[Profile picture of Ruben Verborgh]

Ruben Verborgh


Short biography

Ruben Verborgh is a Professor of Decentralized Web Technology at IDLab of Ghent Universityimec and a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Martin School within the University of Oxford. He is the Head of Data Interoperability at Inrupt. His professional mission is to support all participants within the Solid ecosystem on their journey to restore data-driven innovation and to put people back in control of their data. He has co-authored two books on Linked Data, and contributed to more than 300 publications on Web technology for international conferences and journals.

Academic positions

Professor of Decentralized Web Technology Ghent Universityimec –now
I’m an associate professor, heading the KNoWS group within IDLab. As the technical lead of the SolidLab project, I conduct research into the re-decentralization of the Web from an interdisciplinary perspective, with a focus on interoperability.
Oxford Martin Visiting Fellow University of Oxford –now
As part of the 3-year program on Ethical Web and Data Infrastructure in the Age of AI, we aim to reform the concentration of power on the Web by developing and deploying new forms of technical and legal infrastructure.

Industry positions

Head of Data Interoperability Inrupt –now
I bring maintain a vision on sustainable interoperability for Inrupt and the Solid ecosystem at large. Inrupt supports industrial and governmental parties across the globe on the path to make data work better for all of us.
Solid Ecosystem Architect Inrupt
Advisory Board Member Digita –now
Digita facilitates the integration of Solid technology for Belgian and international start-ups and scale-ups.

Past academic positions

Research Affiliate Massachusetts Institute of Technology
I regularly visited the Decentralized Information Group to collaborate with Tim Berners-Lee on re-decentralizing the Web through Linked Data technologies.
We are building Solid to enable a new generation of Web applications that let you control your own data.
Postdoctoral Researcher Ghent Universityimec
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
Working with Tim Berners-Lee and Lalana Kagal at the Decentralized Information Group, I developed software related to Solid for decentralized Web applications.
Visiting Research Scholar Stanford University
Together with Michel Dumontier, I applied scalable Linked Data querying techniques to the domain of biomedical informatics.
Visiting Researcher Trinity College Dublin
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 Universityimec
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
Advisor: Rik Van de Walle.
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.


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.

Fellowships and personal grants

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

Selected awards

Best In-Use Paper Award International Semantic Web Conference 2021
for The ERA Knowledge Graph: Leveraging Semantic Web technologies for digital interoperability in the Railway domain.
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