Shawn Koppenhoefer (disambiguation).

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Shawn / Dr. Koppenhoefer is an Informatics-troubleshooter/SysAdmin employed at EPFL (School of Engineering - STI) and UNIL (Faculty of Geosciences & Environment) available for freelance projects, and ever-interested in new opportunities (part-time/full-time) & propositions.

  • How I HELP YOU; I'm skilled at making computers and networks behave as-you-expect-them-to. I particularly enjoy doing so, when everyone-else have told you it can't be done. I also work regularly in the following areas:
    • DATABASES & DBB-interfaces to your website1).
    • WEBSITE-Management/Development2)
    • BACKUP-Installation/Testing
    • SOCIAL-MEDIA presence: I can manage your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. feeds to drive more visitors to your main website.
    • Solve user problems (helpdesk) with your computers & networks.

Shawn / 'El Rubio' is a Dance-instructor specializing, since 1991, in coaching Argentine-Tango principally in Lausanne but occasionally elsewhere (Geneva, Montreux, Yverdon, Sierre, Sion, Martigny, Yverdon, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Crete, Buenos Aires).

    • ie. week 12-13.12.2017; (T1)Pivots, (T2&3)Pivots&dissociation, (EXP)Dynamic tight alterations + REVISION of last week new-material.
    • previous week 05-06.12.2017; (T1)Pressure&Pulls, (T2)DissociatedLapiz, (T3)AmaguéEnganché, (EXP)MilongaLoopSanguich,AlfredoAstaireO.
    • Suggested reading list:
Born 11 December 1968
London, Ontario, Canada
Residence Canada, Germany, Switzerland (currently)
Education Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Ph.D.,1996)
Thesis A formal synchronous model for distributed time-critical control-systems

Shawn Koppenhoefer is an Photographer, based in Lausanne/Switzerland, focused on materials (wood, metals & silver, liquids) & curious objects. He also does portrait-sessions for PME’s & documentary-headshots during newsworthy meetings (see WHO - World Health Organization).


Shawn Edwin Koppenhoefer (born 11 December 1968, in London, Ontario, Canada), is a Canadian/German Informatics trouble-shooter, dance-instructor (argentine-tango), and photographer (materials & objects) living in Lausanne, Switzerland since late 1990.

From 1986 to 1989 he studied mathematics at the University of Waterloo (Canada), culminating in a double-honours degree (BSc in ‘Computer-Science’ and ‘Combinatorics & Optimization’ 1990). He moved to Switzerland in 1990 to support the informatics needs of a research-team at EPFL, Lausanne, ultimately completing a doctorate (1996) based on his mathematical work reasoning about the variabilty of delays in real-time communication-networks3).

He was welcomed as 1st assistant in the Electrical Engineering Dept. (LCA lab/EPFL) working on telecommunication-architectures with Alcatel/Orange/Siemens and was invited to teach 1st-year introductory-classes on Networks and Protocols. Subsequently, he went into industry (1999) to manage relational databases for Charles Veillon S.A. and was hired-away (2001)(by Networkers S.A.) to help reimplement the design of e-government applications (civilian and military). By 2003 he’d been brought on-board at a World Health Organization collaborating-center (GFMER4)/Geneva) to develop medical databases, teach, and manage the informatics needs of the institute. During the following brief existence of GIERTD SA5), he was given the new title of «Informatics Director» while essentially continuing the same functions as at the non-profit founding-institute GFMER.

In 2010, he returned to the EPFL to support the paleo-climatologists of the ARVE research lab (ENAC6) faculty) as a full-time Mac system/network-admin developing databases & web-interfaces to them. He contributed to the research effort leveraging 'R'7) & 'PostgreSQL' to refine a parametric-analysis of 2­-level Markov-chain8) transitional-probabilities required for the precipitation-simulations leveraged by the climate-models 9). He implemented the first “European geolocated pollen database”, the first World-Population database with Geographic-interpoloation (PopMAP)), and the (currently-removed) Climate-diagram World-Atlas (PopMAP). Shawn also put into-place the social-media presences as part of the 'Outreach' efforts of the lab10).

