Willy Zwaenepoel

Award Recipient
Share this on:

Willy Zwaenepoel received the BS/MS from Ghent University in 1979, and the MS and PhD from Stanford University, in 1980 and 1984, respectively. He is currently dean of engineering at the University of Sydney. Previously, he has been on the faculty at Rice University and head of the school of computer and communication sciences at EPFL.

He has made fundamental contributions to experimental computer science, including groundbreaking work on microkernels, group communication, fault tolerance, distributed shared memory, Internet servers, I/O virtualization, graph computation and storage systems. In each area he is credited with breakthrough results.

He was elected IEEE Fellow in 1998, ACM Fellow in 2000 and ATSE Fellow in 2021. He received numerous awards for his teaching and research, including the 2007 Tsutomu Kanai Award, the 2019 Eurosys Lifetime Achievement Award, 2023 IEEE Outstanding Technical Achievement in Distributed Processing Award, and nine best paper awards at conferences including DSN, Eurosys, OSDI, Sigcomm and OSDI. He also received the 2001 Rice University Graduate Student Association Teaching Award.

He has been successful in translating his research to industrial practice. His TreadMarks distributed shared memory system was licensed by Intel and became the basis for Intel’s cluster OpenMP Product. He has been involved with a number of startups including iMimic (acquired by Ironport/Cisco), Bugbuster (acquired by AppDynamics/Cisco), Nutanix (Nasdaq:NTNX) and Grainite (acquired by MongoDB).


2024 Harry H. Goode Memorial Award
“For seminal and sustained contributions to operating systems and distributed systems.”
Learn more about the Harry H. Goode Memorial Award


2007 Tsutomu Kanai Award
“For contributions to cluster-based distributed computing for scientific and Web applications.”
Learn more about the Tsutomu Kanai Award