Guten Tag, Welcome!

My name is Sven van der Meer. I am a scientist, researcher, and developer looking at (network and service) management from theory to execution. From a management perspective, I am interested in architectures, patterns, domain-driven design, languages, autonomic networking, control loops, analytics, and context-awareness.

Science and Research

Since 2011 I work as a master engineer and team leader in the Ericsson Network Management Lab (NM-Lab), based on Athlone, Ireland. In the NM-Lab, we started designing a closed control loop pattern called Sahara, which resulted into a major contribution to Ericsson's COMPA architecture. We then moved to adaptive policies; a topic I've been working on for more than 10 years now. We developed a Unifying Policy Theory (UPT) and did build an Adaptive Policy EXecution (APEX) engine. The APEX software is originally published on Github. In this context, my team is heavily involved in the Linux Foundation project ONAP, mainly the Policy Framework. APEX is now part of the ONAP Policy Framework.

I am also involved in advancing RINA, the Recursive InterNetwokring architecture. Here, I contribute to the Pouzin Society, mainly via European projects (FP7 PRISTINE, H2020 ARCFIRE). We gained significant knowledge from the scientific, research, and development activities in the RINA community. Our particular interest is in advancing network management, as in decreasing variance and increasing invariance. This work also informs the product road map of Ericsson network management product my team is contributing to.

Science and research is nothing without teaching. Unfortunately, my industry position does not allow me to spend much time on formal teaching. I did teach courses at TU Berlin and WIT, on management of distributed systems, broadband networks, and ubiquitous computing. Supervising was also a large part of both jobs. These days, I use tutorials and presentations for teaching and education. I can't say that I am an educator, but I certainly aspire to be one.

in real Life

Unfortunately, I am not much of an artist; neither in painting, music, fashion, gardening, nor cooking. I have developed a personal style for technical drawings, that's as much as I was able to develop some artistic capabilities. Though I can appreciate paintings being particularly fascinated by 17th century Dutch artist. Vermeer van Delft being my favourite painter. Have you seen Tim Jenison trying to understand how to paint like Vermeer? This is a captivating documentary about the process he went throug with some spectacular results. You can find the description at the movie database here.


Gardening is part of family life today, because when we bought the house it was to a large extend for the garden. Great size and setting and essentially a green lawn with lots of potential to develop an actual garden. Being the help and the trainee, I started taking measurements, drawing some layout, and window-shop in every garden centre within a 1-day-driving-range. That was easy. Then came the digging, which turned out to be quite tough due to tons of stones. And then came the larger projects, presented to me over the years, none of which I never would have imagined seeing myself doing.

Now we have vegetable plots build as raised beds (initially 3, 4.2m x 0.9m, then 3 smaller ones 1m2 each). And a pond (roughly 3.2m by 2.0m and some 70cm deep in the middle). And a decking area with a retaining wall (60cm high and 10m long) for raised planting, overall some 25 m2 and a large triangular pergola in one corner. And two compost heaps, which turn out to be extremely productive. All other gardening activities still require substantial supervision. I am having trouble to separate the useful and ornamental plants from weed.


As for cooking, I am getting better by the year. Cooking accidents seem to happen less often than in the past. The best combination of gardening and cooking comes at harvest time. Onions, garlic, faber beans, peas, carrotts, artichoke, and of course potatoes grow pretty good. Some potatoes did grow out of peals simply thrown into one of our vegetable beds. The two varieties of raspberries (one white and one red) are now the favourite target of the local blackbirds. The same happened to a few wild strawberry plants (if you get one of those strawberries before the 'thiefs', they are delicious). All of that is 100% organic.

Bird and Wildlife Watching

There are not many activies as relaxing (and educating) as watching wildlife. A good quarter of the plants in our garden have been selected because they support bumblebees, bees, and butterflies from spring to autumn. The wooden cover of our retaining wall provides good housing for a small species of wasps. In some years they also nest in the larger garden wall. Our pond supports multiple species of dragonflies.