In 2013, he migrated, with the lab, to GeoSciences at UNIL, while continuing at EPFL with researchers in LMOM (Laboratory of Macromolecular and Organic Materials). From 2014 to mid-2017 he was also invited to support the researchers of LTP (Powder Technology Laboratory) and the LMSC (Laboratory of Semiconductor Materials).

Currently, Shawn Koppenhoefer continues supporting the informatics needs of the researchers of LMOM lab at EPFL, and the newly-formed DAVIS research-lab at UNIL, while helping-out ARVE-Research’s transition away from UNIL. He occasionnally fields urgent requests from LTP. Shawn is available for new projects involving all things Informatics especially (but not limited to) databases, web-interfaces to them, system/network administration, teaching, and public-outreach (social-media management).

Contact him by email (shawn@shawnkoppenheofer) or through Twitter (@DrKdev).


  • X. Logean, F. Dietrich, S. Koppenhoefer, J.­P. Hubaux, S. Grisouard, P.­A. Etique, “Monitoring and Testing of Middleware­Based Software Applications”, US patent, June 1999.

Early life and education

Shawn Koppenhoefer (born in London, Ontario, Canada on December 11, 1968) is the only son of his biological parents Hannelore Lux11) and Klaus Koppenhöfer12). Raised by his mother, in the company of his sisters and the family-dog13), he grew up attending Manor-High public-school, learning to play the piano14), and surviving early-childhood on the south-west edge of the city.

The family's move to north-London brought into Shawn's life the influences of a step-father - a pioneer of nuclear-chemistry15) and avid collector of violins - his children, and the family cat16). The youngsters were distributed to different public-schools, with Shawn ending up at the nearby Stonybrook public-school and then later at Ryerson public-school, a 20-minute bike-ride away. He was given violin lessons17) following the Suzuki method) and ultimately became assistant concert-master in the London Youth Symphony orchestra 18). He spent his free-time reading science-fiction novels, listening to old-time radio-mysteries on his stepfather’s home-made vacuum-tube radio, roaming the nearby Medway valley forest, battling old-timers at the London Chess Club, or swimming at the University pool19). Neighbors no-doubt smiled indulgently, watching Shawn and his sisters learning to ‘cast’ with poles, from the front lawn, in preparation for the pre-dawn fishing-trips the family occassionally went on. Shawn earned pocket-money by taking over the local newspaper-route20) from his sister and preparing cheese-baskets for a local-reseller at Christmas. He studied Judo until receiving an orange-belt level, possibly seeding his 5-year interest in Aikido many years later, and arguably helping him become an effective dance-instructor two decades later. In 1980 he visited Kleinburgwedel, returning in 1981 to begin high-school at 'London Central Secondary School' where his math teacher, Mr. Freeman, erroneously predicted that his math skills would never amount to much.

During the summer-breaks leading up to 1985, he took summer-school classes and worked as a guidance-counselor & computer-instructor teaching the 'Logo programming-language' in summer-camps. His computer-mentor and family-friend Carl Whiteman21), a regular guest of the family, used those years to introduce Shawn to the joys of Binary numerical machine-coding and then 68000 Assembly-language programming and then Fortran on the house-hold CBM PET computer. The nascent developer/debugger-skills led the 17-year-old to propose a home-crafted inventory-database to help his step-father's burgeoning violin-business; He also programmed space-invader knockoffs on the family's cutting-edge Commodore-64. When not in front of a computer-screen, he led Dungeons & Dragons campaigns with his tiny circle of friends, stacked wood, cut lawns, raked leaves, and shoveled the snow-filled family driveway22).

Around 1986, Shawn’s parents put a camera into his hands. He documented the nearby Iroquoian/Ska-Nah-Doht native-Canadian village with imminently forgettable images but the experience triggered a life-long passion for photography driving him to become, decades-later, a nightly live-in at EPFL’s photo-club dark-room before switching from analog to digital.

