This biography of a living person relies too much on references to primary sources. Please help by adding secondary or tertiary sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous or harmful.Find sources: "Frank van Harmelen" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (September 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Frank van Harmelen
Born1960 (age 63–64)
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh
Scientific career
FieldsSemantic Web[1]
InstitutionsVrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
ThesisOn the Efficiency of Meta-level Reasoning (1989)
Academic advisorsAlan Bundy[2]

Frank van Harmelen (born 1960) is a Dutch computer scientist and professor in Knowledge Representation & Reasoning in the AI department at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He was scientific director of the LarKC project (2008-2011),[3] "aiming to develop the Large Knowledge Collider, a platform for very large scale semantic web reasoning."[4][5][6]


After studying mathematics and computer science in Amsterdam, Van Harmelen moved to the Department of AI of the University of Edinburgh, where he was awarded a PhD in 1989 for his research on meta-level reasoning. While in Edinburgh, he "co-developed a logic-based toolkit for expert systems, and worked with Alan Bundy on proof planning for inductive theorem proving".[2][4]

After his PhD research, he moved back to Amsterdam where he worked from 1990 to 1995 in the SWI Department under Professor Bob Wielinga, on the use of reflection in expert systems, on the formal underpinnings of the CommonKADS methodology for Knowledge-Based Systems. In 1995 he joined the AI research group at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, where he co-lead the On-To-Knowledge project, one of the first Semantic Web projects. He was appointed full professor in 2002, and is leading the Knowledge Representation and Reasoning Group. Currently he is scientific director the LarKC project aiming to develop the Large Knowledge Collider, a platform for very large scale semantic web reasoning.[4]

Van Harmelen was elected a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2017.[7][8]

In 2019, Van Harmelen received a Zwaartekracht grant from the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science for The Hybrid Intelligence Center[9]


Van Harmelen's research interests include artificial intelligence, knowledge representation and the semantic web, approximate reasoning and Medical Protocols. He was one of the co-designers of the Web Ontology Language (OWL) and the Ontology Inference Layer (OIL), and has published books on meta-level inference, on knowledge-based systems, and on the Semantic Web.


Van Harmelen has published several books and over 100 research papers,[6] Books:

Articles, a selection:


  1. ^ Horrocks, I.; Patel-Schneider, Peter; van Harmelen, Frank (2003). "From SHIQ and RDF to OWL: The making of a Web Ontology Language" (PDF). Web Semantics: Science, Services and Agents on the World Wide Web. 1: 7–26. CiteSeerX doi:10.1016/j.websem.2003.07.001. S2CID 8277015.
  2. ^ a b Frank van Harmelen at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ LarKC project
  4. ^ a b c Homepage of Frank van Harmelen at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Retrieved 6 October 2008.
  5. ^ Frank van Harmelen publications indexed by Google Scholar
  6. ^ a b Frank van Harmelen at DBLP Bibliography Server Edit this at Wikidata
  7. ^ "KNAW kiest 26 nieuwe leden" (in Dutch). Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. 10 May 2017. Archived from the original on 25 May 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  8. ^ "Frank van Harmelen". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 14 May 2017.
  9. ^ "The hybrid Intelligence Centre" (in Dutch). Retrieved 21 May 2022.