Ontolog Forum

This page comprises core information about the IAOA Executive Council Election 2013, arranged according to the election procedure.

Formal Preliminaries

Election Committee

Nomination Phase

Candidate Names in Discussion

List of Nominations

[ordered by time of nomination]

  • 2013.09.05 - collective nomination of incumbent members (willing to continue their IAOA EC commitment)

Campaigning Phase

List of Candidates

[as of the closing of nominations with the end of Sep 15, 2013; ordered alphabetically by surnames]

Position Statements

[ordered alphabetically by surnames] MarionHaemmerli [ Sep 13 ]

I am a third-year PhD student with background in philosophy and mathematics. In my PhD I work on mereo-topology and qualitative theories of various kinds of spatial location. During my studies at the University of Geneva, I was trained in philosophical ontology, yet in recent years I have had the chance to get to know the broader field of applied ontology through personal research and various conferences.

As a member of the Executive Council of the IAOA, I would try to bring in my perspective on two points in particular: Education and Interdisciplinarity (meaning also the link between philosophy and the applied sciences). On the former, I would like to bring in new ideas on how to make more students acquainted with applied ontology already at an early stage of their career. On the latter, I think that the possibility of applying ontology to various domains has not been sufficiently appreciated or realised so far by many philosophers, even though I am convinced that a more intensive collaboration could be fruitful. I would therefore like to work on the question of how the link between theory and application could be further strengthened.

All in all, I would be happy to contribute more importantly to the IAOA by participating in its Executive Council.

JannaHastings [ Sep 15 ]


I was born and raised in South Africa before moving to the UK in 2006. Following a career in IT, armed with an academic background in Computer Science and dalliances into Philosophy, I was first introduced into the thriving field of formal ontology in 2008—2009 through community discussions around improvements to the ChEBI chemical ontology, for which project I was then and am still now employed. What fascinates me about ontology is the way it brings together advanced AI technology and deep philosophical considerations to apply to pressing practical challenges in research and cutting-edge information systems. In the years since first discovering the field I have made both practical and theoretical contributions to several ontology projects, in diverse domains including chemistry and mental functioning. Since 2010 I have had the enormous pleasure of organising the Cambridge OntoPub discussion group, which meets sort-of-monthly at locations around Cambridge, UK, to combine the discussion of ontological questions with the consumption of English beer.


Should I be elected to the EC, I would commit myself inter alia to the outreach and community-building aspects of the work of the Association through (1) increasing membership and participation in the Association from the bio-ontology community; (2) promoting interdisciplinary collaboration through investigating routes towards the introduction of a supported programme for student and partnership-building knowledge exchanges;increasing the availability of social and networking opportunities in the programme offered at IAOA-supported events; and in support of the previous points, (4) I would be prepared to work with the other members of the EC to explore additional funding streams for the Association should that be deemed necessary, including through exploring the possibility of offering services to Industry.

(1) I am an active member of both the formal ontology and the bio-ontology communities. I believe that the bio-ontology community, which is responsible for the development of hugely successful projects such as the Gene Ontology, has already benefited substantially from interactions with the formal ontologies community, both through direct collaboration and indirect knowledge transfer. Nevertheless, I believe the bio-ontology community is not as aware of the important work of the Association as it could be. Should I be elected I would campaign for increased membership and participation in the Association amongst my peers in this closely related field.

(2) In my career, I have benefited enormously from collaborations with researchers from diverse geographic locations and disciplinary backgrounds. I have however been lucky that my participation in such collaborations has been supported by my employer, as developing such a collaboration often bears costs, from attendance at conferences to travel and accommodation for visitations at partner institutes. The Association has in the past supported knowledge exchange and the inception of new collaborations through organizing summer schools and through student support for conference attendance. However, I would like to see a dedicated programme of support for worthy collaborative exchange visits to be introduced, providing support both in terms of funding (with an emphasis on students who would otherwise not have the facilities to visit external research labs) and in terms of expanded community introductions.

