Alessandra Scicchitano (Project Development Officer)



Alessandra is a Project Development Officer at the Amsterdam office of the GÉANT Association - formerly the Trans-European Research and Education Networking Association, (TERENA). She joined TERENA in July 2014 to support task forces and contribute to the technical programme. She is responsible for the TCS certificate service and supports the Information Security Management SIG (Special Interest Group).

Alessandra received a Dr.Ing. degree in Computer Engineering and a PhD degree in Systems and Networking in 2004 and 2007 respectively from UniCal, Italy. From 2005-2007 she was a visiting researcher in the Department of Electronics at the Politecnico di Torino in a joint programme, working on a scheduling algorithm for IQ switches. This work continued until the end of her PhD studies. Her dissertation was entitled: 'Scheduling techniques in high-speed packet switches'.

From 2007-2009 Alessandra held a Post-Doc position at IBM Zurich Research Lab, working on the IEEE 802.1au standard and on algorithms for adaptive routing in HPC systems. One of the most important problems on large networks is loss of data, due to congestion when multiple sources send packets to multiple destinations or,, in particular, to the same destination. The type of network considered for the project was Ethernet. Alessandra created a new adaptive routing algorithm that, in combination with congestion control, generates new different paths for the traffic. This work resulted in a European patent.

In 2009 Alessandra decided to leave research in order to build experience in a more development-oriented environment and joined the Swiss technology conglomerate Oerlikon OC, working as a software architect in the solar division. Her main focus was the design and development of the server of KAI MT, a machine used to deposit thin films, with Multi-Client/Server Approach in a real-time environment.

In 2010 Alessandra joined the research and education networking community, working for SWITCH, the Swiss national research and education network. She was hired to design and build SWITCH's Identity Provider (IdP) Hosting, a service offered to members of the SWITCH Community. Based on AAI (Authentication and Authorisation Infrastructure) that leverages the Shibboleth solution, IdP Hosting allows organisations to outsource operations and maintenance of an IdP to SWITCH. The design of this service was based on the cloud concept. The customer uses the service provided having no idea where everything is based or how the underlying system works. Based on this model and in order to be able to have a service capable of good scalability, the installation of the Virtual Machines (two machines are required for an active/standby setup) and the configuration of the IdP is all done automatically using on scripts as soon as the request comes in.

In 2012 Alessandra moved within SWITCH from the AAI team to the petasolutions team and started working in the GEANT project as the task leader of eduPERT. She coordinated the different task activities, working with people from different backgrounds and different countries all over Europe. Moreover, outreach being one of the main responsibilities, she presented eduPERT all over the world and, thanks to her technical and research background, created international collaborations with researchers, engineers, leaders of other research communities and commercial operators.

In her spare time Alessandra enjoys reading, walking and listening to music.