In the middle of the garden we have erected a bird house for feeding, frequented by sparrows, finches, and sometimes doves. At its bottom we maintain a larger table that attracts blackbirds and pigeons. Old bread and fruits (apples!) do the trick. Since we have a lot of insects and snales in the garden, we tend to get a resident robin (in some years even two) and visiting thrushs. We have had a wren in the garden in some seasons as well. Near the house, we keep on filling three to four bird feeders with peanuts, sunflower seeds, and other bird food. This invites sparrows, starlings, sometimes doves, and formost tits (great tits, blue tits, and coal tits). Finches come and go: we had chaffinche, greenfinch (less and less), bullfinch, and in some years goldfinch in the garden. A pair of blackcaps usually passes through in Autumn.

Once a falcon landed on our bird house in the middle of the garden, never saw it again. But we can spot buzzards quite often high in the sky. They probably nest somewhere in the Comeragh Mountains.

The see is only a short drive from our house; or these days a few minutes cycling. We have seen dolphins and mink whales in the bay. Every season allows to observe mother and baby seals in the two estuaries, sometimes we can spot them in the ocean. I did spot sea otters a couple of times, but they do not stay for long. Other wildlife can be found stranded, dead, at the beach sometimes, such as smaller sharks and crabs.


Sport plaid a large role in my life starting at school. School was keen on athletics, so I did that for a few years. It was also a center for ball games, mainly volleyball and olympic handball. We had a competitive handball team and I plaid for 13 years, mostly regional tournaments in Berlin. Colleagues at my apprenticeship introduced my to ice skating and ice hockey. For a few years, I did play ice hockey in the team; though only on a lower level. From those years also comes an interest in inline skating, artistic as well as for distance. I still have a pair of inline skates and ice skates at home. These days, it is mostly swimming (we have three indoor swiming pools and a couple of beaches near the house) and cycling. So I did get myself indoor swimming gear, a 3/2 wet suit, and a bycicle. You can find us regularly in the pool, at the beach, or on the Waterford Greenway.

Books and Reading

We love books! One part of the house, the extension, is now reserved for the sport gear and our library. We have over 1,000 books in different languages (English, French, German, Arabic, Russian, Dutch) covering all areas of interest. There are of course books about gardening, wildlife, cooking, sports, research, and science. There are also books on travelling, history, many children books, geography, dictionaries (I love the picture dictionaries!), science fiction, fantasy, and all sorts of other none-fiction books. I do keep one printed copy of all my books and books with a chapter from me. Eventually, in 2018, I did buy an eBook reader. This allows to bring more reading material when travelling, though it takes away a lot of the experience with actual books.


Talking about travelling: I love travelling. Well, parts of it. Endless hours in planes, busses, cars, the loneliness at hotel bars and restaurants during business trips; not so much. Seeing different people (even during long hours at airports or train stations), exploring other cultures, listening to unknown languages, watching wildlife I can't see at home, experiencing climates different from home, enjoying city or natural landscapes; all of that is pure joy. Journeys by train are usually quite good, like the one from Prague to Brno I had to take since there was no direct flight. Not to mention food, local food that is! I need to be careful what I eat, but for most parts at least one has to try! I consider myself lucky that my family combines several origins and upbringings (Dutch, Prussian, East German, Austrian) and travel experiences (Russia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia). As a child, I was not only exposed to them, but also did travel to Poland, Romania, and for a month Moskow (outbound by plane, inbound on a 2-day train journey).

While travelling in East Germany wasn't easy, I was lucky to work in Warsaw for a month and to travel to Prague a few times. After the German reunification in 1990, we did trips to Czech Republic, Sweden, The Netherlands (and Belgium), Tenerife, and a couple of times to the Maldives. Not to forget a three week language trip to Torquay in Devon, England. My "host mother", Kim Sweeney, was extra ordinary and one of the language teachers initiated my interest (and ability) to read books in English. Then, I had the great opportunity to join my mother for two of her work travels. This brought me to Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Hong Kong. Most of these locations were areas off the beaten track, far away from were "normal" tourists would venture. That and having been for a day Siem Reap with a super knowledgeable guide going through Angkor Wat and Ankor Tom.

