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2022 GÉANT Community Award – Celebrating our community’s silent heroes

2022 GÉANT Community Award

This year’s GÉANT Community Award was presented to two winners in the category ‘impactful contributors to the GÉANT project or wider community activities over a sustained period of time’: Tryfon Chiotis from GÉANT and Paul Dekkers from SURF. The award ceremony, presented by Claudio Allocchio, Chair of the GÉANT Community Programme, took place on Tuesday 14 June, during TNC22’s opening plenary, in Trieste, Italy.

The recent changes to the voting process enabled the community to submit their nominations via an online form and subsequently select one candidate, at the click of a button on the new community website, from a published shortlist selected by the award committee. And the hundreds of votes received confirm not only the success of this new process, but also the eagerness and generosity of this enthusiastic community to celebrate its deserving fellow members.

Tryfon Chiotis, Head of the GÉANT Project Management Office

Tryfon Chiotis, Head of the GÉANT Project Management Office
Tryfon Chiotis, Head of the GÉANT Project Management Office

Here’s the beautiful testimonial chosen for Tryfon’s laudation:

“When Tryfon joined the GÉANT Project Management Office it changed the tone of the GÉANT Projects. Activity Leaders felt supported by someone who really understood their topics. NRENs knew they were dealing with someone who knows both sides of the equation.

He’s an assiduous, friendly, supportive Project Manager who is admired and appreciated by all those who know him. He has been the essence of the GN project for the last 10 years, and by extension the spirit of the GÉANT community. Tryfon’s integrity, hard work, and quiet humility mean he is a real silent community hero.”

Tryfon reacted, “I am privileged and excited to receive this award. For the last thirty years, from campus level at NTUA, to national level at GRNET and to international level at GÉANT, working with the GÉANT community is my passion. Together with more than 600 colleagues from 44 countries and driven by a strong sense of community, we deliver the infrastructures and services that enable research and education to excel. This award also goes to all the friends from the GÉANT PMO. Making our GÉANT project a success is teamwork. My heartfelt thanks to all of them.”

About Tryfon

Tryfon is the Head of the GÉANT Project Management Office (PMO) responsible for the day-to-day management and administration of the various iterations of the GÉANT project. Prior to joining GÉANT, he was the CTO for GRNET, the Greek National Research and Education Network, developing research networking and cloud infrastructure and services for the Greek community whilst already working with the GÉANT community. Tryfon has been a member of the NRENPC, the TERENA GA, and the Future Internet Forum, served as a delegate for Greece to ESA and to the e-IRG and also had a role in the EGI and the PRACE councils. Tryfon has a PhD in Quality of Service in High-Speed Networks from the National Technical University of Athens.

Paul Dekkers, Wireless Services Specialist, SURF

Paul Dekkers, Wireless Services Specialist, SURF
Paul Dekkers, Wireless Services Specialist, SURF

Here’s an extract from Paul’s laudation:

“Paul started at SURF two decades ago, with an internship assignment working on a brief on the use of WiFi technology to enable secure guest use of WiFi networks. That project led to eduroam: today students, researchers, and lecturers in over 30,000 locations in more than 100 countries can connect to the internet safely and easily!

Over time Paul has been dedicated and committed not only to the technical development of eduroam, but also to the service’s future developments, international governance, and standards. He is now the Service Owner for eduroam and Chairman of the Global eduroam Governance Committee.”

Paul commented, “I was so thrilled to be nominated for the GÉANT Community Award together with outstanding members of our community: such an honour to be part of this group! The voting procedure turned out to be a very nice experience, seeing people within and outside our community showing enthusiasm for the work we do. Winning the award is of course fantastic; I’m so happy that this career and the amazing people I work with in the eduroam community appeared on my path! I am grateful to SURF and the GÉANT community for what we are able to achieve working together.”

About Paul

Paul Dekkers is a wireless services specialist at SURF working on the innovation and operation of a variety of services, and his main area isinternational eduroam. Paul is a member of the eduroam Operational and Development Team and is currently the chair of the Global eduroam Governance Committee (GeGC) which coordinates eduroam globally. He is also eduroam Service Owner in the GÉANT Project. Paul is and involved in OpenRoaming. At SURF, Paul is also responsible for national services such as eduroam visitor access, geteduroam, and for the development of IoT related services such as LoRaWAN and iotroam and has worked on the development and support of govroam. Previously he worked on 3G and 4G networking as well as scalable, secure and cloud infrastructures.

Claudio Allocchio, Chair of the GÉANT Community Programme closed by adding,

“Our community is unique in many ways: there is no ‘you’ and ‘me’, there is no ‘supplier’ and ‘customer’, there is just ‘us’! Some among us are often in the spotlight, on stage, helping us to progress, achieve new goals, some others just stay behind the scenes, but provide a tremendous service to all of us, with dedicated commitment, knowledge, passion and the human touch that makes ‘us’ unique. And our Community Award is the way we recognise our heroes. This year the winners are two of our best hidden gems: Paul, our hero behind the eduroam services, and Tryfon, our hero behind the GÉANT project. Last but not least, the new way we now run the award process now also brings the community contribution even more to the centre stage. Well deserved, Paul and Tryfon!”

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