Following on from point (2), I see one avenue to expand community knowledge exchange and open doors for possible collaborations through expanding the range of social and networking activities and opportunities in IAOA-supported events. Traditional conference dinners can be overwhelming for newcomers to a community, and what is often more helpful to facilitate introductions are smaller topic-related social events with an emphasis on fun, ice-breaking activities. Should I be elected I would try to work with the organisers of events in order to increase the availability of such activities.

(4) Finally, should there emerge a need in support of any of the previous points, should I be elected I would be happy to explore additional funding sources for specific social and knowledge exchange programmes, including the usual academic avenues (e.g. grants for specific events) but also through contact with Industry, bearing in mind that in recent years the pharmaceutical industry among many others is starting to take ontology more and more seriously.

In any case, if I were to be elected I would be committed to furthering the work of the Association in any way needed and within my capability.

OliverKutz [ Sep 15 ]

I got involved in the field of formal ontology via studying mathematical and philosophical logic, and later Description Logics. In my PhD work in Liverpool, I co-designed the E-connections technique used today in modular ontology design. As a postdoc in Manchester, I co-developed the logic SROIQ, now standardised by the W3C as the logical foundation for the Web Ontology Language OWL 2. My engagement with applied ontology strengthened through collaborations with the LOA in Trento, a few years back, when we worked on producing a machine processable version of the DOLCE ontology and later by giving a formal proof of DOLCE's consistency. I now serve as co-chair (together with Till Mossakowski and Michael Gruninger) of a standardisation effort to design the Distributed Ontology Language (DOL), a meta-language subsuming most ontology languages in use today and adding meta-constructs to allow linking and modular combination of existing (heterogeneous) ontologies.

My work within ontology research is focused on problems of modularity and structuring, and I have co-chaired several editions of the International Workshops on Modular Ontologies (WoMO) as well as co-edited a special issue of Applied Ontology on the subject. I am also specifically interested in interdisciplinary applications of formal ontology, including in biomedicine and chemistry, natural language, design and architecture, and computational creativity (for instance by organising the workshop series 'SHAPES - The Shape of Things'). I support a pluralistic position in formal ontology, according to which different applications and reasoning scenarios require different ontological foundations, formal languages and tools. I believe that the development of DOL, in this respect, will bring significant advances in terms of interoperability, and I hope that the forthcoming FOIS ontology competition will be an opportunity to provide proof for this.

Concerning my involvement within IAOA, I have been one of the founding members of IAOA in 2009, and have been co-chairing the infrastructure committee since 2010 (this includes e.g. website design and maintenance, setting up blogs, managing outreach through social networking websites, etc). I have promoted IAOA and its aims in various communities engaged in ontology research in a broad sense, and initiated the involvement of several academic events as IAOA supported events. I currently help organising the FOIS 2014 conference as PC chair.

One of my main concerns as an IAOA EC member (elected in 2012) has been to foster and strengthen the outreach to different communities that are involved in ontology research and its applications, specifically those transcending traditional disciplinary boundaries.

For more background about my research and activities, please visit my homepage at:

FrankLoebe [ Sep 15 ]

I am a member of the Executive Council (EC) since January 1, 2013, being very grateful for the opportunity to support IAOA in this way. In particular, I am serving as Secretary of our Association since the same date. While trying to follow the big footprints of my predecessors in this role, my assessment has only intensified that they invested serious amounts of time and effort in these regards.

By definition, the Secretary is involved in various administrative and communicative tasks, some parts of which may not be easily visible. Besides my learning and adoption of the corresponding established procedures, one item of some visibility is given by first steps to strengthen the distribution of information over social media and social networks, i.e., using IAOA's blog and the Facebook group in addition to established means of communication. I certainly see possibilities for enhancements, in this and other administrative regards, despite good achievements in the past. Seeking and fostering such improvements is the major new goal that I would add to my position as an EC candidate in 2012.

Without repeating the details of the 2012 statement (please cf. [1] on (1)-(4)) let me update the list of items that I deem open and important (no ranking intended):

  • further advancement of community interchange,
  • visibility of ontology success stories,
  • research methodologies and evaluation in applied ontology,
  • stabilization of educational efforts,
  • further improvements within IAOA administration and communication.