Shawn's childhood European stay had instilled in him a life-time appreciation for language-agnostic 'mathematics'. He had the good-fortune to be given the opportunity, as of 1986, to study mathematics & computer-science while living on-campus at the University of Waterloo (Canada) in the company of his newly-forged best friends Jackie and Paul; In the year after graduation he worked as a software-developer supporting the research-projects of the department of Psychology at the University of Waterloo. In 1991 he joined the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, (Switzerland) as a SUN systems-manager in the LIT research-lab23) and ultimately successfully pursued a doctorate in computer-science which he completed in 1996.


Details on the following past-projects (by S.Koppenhoefer) need to be republished on an accessible URL:

  • E-Learning Website for Medical Students (WHO): 2008-2010 - The e-learning website answered WHO’s (World Health Organization) need for a comparitive learning tool for 2008-2010. Koppenhoefer successfully provided a web-based database to allow evaluation of alternative methods for teaching doctors. The website continues to be used by doctors in over 5 countries and 4 languages. Developed with RoR (Ruby on Rails) with an MVC architecture and 3-tier structure of user and administrator rights.
  • EGRUdb: 2010 - European Robotic Surgery Database - The European Group of Robotic Urology needed an R&D tool to help surgeons share data and statistics on the results of their robotic surgery experiences. Koppenhoefer custom-designed and built the multi-tabbed database to share data and generate real-time statistics ready to be imported directly into the conference presentations. The EGRU database managed more than 8000 patient files in 5 countries. PHP, MySQL, Javascript, CSS, and AJAX. Preservation of anonymity. Automatic .pdf generation in 3 languages (patient-form).
  • IBCTdb: 2010 - Managing thousands of medical measurements across hundreds of hospitals and clinics in 3rd-world countries was time-consuming and error-prone before Koppenhoefer developed the IBCT database and web front-end. As of 2010, the databases managed by IBCT include over 200,000 patient files.
  • GENIMAGEdb: 2010 - Despite the availability of Google image-search results, medical images related to specific search criteria did not include the in-house Excel-based data resources of GFMER. A custom database with public-facing web interface was created. Koppenhoefer took over development and management of the project, transforming the files into two databases: ‘Developmental and genetic diseases‘ (here) and ‘Medical Images‘ (here). maintenance & development in PHP, MySQL.


