustainable Development Goal #6, including sustainable land and water management techniques.



Kai Nino Streicher (DE)
Kai’s natural curiosity and the motivation to contribute to a more sustainable way of treating our planet drove him to pursue a PhD in energy efficiency at the University of Geneva. Equipped with technical knowledge from his engineering studies and the broad perspective of an interdisciplinary master in science for sustainable development, he is working on analysing the technical, economic and environmental potential of energy savings for buildings. His works include modelling of the energy demand based on big data analysis using R. The world of digital art (ranging from illustrations to photo and video editing), self-made music as well as the surrounding lakes and mountains counterbalances his day to day work as researcher and lecturer.



Kelly K Baker (US)
Dr. Baker is an Assistant Professor in Occupational and Environmental Health, and Epidemiology at the University of Iowa’s College of Public Health, and is a faculty member of the Sustainable Water Development Program in the College of Engineering. She received her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Maryland Baltimore, and then training in global health epidemiology at the Center for Vaccine Development. Her research explores how unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) conditions and domestic animal disease vectors affect maternal and child health outcomes in low and middle income countries across Asia and Africa, and in Haiti.
She uses integrated exposure assessment and epidemiology studies to identify disease transmission patterns, and designs and evaluates the impact of interventions for preventing enteric infections. She teaches a graduate Global Water and Health course and a Global Public Health undergraduate course. She serves on the Board of Global Health for the National Academy of Medicine Engineering and Science, and is an advisor to the World Bank, World Health Organisation, and UNICEF on global health policy and practice. Personal hobbies include rock climbing and mountaineering, cooking, and gardening.



Kitty C Liao (TW)
Kitty is an entrepreneur, engineer and innovator. She is also a hackathon enthusiast who has a passion to transform ideas into physical prototypes. This is her 5th year with THEPort! Kitty founded Ideabatic to solve the crucial last-mile vaccine cold-chain issues inspired by a challenge she participated at the first ThePort hacakthon. She is an Enterprise fellow at the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK) and a Hacker-In-Residence fellow at Imperial College Advanced Hackspace. She has over 10 years of experience in low temperature and multi-disciplinary systems, design for low-resource settings and superconducting cavity diagnostics for CERN accelerators. Kitty enjoys traveling, designing and making her own clothes, cooking, skiing and swimming.



Oliver Paul (GB)
Oliver is a mechanical engineer currently working in the Future of Energy team at the World Economic Forum in Geneva. Oliver has experience across the tech startup scene, offshore oil and gas exploration and in the disaster response NGO sector, having worked within a number of disaster zones between Peru and the Philippines. A lover of the mountains; Oliver is also a passionate paraglider pilot, kite-surfer, skier and alpinist.



Saco Heijboer (NL)
Coming in from an engineering background, Saco has become an experienced manager in product development. Fields of expertise are railroad material, production equipment, agricultural machines and measurement devices. His approach is analytical and at the same time resourceful and pragmatic. He has a passion for making stuff and loves art (especially music), science and innovative technology. When traveling he prefers remote areas like the desert, the ocean or Antarctica.



Sara Zahedinezhad (IR)
Sara is a Civil and Environmental engineer, who is currently persueing her master’s degree in Water, Environmental and Coastal Engineering and working at the Leibniz University of Hannover; she also has a background in music, arts and literature. Growing up in Tehran, an overpopulated city with a soaring crisis of extreme pollution made her aware and vigilant of the impact of anthropogenic activities. So realising her lifelong dream, she has launched a mission of finding innovative approaches to mitigate environmental problems.



Surbhi Mundra (IN)
Surbhi is an electronics engineer hailing from India and currently working at CERN as a graduate fellow. She has previously worked in the fields of neuro-electronics, medical electronics and particle detectors. She was part of social group in her university and is a strong supporter of avoiding plastic use. She loves gardening and experimenting with reuse of plastic container for her plants. She has lived in India, Germany, Japan, and Switzerland and loves working with multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams. She believes that when a people with different backgrounds come together, simple and most innovative solutions originate.



Viviane Praz (CH)
Viviane has been trained as a biologist, but then took the U-turn towards bioinformatics some fifteen years ago. She currently works at the University of Lausanne, doing fundamental research on the polymerases, and at the Experimental Pathology Service at the CHUV doing more applied bioinformatics in Cancer epigenetics. Viviane has a quite serious knowledge in Genomics, Epigenetics, and Transcriptomics. She also participated in the setup of analysis protocols for challenging High Throughput Sequencing data, like repeated genomic regions or short genes.

Partners & friends 2018

Our members, partners, sponsors and friends are from international and local non-governmental organisations and companies in and around Geneva, Switzerland.

Our team 2018

Without the enthusiastic voluntary work of our Organizing Team, Advisory Board and Executive Committee we could not work professionally – a big Thank You and it is fantastic to work with you.

Executive committee 2018

  • Ines

    Ines Knäpper

    Co-president &
    Founding Member


    Project Manager with strong background in Intercultural Management, Sales and Customer Service.

  • Karolos

    Karolos Potamianos

    Co-president &
    Founding Member

    Berkeley Lab

    Physicist and engineer working on silicon detectors, currently on the data acquisition for the ATLAS Pixel Detector.

