[Profile picture of Ruben Verborgh]

Ruben Verborgh

Academic Resume

Short biography

Ruben Verborgh is a professor of Semantic Web technology at IDLab, Ghent Universityimec, and a research affiliate at the Decentralized Information Group of CSAIL at MIT. Additionally, he is a technology advocate at Inrupt for the Solid ecosystem of apps that let you keep your own data. He aims to build a more intelligent generation of clients for a decentralized Web at the intersection of Linked Data and hypermedia-driven Web APIs. Through the creation of Linked Data Fragments, he introduced a new paradigm for query execution at Web-scale. He has co-authored two books on Linked Data, and contributed to more than 250 publications for international conferences and journals on Web-related topics.

Academic positions

Professor of Semantic Web Technology Ghent Universityimec 2017–now
I’m an assistant professor with a focus on research, contributing to the (re-)decentralization of the Web using Semantic Web technologies.
I lead our Linked Data Fragments activities, and supervise several PhD students working on Semantic Web topics.
Research Affiliate Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2018–now
I am regularly visiting the Decentralized Information Group to collaborate with Tim Berners-Lee on re-decentralizing the Web through Linked Data technologies.
We are building the Solid platform to enable a new generation of Web applications that let you keep ownership of your own data.
Postdoctoral Researcher Ghent University 2014–2017
I performed research on client-side SPARQL query execution using lightweight Web APIs, and supervised the research activities of 10 PhD students working on Linked Data and Semantic Web technology.
Visiting Scientist Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2017
I worked with Tim Berners-Lee and Lalana Kagal at the Decentralized Information Group, where I developed software related to the Solid for decentralized Web applications.
Visiting Research Scholar Stanford University 2016
Together with Michel Dumontier, I applied scalable Linked Data querying techniques to the domain of biomedical informatics.
Visiting Researcher Trinity College Dublin 2013–2014
I visited Vincent Wade and Owen Conlan to develop a prototype of a hypermedia-driven personalized content delivery platform, which delivers a custom user experience based on Semantic Web service descriptions.
Doctoral Researcher Ghent University 2010–2014
My PhD research explored the current limits of Semantic Web services and APIs. This led me to qualitatively and quantitatively investigate a reasoning-driven API composition and execution approach based on semantic hypermedia technology.


PhD in Computer Science Engineering Ghent University 2010–2014
Advisors: Rik Van de Walle and Erik Mannens.
Dissertation: Serendipitous Web Applications through Semantic Hypermedia.
Master in Computer Science Engineering Ghent University 2008–2010
With highest honor.
Thesis: Application of Semantic Web Technologies for (Semi-)Automatic Metadata Generation for Multimedia Data.
Bachelor in Computer Science Ghent University 2005–2008
With great honor.

Teaching activities

Web Development Ghent University 2012–now
I am the lecturer of the Web Fundamentals module of this course aimed at under­graduate Computer Science students, for which I created a series of open lecture slides. In addition, I develop and teach exercises that introduce students to the Web and the Semantic Web through a standards-driven approach.
Advanced Multimedia Applications Ghent University 2010–2013
I coached groups of graduate Computer Science students in designing and implementing complex multimedia and hypermedia software.


Postdoctoral Fellowship Research Foundation Flanders 2015–2021
Full research grant for a 3-year fellowship, extended with another 3 years.
Doctoral Grant (Strategic Basic Research) Research Foundation Flanders 2011–2014
Full research grant for a 4-year PhD study.


Best In-Use Paper Award Extended Semantic Web Conference 2017
for smartAPI: Towards a More Intelligent Network of Web APIs.
Winner Innoversity Challenge Ghent University 2016
for educational innovation project Open Webslides.
Best Demo Award International Semantic Web Conference 2014
for Low-Cost Queryable Linked Data through Triple Pattern Fragments.
Best Demo Award International Semantic Web Conference 2013
for Git2PROV: Exposing Version Control System Content as W3C prov.
Best Demo Award International Semantic Web Conference 2012
for Everything is Connected: Linked Data for Multimedia Narration of Connections between Concepts.

PhD students



Selected invited talks

The delicate dance of decentralization and aggregation 2018
Keynote at the European Library Automation Group (ELAG) conference, Prague, Czech Republic.
One flew over the cuckoo’s nest 2018
Keynote at the EuropeanaTech conference, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Linked happily ever after 2016
Invited talk at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Geneva, Switzerland.
The future is federated 2016
Invited talk at the VIVO conference, Denver, Colorado, USA.
The digital cavemen of linked Lascaux 2015
Keynote at the Semantic Web in Libraries (SWIB) conference, Hamburg, Germany.
Hypermedia cannot be the engine 2014
APIstrat, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Why you’ll love the future Web 2012
TEDx, Ghent, Belgium.


Journal and magazine articles

Conference and workshop publications


Book chapters

Proceedings as editor

PhD dissertations