Welcome to the IOTA Foundation – January 2022

IF Team Jan 11, 2022

Alexander Sporn

Alexander joins the IOTA Foundation as a Senior Software Engineer (Golang) in the Protocol team. In this role, he will focus on the Hornet node implementation and on bringing further protocol upgrades to the networks. Alexander lives in Munich, Germany, and has a master’s degree in Computer Science. He has over 10 years’ experience in the automotive industry. In this field he has helped bring the connected vehicle experience to customers’ hands by working on native mobile apps, SDKs, infotainment systems and backends.

“I read about IOTA in 2017 and felt the potential the Tangle could have in the whole DLT space. I connected with some fellow community members and started working on projects around IOTA. When the opportunity presented itself to write a new community full node implementation in Golang, we joined forces and came up with Hornet, which has now become a core component of the IOTA network. After working on multiple protocol and network upgrades, I decided to jump ship and join the IOTA Foundation to fully focus on improving IOTA and the ecosystem around it. I hope my contribution will enable our great community to build solutions and integrate this technology into their projects and products.”

Christof Gerritsma

Christof joins the IOTA Foundation as a Software Engineer in the Market Adoption team. In this role, he will focus on the SUSEE  project. Christof is a technical generalist with an application and system programming background (C++ / C#) and lives near Hamburg, Germany. With a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering, he has worked in the professional software development industry (12 years IT-Security, six years Automotive, two years Audio) for more than 20 years. He can look back on a rich set of project experiences that range from design and implementation using TS, JS, Python, C# and C++ up to managing small projects. Christof joins the IOTA Foundation excited about implementing the endless use cases of the Tangle.

"After Bitcoin reached a price of 1000 USD for the first time in 2014, I was fascinated by media reports and thought about running my own ASIC-based mining PC to maybe earn some money and get involved in the tech. However, after calculating the electricity consumption, it was clear to me that this was no option. In 2017, a fellow engineer told me about the fast-evolving world of alt coins and especially about IOTAs ground-breaking approach. Ever since then, I've been hooked even though I never believed in trinary microcontrollers in mainstream use. Now that everything fits together (post-Chrysalis era), I'm super excited to be here and to help adopt the Tangle technology in daily life."

Nenad Gligoric

Nenad joins the IOTA Foundation as a Technical Analyst/ Project Lead in the Telco & Infrastructure Market Adoption team. During his career, he was engaged as an associate professor at the Faculty of information technology, Serbia; as tech lead/senior researcher in the DunavNET, and as a system engineer in Ericsson. He has significant experience in writing, leading, and developing R&D projects as a technical manager of H2020, successfully obtaining grants, and executing a number of European projects.

In IOTA, Nenad will act as a project lead for the oversight, design and lead the implementation of IOTA software solutions for various projects. He will contribute to (standardization) working groups to disseminate results and identify new opportunities through speeches, written communications, and other business development activities.

"I am delighted to be part of the IOTA open source project that tends to disrupt the traditional businesses and open new markets. This opportunity will help me to leave a legacy in the blockchain space, during the exciting journey that we are all going to experience together in the next decade."

Nikita Polianskii

Nikita joins the IOTA Foundation as a Research Scientist in the Research Department. In this role, he will focus on the consensus questions of the Coordicide project. Nikita lives in Munich, Germany, where he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Technical University of Munich before joining the IOTA Foundation. He obtained his PhD in Mathematics from the Lomonosov Moscow State University. During and after his studies, Nikita was focused on the theory of error-correcting codes and their applications to communications and storage. He has published many papers in strong peer-reviewed journals as well as conferences and brings years of academic experience to the IOTA Foundation.

"I love conducting research, driven by both academic interest and real-world applications with a high impact on society. IOTA’s technology provides many unique features, and I am excited to attack new fundamental problems facing the IOTA Foundation. I am looking forward to contributing my expertise to this amazing project."

Pietro Ferraro

Pietro joins the IOTA Foundation as a research scientist to develop solutions for second layer applications at IOTA. Together with his commitment to the Foundation, Pietro spends his time as a research associate at Imperial College London teaching and conducting research.

“My passion for math, control theory and engineering, combined with my interest in fairness and social equity has led me to focus my research on the broad domain of the sharing economy. By trying to solve problems in this area I discovered IOTA, and I became immediately fascinated by its mathematical elegance and the potential applications that the Tangle might provide to the Sharing Economy domain. I am very excited to join the Foundation as a research scientist and to have the opportunity to further explore the potential of the IOTA protocol.

Severin Skillman

Severin joins the IOTA Foundation as a Full Stack Engineer in the Market Adoption team. In this role, he will focus on global trade and supply chain projects with Zebra and EBSI. Severin lives in Zurich, Switzerland, and has recently returned from the UK where he was working with the UK Dementia Research Institute at Imperial College London. Over the last five years, he has played a core part in the development of healthcare and research platforms TIHM and Minder at the University of Surrey and Imperial College respectively. Prior to this, Severin finished his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and a master’s degree in Communications Networks and Software. He has joined the IOTA Foundation because he is keen to work in an open-source, experienced team and develop interoperable, standards-driven solutions in the GTSC domain.

“After following IOTA since its inception, I’m proud to be able to join the IOTA Foundation at a time when they are closer than ever to realizing their vision. I’m keen to bring tangible impact with my work in market adoption and apply the IOTA tech stack to its fullest potential.”


We are very happy to officially announce that Alexander Sporn, Christof Gerritsma, Nenad Gligoric, Nikita Polianskii, Pietro Ferraro and Severin Skillman have joined the IOTA Foundation! Give them all a very warm welcome!

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