Outside the context of IAOA, I'm studying and working in applied ontology since 2000, mainly on (top-level) ontological analysis and the representation and engineering of ontologies. There is further a stronger tie to bio-ontology, e.g. I have been involved in organizing workshops of the series "Ontologies in Biomedicine and Life Sciences" (OBML) several times.

As Secretary, but likewise as a candidate, I will be grateful if you participate in this EC election by casting your vote. Mainly as a candidate, I hope you find the ideas above worth supporting.


FabianNeuhaus [ Sep 12 ]

Not surprisingly, my position has not really changed much since you elected me to the EC last year. In my opinion, one of the long term goals of the IAOA should be to foster applied ontology from an emerging field to a mature engineering discipline. In my my position statement from last year [1], I proposed that the IAOA should address three critical areas:

  • Standards;
  • Education;
  • Evaluation of ontologies.

Since last year my main 'campaign promise' was to encourage the IAOA to be active in these areas, I'd like to use this opportunity to review the IAOA activities (and my contributions) in these three areas since my term on the EC started in January.

Standards. IAOA plays two important roles in this area. The dissemination of information about standards (e.g., with the "Ontology and Standards" miniseries on Ontolog) and via the participation of its members in standardization efforts. One example for that is the revision of the ISO Common Logic standard, which is on its way under the chairmanship of Michael Gruninger. I contributed to this effort by co-authoring (together with Tara Athan) a proposal for a new semantics of Common Logic, which addresses many shortcomings of the current version of the standard.

Education. The balance in this area is a somewhat mixed bag. Some of the projects (e.g., the lexicon and the textbook) have not made as much progress as expected. This may partially be the result of lack of leadership. Since Antony Galton and I resigned as chairs of the Education Committee earlier this year, nobody has stepped forward to take the lead. (I have been serving as acting chair.) -- The good news is that the summer school "Ontologies and models for integrated assessments of multiple-scale processes" in June was a great success. And we are looking forward to a IAOA Summer School next year in Victoria, Brazil.

Evaluation of ontologies. This is probably the area in which there was the most activity of the IAOA during the last 6 months. IAOA co-organized the "Ontology Summit 2013: Ontology Evaluation Across the Ontology Lifecycle", which involved events spanning from January to May, including weekly teleconferences, hackathons, ontology clinics, and a face-to-face meeting in Gaithersburg, Maryland. I served as one of the lead editors of the Ontology Summit 2013 Communique [2], which captured the community consensus that emerged during these events. It was endorsed by 162 members of the community, and has been accepted for publication by "Applied Ontology".

All in all, I think that the IAOA is on a very good path. Of course, there is room for improvement. I hope that we will be able to find new leadership for the Education Committee soon. More generally, I think that we need to work on strengthening the community and encourage more active participation and interaction between the IAOA members.

If you give me the opportunity, I'll continue to work with the other EC members to promote activities in these areas.



About me: After I received my PhD in philosophy in 2002, I worked as post-doc at the Institute for Formal Ontology and Medical Information Science (IFOMIS) and the National Center for Biomedical Ontology (NCBO). Since 2007 I am a guest researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). I have worked on a broad range of ontology-related subjects; including the semantics of Common Logic, Basic Formal Ontology, anatomy ontology, and semantic mediation. I have been a co-organizer of the Ontology Summit since 2009, I have been the co-chair of the IAOA Education Committee between 2010 and 2013, and I have been member of the IAOA Executive Council since 2013. LeoObrst [ Sep 15 ]

As an elected member of the Executive Council of IAOA for the past 3 years (and an original member of the EC since 2009), I have been the EC liaison to the Education Committee, helping to establish the Summer Institute in Applied Ontology in 2011 and the Summer School in Ontological Analysis in 2012. I also assisted on the Election Committee in 2012, maintaining the EC 2012 Election site.

