The Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC)

The SAC provides the Council with opinions and recommendations on the draft programme of activities of the Centre drawn up by the Director-General and on any other matters submitted by the Council. The 12 members of the SAC are appointed in their personal capacity and are selected from among the scientists of the Member States.

PDF icon SAC Rules of procedure

Next session

8-10 October 2018

SAC members

Alan O'Neill

Professor Alan O'Neill


Professor of Meteorology (Emeritus) at the Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, UK

Visiting Professor at the Laboratory for Scientific Computing, the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK


At Reading, Professor O'Neill was Director of the National Centre for Earth Observation and Director of the Data Assimilation Research Centre. Before his appointments at Reading, he worked at the UK Met Office as head of the stratospheric dynamics research group. He has served as member then as Chair of the Earth Science Advisory Committee of the European Space Agency.

His research interests include stratospheric dynamics, in particular the interaction between the stratosphere and troposphere, atmospheric tracer transport and satellite data assimilation. At Cambridge, he is exploring the use of machine learning techniques for environmental applications of satellite data.

Alan O'Neill at the University of Reading

Alan O'Neill at the University of Cambridge

Professor Wilco Hazeleger


Director of the Netherlands eScience Center, the Netherlands

Chair in Climate Dynamics at Wageningen University


Professor Hazeleger serves as Director of the Netherlands eScience Center since 2014, a research centre that connects digital technologies with applications in all scientific domains. He has a chair in Climate Dynamics at Wageningen University.

At Wageningen University and Reading University, he studied meteorology. He received his PhD in 1999 in physical oceanography from Utrecht University, after which he went to Columbia University in New York to conduct research on decadal climate variability.

In 2002 he started working at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) on climate dynamics, climate scenarios and the development of global Earth system models. Professor Hazeleger initiated and led the EC-Earth project, a European Earth system modelling consortium that develops a state-of-the-art Earth system model based on ECMWF's numerical weather prediction model. Until 2014 Professor Hazeleger led climate research divisions at KNMI. In 2013 he served as Acting Director of a research department on Climate and Seismology Research at KNMI.

Professor Hazeleger has (co)-authored over 100 refereed publications. He serves on a number of international and national science committees on meteorology, climate and data science, including the SRG of the UK Met Office and the advisory committee of the Swedish eScience Centre, and he leads the Big Data national science initiative in the Netherlands.

Wilco Hazeleger at the Netherlands eScience Center

Susanna Corti

Dr Susanna Corti

Senior Scientist at the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (ISAC) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR), Italy


Dr Corti is the Coordinator of the Climate Dynamics and Variability Research Unit (DIVAC) at the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (ISAC) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR).

Before joining ISAC-CNR, she worked at CINECA (Italian Inter-University Consortium for High Performance Computing), where she has contributed to a number of EU-funded projects on weather and climate research.

During her career she worked at ECMWF in the Research Department  on two EU-funded projects: “Short-term climate variability" and "THOR (Thermohaline Overturning at Risk?)".

Her research interests include sub-seasonal to decadal ensemble climate predictions; high-resolution climate reconstructions and future scenarios; weather and climate predictability; impact of stochastic physical parametrizations in model simulations from sub-seasonal to centennial time-scales; and reconstruction of climate variability over Europe.

Dr Corti is Executive Editor of "Climate Dynamics”.

Susanna Corti at ISAC

Inger-Lise Frogner

Dr Inger‐Lise Frogner

Senior scientist at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Norway


Dr Frogner is a senior scientist at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and has a position in HIRLAM-C management group, where she is project leader for predictability and Ensemble Prediction Systems (EPS) (HIRLAM is a consortium of ten European national meteorological institutes).

She is the head of the group of HIRLAM scientists that do research on predictability and that develop mesoscale ensemble prediction systems. Methods for calibration and verification of EPS are also a part of the responsibility.

Dr Frogner graduated in Meteorology at the University of Oslo (Norway) and did her PhD at the same university, in the field of predictability and ensemble prediction systems. As part of the PhD she worked at ECMWF for six months. She has been involved in developing several ensemble prediction systems, and is currently focused on developing EPS for mesoscale.

Her main research interests are probabilistic forecasting, atmospheric predictability and sensitivity, probabilistic verification and developing systems for prediction of extreme/rare weather events.

Dr Alain Joly

Head of numerical weather prediction (NWP) group at Météo‐France, France


Professor Eigil Kaas

Professor in Meteorology and Climate Dynamics, Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen University, Denmark


Eigil Kaas at the Niels Bohr Institute

Johannes Orphal

Professor Johannes Orphal

Head of Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK) - Atmospheric Trace Gases and Remote Sensing (ASF), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany


Professor Orphal graduated in Physics at Humboldt University (Berlin, Germany) and is Docteur des Sciences (Physique) from Université de Paris-Sud (Orsay, France). He was Chargé de Recherche at CNRS and Professeur (Physique) at Université de Paris-Est (Créteil, France).

