Laura’s contribution to IT innovation in science is monumental as one of the first pioneers who established large-scale distributed computing as the new norm to tackle data-intensive processing and analysis.
She was co-author of the final CERN LHC Computing Committee proposal of the Monarc collaboration, which, at the beginning of 2000, produced the first innovative design of the LHC computing infrastructure based on many data centers with different levels of responsibilities towards the overall collaborations, called Tiers.
Laura was a key contributor to the crucial discussions that in 1999 and 2000 involved a small team of visionary people of the CERN LHC Computing Committee, the INFN grid project and the DataGrid preparation group, and which led to the choice of the grid technology as the baseline for the development of the new software services for the LHC computing infrastructure.
In parallel, she was one of the main contributors to DataGrid, the first European Commission-funded project that tackled the delivery of groundbreaking technical solutions for distributed scientific computing. The results of DataGrid have been deployed internationally for more than a decade to support data-intensive computing and laid the foundation of today’s EGI infrastructure.
For 20 years, she has been in key leading positions in all the series of European grid projects such as DataTag and the EGEE project series, working on the consolidation of grid middleware.
Laura has also been one of the driving forces of the INFN grid project, the Italian Grid Infrastructure (IGI), and the CERN LHC distributed computing. She played a fundamental role in establishing the WLCG collaboration and affirming the role of INFN in it.
Since early 2021, she chaired the Italian Computing and Data Infrastructure (ICDI) and contributed to harmonising the Italian e-Infrastructures for research participating in European initiatives such as EOSC and EDI.
She contributed to all stages of the EGI’s establishment, from feasibility analysis to implementation and scaling up. Laura was also one of the most active members of the EGI Design Study project, which culminated with the creation of the EGI Foundation in 2010. We remember Laura as an active member of the EGI Council, and we are grateful for her steady presence and many contributions.
She greatly contributed to EOSC as well, being one of the Italian representatives on the Steering Board appointed by the Ministry of University and Research.
Laura has been a bright example with her enduring devoted work to support science. Till the end, she kept up her commitment to many boards and initiatives, despite the difficulties caused by her worsening health condition. Many of us had the pleasure and privilege of working with her closely. We are sad to think of her early passing.
Laura, you will be dearly missed by all colleagues and friends from the EGI community. Your legacy will stay for many years to come. Rest assured that we will work hard to take it forward.
Our condolences go to her family, friends and colleagues.
The tribute was written by Tiziana Ferrari with contributions from Mirco Mazzucato, Luciano Gaido and Tommaso Boccali.