One issue that the IAOA should address immediately, in my opinion, is the widening gap between the formal applied ontology community and the Semantic Web community. Often the two communities seem to think they have nothing in common, whereas I believe they share many common goals, common technologies, and a common interest in well-engineered applied ontologies. Many of us in IAOA promote and use Semantic Web technologies and reasoning methods; similarly, many in the Semantic Web community advocate more rigorous and principled ontologies based on ontological analysis. Therefore, I would like to bridge the gap between our two communities before it gets wider, and so propose a new Semantic Web Applied Ontology special interest group (SIG) to the IAOA EC and membership, that will actively seek rapprochement with our colleagues in the Semantic Web (and Linked Data) community. I hope you will join me in this effort.

My background [1] is in the formal semantics of natural language, having obtained my PhD at the University of Texas at Austin in theoretical linguistics. For 30 years I have worked as a computational linguist and artificial intelligence researcher, and since the mid-1990s, as an ontologist, first at Boeing and now at MITRE. Here are some short points on my career:

  • Created one of the first commercial ontology departments at, a business-to-business electronic commerce firm (1999)
  • Promoted the adoption of ontologies and semantic technologies throughout the US federal government (since 1997)
  • Co-convened (with Peter Yim and Kurt Conrad) the Ontolog Forum, an open community of practice focused on ontological engineering (2002)
  • Co-founder and co-organizer of the Ontology Summits (2006-present) [2]
  • Co-organizing currently the 2013 Ontolog mini-series on Ontology, Rules, and Logic Programming for Reasoning
  • Co-founded and co-organized the original Ontologies for the Intelligence Community, now Semantic Technologies for Intelligence, Defense, and Security (STIDS) [3]

My own research and development efforts have focused on promoting the use of formal ontological and semantic analysis, and combining the use of ontologies with automated reasoners based on logic programming and knowledge compilation techniques, and work that bridges the formal semantics of natural language to formal ontology.

I've been privileged to serve on the IAOA EC, and look forward to continuing to support you and the greater ontological community.


[2] Ontology Summit:

[3] STIDS: FrancescaQuattri [ Sep 13 ]

Currently PhD fellow at the CBS Dept, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Supervisor: Prof. Huang Chu-Ren. Master in Konferenzdolmetschen in GE, diplom from IT. Current research topic on space and idiomatic language, with some open space for interdisciplinary approaches, incl. ontology. ZenaWood [ Sep 15 ]

I am a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Exeter. My PhD focused on collectives and how they could be identified within a spatiotemporal dataset. A large part of the thesis was grounded in Applied Ontology identifying what is meant by the term ‘collective’ and the different types of collective may exist. I have been a member of the IAOA since 2010 and have published within the Journal of Applied Ontology and at FOIS.

If I were to be elected on to the Executive Council, I would focus on two main areas: accessibility and education; two areas that are very closely linked. Although relatively new the field of Applied Ontology is exciting and interdisciplinary. I think the IAOA should continue to build on this and try to ensure that the association, and the discipline, is as accessible as possible. This could involve many different methods but I think ways in which newer members to the field and the association, especially students and possible interdisciplinary collaborations, should be carefully considered. By encouraging and supporting new members and collaborations the community can be strengthened and allow the field to mature. An important way to support new collaborations and members to help build a stronger community is through education. Summer schools and workshops are valuable resources to those that are new to the field and should continue to be developed and promoted.

It is likely that new funding sources would have to be identified and obtained in order to build upon the work that is already being done. Therefore, as a member of the IAOA EC I would try to establish some of these connections.

Ballot Phase & Election Results


  • Opening: Mon, Sep 23, 2013 00:00 CEST
  • Closing: Fri, Oct 04, 2013 23:59 CEST (extension after Mon, Sep 30, 2013 23:59 CEST)
  • Quorum: 140 members at ballot opening -> quorum = 71 votes

Election Results

Election results were distributed via the IAOA member mailing list on Mon, Oct 07, 2013, please cf. the corresponing message.

The newly elected Executive Council:

(ranking by the number of votes received, highest numbers first)

The Association's Offices for 2014 will be elected by the Executive Council in agreement with the new members prior to the beginning of the new Executive Council's term on Jan 01, 2014.