Professor Orphal has been involved in the preparation and exploitation of the GOME, SCIAMACHY, MIPAS and IASI satellite experiments. He has proposed new missions and instruments for atmospheric observations on various platforms, including GEOFIS, MAGEAQ, PREMIER, MACE, G3E, and ATMOSAT.

He is also involved in, or co-ordinates, international projects and initiatives concerning air-borne and ground-based measurements of atmospheric composition and dynamics.

Johannes Orphal at the KIT

Roger Saunders

Dr Roger Saunders

Head of Satellite Applications section, UK Met Office


Dr Saunders’ section works to improve the use of satellite data for NWP and nowcasting.

During his time at the Met Office, Dr Saunders has worked in the Met Research Flight, where he led the group which made radiation measurements from the C-130 aircraft, and co-ordinated several field campaigns with the aircraft based in the South Atlantic and the Mediterranean to measure water vapour continuum absorption and validate satellite radiometers. He was appointed as the AMSU-B instrument scientist overseeing the pre-launch testing of the radiometer at Farnborough, UK.

Before joining the Met Office, Dr Saunders worked in a number of different institutes, including the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, the European Space Operations Centre and University College London, in jobs related to the exploitation of meteorological satellite data.

During 1995–1999 he was head of the Satellite Section at ECMWF, with responsibility for making better use of satellite data in the NWP model using the new variational data assimilation techniques. He took the scientific lead in the ongoing development of a fast radiative transfer model, RTTOV, for assimilating satellite radiances. He also provided advice on the use of satellite data in the ERA-40 reanalysis.

Roger Saunders at the Met Office

Professor Sonia Seneviratne

Professor at the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, Switzerland


Sonia Seneviratne at ETH Zurich

Professor Pier Siebesma

Professor at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands

Chair of mesoscale modelling cluster, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI)


Pier Siebesma at TU Delft

Professor Gunilla Svensson

Department of Meteorology (MISU), Stockholm University, Sweden


Gunilla Svensson at Stockholm University

Anthony Weaver

Dr Anthony Weaver

Senior Researcher at the European Centre for Research and Advanced Training in Scientific Computation (CERFACS), France

Dr Weaver’s main area of interest has been ocean data assimilation. He has also worked on general algorithmic aspects of variational assimilation and covariance modelling.

He has worked with ECMWF for many years, in recent years giving help and guidance on the NEMOVAR ocean data assimilation system, a collaborative project between ECMWF, the Met Office, CERFACS and INRIA (French National Institute for computer science and applied mathematics).

NEMOVAR is the backbone of ECMWF’s ocean reanalysis ORAS4 and the new ocean reanalysis ORAS5, and is used to initialise the S4 seasonal forecasts and the coupled ensemble forecasts.

Dr Weaver is a member of several international committees and panels as well as a Principal Investigator on a number of European projects.

Immediate past members

Professor Sarah Jones

Professor Sarah Jones,
Term: 2012 to 2016

(Chair December 2015 to December 2016)

Head of Research and Development at Deutscher Wetterdienst, Germany


Professor Jones studied physics at the University of Birmingham and holds a PhD in meteorology from the University of Reading, UK.

Her research focus is on the predictability and dynamics of weather systems, in particular of tropical cyclones, their transition into extratropical systems, and their impact on the weather and weather forecast downstream.

She has published over 40 peer-reviewed papers and supervised over 20 graduate students. Her research was predominantly funded through the German Science Foundation (DFG), the Helmholtz Association Programme “Atmosphere and Climate”, the European Union, and the US Office of Naval Research.

Professor Jones is Chair of the WMO World Weather Research programme Science Steering Committee.

Dr Jan Barkmeijer

Term: 2008-2016


Piero Lionello

Professor Piero Lionello

Term: 2008-2016

Full professor of Meteorology and physical Oceanography at the University of Salento, Italy; coordinator of the PhD programme in 'Ecology and Climate Change'


Since 2006 Professor Lionello chairs the steering committee of the MedCLIVAR (Mediterranean Climate Variability, scientific network.

He has also been elected chair of the 'International Scientific Steering Committee of the project HyMeX (Hydrological cycle in the Mediterranean eXperiment) for two terms (2008-2012).

His original background is in Physics, but he was later involved in
oceanographic subjects (he contributed to the development of the WAM wave model) and subsequently in regional climate dynamics, with a focus on the Mediterranean region.

He has published more than 70 scientific papers and edited two books on the climate of the Mediterranean region.

Piero Lionello at the University of Salento

Robert Vautard

Dr Robert Vautard

Term: 2008-2016

Senior scientist at CNRS, working at the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement


Dr Vautard is a climate scientist and has been review editor for the 5th IPCC assessment report. He chairs the research and innovation research programme of the excellence laboratory of the Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace. He leads a European C3S project for the development of climate services for the energy sector. He has published ~180 research articles in peer-reviewed literature.