Gilles Ollier is the Head of Sector on Earth Observation at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation in Brussels, Belgium. He contributes to implementing research activities in this domain and also acts as the European Commission’s contact point for the international GEO (Group on Earth Observation) initiative. In this context he deals with big data issues and the computing infrastructure necessary to handle and process Earth observation data. A geologist by profession, Dr Ollier first joined the European Commission in 1993, where he devoted much of his career to the Environment Program.
Prior to this he worked for 10 years as a marine geoscientist at the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER). He was notably involved in the International Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), an international marine research collaboration that explores Earth's history and dynamics using ocean-going research platforms to recover data recorded in seafloor sediments and rocks and to monitor sub-seafloor environments. Dr Ollier contributed to the IODP during a sabbatical year at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, USA.