When I started working, travelling was a job requirement. Lucky me! By now, I have travelled to most European countries (with the exception of the Balkans and a few East European countries), North and South Africa, many times to North America (the US and Canada), and several places in the Far East (Asia). Some of those trips did go to places I would probably not gone otherwise; for example Porto (Portugal), Cracow (Poland), Bucharest (Romania), and Sfax (Tunesia). There are a few "black spots" I didn't manage to get to, yet: South America, Australia, New Zeeland, the heart of Africa, the Middle East, Inda, and China (I made it to Hong Kong and Taiwan, but not the mainland). And since I moved to Ireland in 2002, I have seen most of the island, except The North. I got sick both times when I could have gone for work. I have also been in England and Wales (great road trip in 2004), but never made it to Scottland.


I used to play with an old, broken, SLR at home. At 14, I got my first own camera. Later, I did buy my first own SLR; still with films. No holding back when I got a digital SLR and later smart phones with proper cameras. I never managed to go beyond simple point-and-shoot photos, but I do love taking pictures and videos. On an older version of this website, I had written a PHP backend for my photos. That got out of hand, too many photos and too complicated to add new sets. Today, I keep my photos at several cloud services. Unfortunately, none of them is good enough to make them public. The main public online services are not good enough, either. So for now, I am still looking for a good way to have my photos online.

Model Railroading

Der Weihnachtsmann (or Santa Clause) did bring a model railway set when I just had started school. The gauge was TT (table top), an American invention then (and still) popular in Eastern Germany and Eastern Europe. The scale is 1:120, so smaller than the more common gauge H0 that comes in 1:87. Half my room at home developed into a large railway system, with complex track layout, lights for everything, landscape. I did the electronic myself and spend most of my pocket money on rolling stock and buildings. Santa Clause was kept busy, too, for a few years. I still have some of the old hardware, now over 30 years old. I keep on extending, buying specific items. Time and space does not allow for a large setting, but never stop dreaming they say.


My mother used to have a large aquarium with lots of fish. Then came birds, a series of budgerigars (Wellensittich) all called Peppie. Some of them were quite entertaining. Eventually my mother managed to convince everyone to get a parrot, a Monk Parakeet or quaker. His name was Jacky, and yes he did quake! He learned to talk and we had him flying free in the garden as well. He loved the seeds of watermelon, quite a mess sometimes. He got 19 years old. Inbetween, I also had a long haired guinea pig, Stupsie. For her, we did build a larger enclosing in the garden. She loved fresh dandelion. Today we have cats. I didn't know that I would like them, but I do. They all do hunt so we have them wearing bells (more than one) to limit the damage they do to our local bird population.

“Good” Food, Zero Waste, No Plastic

What do you need to eat good food, do zero waste shopping, and avoid plastics? Not much, mostly common sense and the will to change habits. The latter is probably the tricky part. It means to go against routine and convenience. It takes effort and progress can be slow, no immediate results and no instant gratification. Long term however in will play out in your favour, as it did for me.

“Good” Food

We did start with food. Always read the lable, and if the first few ingredients are water and sugar or something no one without a degree in Chemstry can pronounce, then avoid it. Buy fresh, ideally organic. I know that not everything called organic is organic, but the chance to get better fruits and vegetables is rather high. We noticed that organic food stays longer, including dairy products. And it should safe you money, over time. I live in Ireland, organic food is expensive here. So I did write down the food expenses, and buying what we need on higher quality comes cheaper than buying processed food, over all. Less food waste, less food required to eat, less eating related problems as well. Home cooking (larger quantities, use fridge and freezer) and baking (bread as much as cake) helps. I was skeptic at first, now I make time for it.