Social media

Here are some typical examples of what I do with databases & websites: ❶ Our website displays data coming from our own database but we have no automated backup nor disaster-recovery procedures in place in case of catastrophic failure. Can you put an automated off-site backup & recovery solution into place for our Ubuntu-based/Postgres LAMP installation? ❷ Our PHP5/Apache247/JQuery2 website works fine but the End-of-Life for PHP5 (as of December 2018) and subsequent lack of security-patches worries us. Can you migrate us successfully (we tried but failed) to PHP7.2 without breaking anything and perhaps leveraging some of the new possibilities? While you're at it, are there advantages to us upgrading from Jquery2 (2014-version) to JQuery3 (2016-version)? ❸ We would like to securely-expose the contents of one of our internal databases to 3rd-party websites via a managed API that they can leverage with a PHP library we provide. Can you implement this, create documentation that we can give them, and teach a half-day programming class so they know how to use it?
Here are some typical examples of what I've been asked in the past: ❶ We wish to migrate from JahiaCMS (or some other CMS) to Wordpress. Could you install Wordpress for us, as well as the necessary plugins to handle security, backup, SEO, multi-language and more? Could you migrate our data onto the new installation and teach our local IT guy how to manage the site subsequently? ❷ We need a custom plugin for our Wordpress (or other PHP-based setup) site so that we can use our own custom in-house shortcodes that expand into text based on our MySQL database. Can you provide a solution? ❸ Our Dokuwiki-based website tells admins it is out-of-date despite that we have the “update” plugin installed. Click-through tells us that our PHP version is blocking the upgrade despite that our CLI says PHP is up-to-date. Can you convince our Apache that we are indeed using latest-versions and that the update should proceed? ❹ Can you modify our website to do secure HTTPS rather than just HTTP?
See for the infoscience record of Shawn’s PhD thesis
GFMER (Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research) is a non-profit organization supported by the Canton of Geneva and the City of Geneva working in close collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO).
GIERTD (Geneva Institute for Education, Research, and Technology Development)
ENAC (School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Learn about Markov-chains and R here: .
The reparametrisation efforts of the Fortran-based precipitation-modules of ARVE/EPFL was achieved principally by analyzing gigabytes of raw climate-data in R, collected-automatically from over 20’000 weather-station across the world. Besides redetermining the necessary model-coefficients more accurately, Koppenhoefer developed a web-interface to the database aggregations subsequently accessible by the general public. CliMAP was built with Google-FusionTables, a GoogleMap interface, PHP, awk, and Postgres database.
The social-media efforts Koppenhoefer put into place for ARVE Research-group included social-presences for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and Google+.
The german name ‘Lux’ can be traced to Swabia. The earliest mention is of Hans Lux (1484) who lived in a village, along the trade-route over the Swabian Jura mountain range, called Geislingen.
The roots of the German surname Koppenhoefer lie in the former royal duchy of Swabia, now the divided between the modern states of Baden-Wurrtemburg and Bavaria, in southwest Germany. The name is derived from the German words “kapaun”, meaning “capon” (a rooster) and “hof” meaning “farm”. The first recorded bearer of the name, Zinken Koppenhofen (1387) was instrumental in the development of medieval Swabian society. Spelling variations include: Koppenhöfer, Koppenhöffer, Koppenhofer, Koppenhoffer, Koppenhoefer, Koppenhoeffer, Koppenhoefen, Koppenhöfen, Koppenheffer, Copenhöfer, Coppenheffer, Copenhaver, Coppenhaver, Copenhoffer, Copenheffer. The Brothers Grimm possibly poorly-portrayed the Swabian-children in their German fairy-tale, "The Seven Swabians" (Die sieben Schwaben) contrary to the better-image vaunted by Angela Merkel. This link bears further reading: “Schwabenkinder” history project brings Austrian, German and Swiss museums together.
The french-poodle was named ‘René’.
Shawn’s first, and perhaps only, piano teacher was Mrs. Gramble.
Dr. Ware's research area was in Photochemistry where he was a pioneer in Flash Photochemistry, a method to detect and characterize species with extremely short life-times. He is an emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of Western Ontario in London, holding a Ph.D. in nuclear chemistry and physical chemistry from the University of Rochester (information from IHN). Conflicting information suggests that his Ph.D. is from U. Delaware. Dudley H. Robinson suggests that Dr. Ware's Ph.D. is from University of Minnesota. In 1971, he joined five other senior professors in forming the Photochemistry Unit, a research institute within the Chemistry Department of the University of Western Ontario devoted to basic research in photochemistry, photophysics, photobiology and spectroscopy ultimately producing over one hundred scientific papers and reviews. He regularly publishes the 'International Health News' and continues to collect, restore and deal in both antique and modern stringed instruments and their bows.
The family Siamese cat, Caesar, was followed by Ophelia, and Shiniki… all of whom undoubtably affected Shawn’s childhood; Shawn himself can’t recall what happened to the family dog Réné.
Shawn studied violin first with Louise Bellhouse and later with Richard Lawrence; The highpoint of his musical 'career' was working on Max Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 and studying Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin.
Many years later, he was a violinist in the Geneva amateur operatic society.
UNVERIFIED: Shawn may have followed National-lifeguard swim classes, with his sister, during those early years.
Shawn delivered the six heavy-loads of the 'London Free Press' to the neighbors for env. three years.
UNVERIFIED: Dr. Carl Whiteman may have been the person referenced here:
London, Ontario, is inconveniently situated in the middle of Canada’s “Great Lakes” snow-belt region, contributing to the grief of every winter snow-shoveler required to deal with the consequences. See the opinion-piece here: .
The LIT (Laboratoire d'informatique technique) was headed by Henri Nussbaumer (now a Professor Emeritus of EPFL): Professor Nussbaumer, as part of his founding efforts of EURECOM, loaned Koppenhoefer to the french-team building the network facilities and computer-rooms at Sophia Antipolis.

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