  • Christina

    Christina Andreou

    THE Port

    Junior Project Manager

  • Agnes

    Agnes Jakab

    Humanitarian Advisor
    THE Port

    International HR & recruitment professional. Communication and volunteering enthusiast.

  • Daniel

    Daniel Dobos

    Treasurer &
    Founding Member

    THE Port

    Physicist working on Silicon & Diamond detectors development, integration and operation.

Organizing team 2018

  • Bertrand

    Bertrand Michels

    THE Port

    Business Developer

  • Bilge

    Bilge Demirköz


    Associate Professor at METU working on the AMS-02 experiment.

  • Branislav

    Branislav Ristic


    Doctoral student working on silicon sensor technologies for the ATLAS experiment.

  • Bruno

    Bruno Silva De Sousa


    IT engineer, service manager at CERN.

  • Jens

    Jens Dopke

    Founding Member

    Physicist working on silicon detector construction, calibration and operation, big fan of electronics.

  • Joao

    Joao Pequenao


    Chief Troublemaker at CERN Media Lab.

  • Josefina

    Josefina Espinosa


    Sustainability Consultant and Founding Member of GreenBuzz Geneva. Bridging sustainability, business and education in innovative and collaborative initiatives.

  • Juliet

    Juliet Primo


    Project consultant, communication and outreach.

  • Karola

    Karola Dette

    Founding Member

    Doctoral student working on silicon sensor upgrade developments for the ATLAS experiment.

  • Leonardo

    Leonardo Milano


    Senior Data Scientist at the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre – IDMC.

  • Luisa

    Luisa Meneghetti


    Community manager and responsible for THE Port newsletter.

  • Michael

    Michael Kagan

    Founding Member

    Expert in large-scale data analysis, pattern recognition, and ATLAS pixel detector quality assurance.

  • Michael

    Michael Leyton

    Founding Member

  • Mohammad

    Mohammad Moosajee

    Texas Tech University

    Exploring the Spooky world of Quantum Mechanics and Particle Entanglement with a quest to design low end open source Quantum Computer.

  • Naomi

    Naomi Kodama Fukumuro


    A scientist working on plants and small animals for climate change issues.

  • Patricia

    Patricia Montalvo


    I work as administrative manager. I love the idea of improving the life of those less favoured by using technology.

  • Pierre

    Pierre Freyermuth


    Authentic Proton-breeder, Electronic technician and Java developer.

  • Ruben

    Ruben Fernandez Morcillo

    Founding Member

    Mechanical technician with knowledge in rapid prototyping machinery. Currently working as safety officer.

  • Silvestro

    Sylvestro di Luise


    Physicist working on material characterisations for future accelerator developments.

  • Valerio

    Valerio Rosseti

    École Athéna

    Particle physicist ex-CERN, expert in searches for Dark Matter. Now teacher in high-school and volunteer teacher for migrant women.

Knowledge Transfer

The Knowledge Transfer Group has the mission to optimize the impact of CERN’s science, technology and know-how on society. The Knowledge Transfer Group supports THE Port hackathon through providing informal advice on matters such as intellectual property, technology transfer and the use of CERN technologies.
Participants in THE Port hackathon are encouraged to look into possible uses of CERN technology in their projects and can make use this technology during the hackathon. After the hackathon, if any participants or partners wish to pursue further exploitation of CERN Technologies, they can contact the KT Group.
Learn more about the CERN Knowledge Transfer Group:

Entrepreneurship Coach 2018

Felix Stähli

Felix Stähli (CH)
Passionate about social entrepreneurship and leveraging the potential of Geneva-based international sectors for social innovation, Felix a co-founder of Impact Hub Geneva and Lausanne. He leads operations, Geneva-based innovation projects and public relations. Alongside the Hub, Felix is co-president of the Geneva Global Goals Innovation Day (G3iD) and supports Just Innovate, as well as the THE Port Humanitarian Hackathons as an advisory board member. Kitesurfing and cross-country skiing are among the hobbies he loves most.

Impact Hub Geneva is a space for entrepreneurs located next to Geneva’s main station. Our aim is to inspire, connect and enable people and organization to take collaborative action for a better world. By joining our community of innovators you get access to coworking space, meeting & event rooms, various startup services, as well as a variety of member-only activities, besides the public events.
We are part of the global Impact Hub network and thus connect you to over 100 other Impact Hubs spaces and entrepreneurship communities worldwide. This November we will open Impact Hub Lausanne.
Impact Hub Geneva

Advisory board 2018

Barbara Warmbein   •   DESY   •   Linear Collider communication and LHC communication for Germany

Ben Segal   •   Honorary CERN-IT staff member   •   Citizen Web Science projects, seminars and hackfests within and outside CERN

David Galbraith   •   Tech entrepreneur, former architect, now designer of digital things – including RSS, Yelp, ‘pinning’

Felix Stähli   •   Impact Hub Geneva   •   Internal Organization, External Space Rental and Partnerships

Francois Grey   •   Université de Genève and Citizen Cyberscience Centre   •   Associate Professor at the University of Geneva

Neal Hartman   •   Berkeley Lab   •   Director and President at CinéGlobe Film Festival

Robin M. Coupland   •   former ICRC   •   Field Surgeon and Medical Adviser

Sascha Schmeling   •   CERN   •   Head of Teacher Programmes and Education Research

Sara Sekkenes   •   United Nations Development Programme   •   Adviser, Conflict Prevention and Recovery