Buy local and in season. If you can't live without strawberries in January then this is obviously not for you. Otherwise, think about it. Local means that the produce requires less treatment (no long transport). In season means cheaper, and usually of better taste (no long storage). It did work for us.

Zero Waste

Now this project started actually looking at "bad" chemicals, the likes of BPA and SLS, in cleaning products and packaging. Turns out that buying a large and artisan soap bar (some 8 in cases) is cheaper than liquid handwash and shower gel. The soap bar lasts much longer than the alternatives. It also reduces the waste to an absolute minimum (no large plastic containers). And you avoid those chemicals alltogether. We didn't stop there but started replacing a lot of items. Look at what bicarbonate and vinegar can do for you. For instance, one can use vinegar for washing as a replacement for conditioners and softeners (we have super hard water, it does work). Have a look at Francis Brennan's book of household management (Goodread).

So we saved some money and the bins (waste and recycle) did not fill as fast as they used to. Why stop here? The extended project now is zero waste shopping. What do you need? Well, shopping bags, reusable, ideally none-platic. I have five or six, two of them are a decade old. By the way: the best shopping bags are the Irish green bags. These days they come in all colors. Wikipedia tells me that they are also popular in Australia. Next, to buy lose (no extra packaging and the quantity and quality you select), a few bags for fuits and vegetables (net bag) and some for things like bread (voile bag). Finally, avoid items that come with extra packaging, yes, all of them! We used to have a black bin (general waste) every four weeks, now we have one once a quarter. Not zero waste yet, but we are getting there. And we safe money, that's the fun part.

No Plastic

Our tap water is of good quality. It is rather hard, we do filter it, no big deal. Got a fw stainless steel bottles (Kleen Canteen have a great selection): tiny once for the bags, 500ml for the car and sports, and 1.2l for the house. No more buying water, no more plastic bottles, less waste. We also replaced food containers at home, from plastic to stainless steel. Some are isolated, for hot and cold food. Much less plastic in the house.

And then passion kicked in. Being out a lot more than in the past, the amount of plastic and other waste in our local environment was annoying, then disturbing, finally made us angry. What to do about it? Small things that have an effect. For the immediate problem: we bring garbage bags and collect plastic and waste. At our beach one can find tools for garbage collection. Locals regularly organise events to clean the beach and the forrests around, take part! And then stop buying plastic items, change to reusable items that last long and have less impact on the environment. And talk about it, tell the producers (this is how BPA was eventually taken out of most products). Simple action with instant effect: bring your own reusable mug when you get your coffee or tea. Some places, such as Applegreen, even give you a discount. This project continues...


Being online leads to profiles being available at several places. I have a few myself, some used more frequent than others. Here is my current selection.

Communication and Social

vdmeer dot sven at gmail dot com
vdmeer dot sven at mykolab dot com
Reading both, less frequent on Gmail. Answers and replies might take a while. 1
vdmeer.sven Chats and phone calls 1
vdmeersven Trying to slow down on Twitter, not easy, since there are still a few people / organizations I want to read. Mostly re-tweets here, occasionally a discussion. 1
Did start, then did not go back for a while, but want to.
My gravatar.

Work and Research

vdmeer My professional profile 1
Sven_Van_der_Meer Most of my research publications.

Development and FOSS

vdmeer Main place for my public (personal) development projects. Initially it was the SKB with related projects, now its quite a mix.
vdmeer.sven For publishing artifacts (mainly Java packages) to Maven.
vdmeer.sven For my work in ONAP, mainly the Policy Framework (our APEX engine).


vdmeersven Our books.
email Another place for our books. 1
vdmeer.sven Did create this account to edit a specific page, someone had removed an item I thought is important 1
1 Icons from Social Media Icons by Paul Robert Lloyd

This Site

This site is build using the Maven site plugin with the Doxia renderer and the Asciidoctor backend for some pages. Thoughts, errors, and typos are my own.