John S. Erickson, Ph.D.

Dedicated to providing high-impact technical leadership to teams sharing a deep respect for the individual, a commitment to community responsibility, and an ambition to make technical contributions for the advancement and welfare of humanity.

SUMMARY: John S. Erickson, Ph.D. has spent more than three decades studying the unique social, legal, and technical problems that arise when managing and disseminating information in digital environments. Currently Director of Research Operations at the Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Application (IDEA) and Deputy Director of the Web Science Research Center of the Tetherless World Constellation (TWC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), John coordinates, contributes, and teaches: In addition to supporting ongoing research, John mentors undergraduate researchers and co-teaches courses in the IDEA Data INCITE pipeline including Intro to Data Math, Data Analytics Research Lab, and Health Analytics Challenge Lab; leads frequent on-campus R Bootcamps; and is the founder of RPIrates: The RPI R Users Group. Prior to joining RPI John was a principal investigator on projects at Hewlett-Packard Labs focused on the policy-based management and personalization of distributed, heterogeneous digital object repositories, content processing architectures and collaboration systems. Before joining HP John was an entrepreneur, having created the first Web-based service to fully automate the complex copyright permissions process for a variety of media types, and the first digital rights management (DRM) technology to facilitate dialog and metadata exchange between content creators and users.

John is a hands-on individual contributor, systems architect, project leader and entrepreneur, with more than three decades experience creating novel Internet technologies and generating real business value.

PROFILES: ResearcherID, ORCID, ResearchGate, LinkedIn, RStudio Community
SOCIAL MEDIA: (, (, (, (, @olyerickson (Twitter)

Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Application, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
Director of Operations (2015 – present)
Tetherless World Constellation, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
Deputy Director of the Web Science Research Center (2014 – present)
Director of Web Science Operations (2010 – 2014)
Guidance to research scientists, graduate and undergrad students in research project management, and publication; liaison with corporate partners; preparation and delivery of lectures in Web Science, Semantic Web technologies and basic Internet engineering to undergraduates and graduate students.
Teaching: Data Analytics Research Lab (Fall 2016-Present), Health Analytics Challenge Lab (Summer 2018-Present); Intro to Data Math (Spring 2018-present); Special Projects in Big Data Analytics (Fall 2015); R Bootcamps (Summer 2016-Present). Ongoing guest lectures on semantic web, web science and R in several courses.

Bitwacker Associates, Norwich, VT (2009 – present)
Independent Technology Consultant
Strategic guidance to organizations on content identification, description and monetization

Hewlett-Packard Labs, Norwich, VT and Bristol, UK (1999 – 2009)
Principal Scientist, Web Services & Systems Lab
Proposed, led and published research on policy-based management and personalization of highly distributed digital object repositories, content processing architectures and collaboration systems.

  • Co-Principal Investigator for Fractal, a platform for content-centered collaboration “spaces” delivered on-demand through a cloud infrastructure.
  • PI and project leader for pf-dspace, leveraging DSpace open source repository platform as a vehicle for fundamental repository research.
  • PI and project leader for a distributed, attribute-based access control system (ABAC) for the HP Digital Media Platform product, successfully transferred to HP Digital Entertainment business unit.
  • Advised HPLabs and HP product groups on DRM for more than a decade.

Yankee Rights Management (a division of YBP Inc), Contoocook, NH (1997-1999)
VP of Technology Strategy, co-founder

  • Led the conceptualization, prototyping, architectural design and system development of Copyright Direct™, YRM’s novel user-centered approach to rights management.
  • Wrote and presented numerous papers, conference presentations (including keynote addresses), university lectures and consultations with major stakeholder corporations.

YBP Inc, Contoocook, NH (1998-1999)
VP, Systems Development and Operations
Interim manager of more than 20 web, Windows and mainframe software developers, DBAs, and network and systems administrators for a 300+ employee, $90+M global wholesaler of books and reference materials to university and research libraries.

NetRights, LLC, Lebanon, NH (1995-1997)
VP of Product & Technology Strategy, co-founder
Created core IP & patents for a new approach to copyright management in the digital environment.

  • Architect, chief evangelist, lead author, engineering manager for LicensIt™/@ttribute™
  • Awarded key patents, recognized as “essential” to Open Mobile Alliance DRM specification.
  • Contributed to online publishing industry’s first rights management standardization efforts.
  • Sold NetRights to Digimarc Corp (DMRC), an innovator in digital watermarking technologies.

Interactive Media Lab, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH (1992-1995)
Graduate Research Assistant

Digital Equipment Corp, Marlboro, MA (1984-1992)
Principal Engineer, GIA Mfg & Engineering
Systems architect and project leader for special-purpose functional test systems.
Conceived, sought funding for and led an international team in the development of the Advanced Pattern Kernel, a high-performance test platform with optical clock distribution; 1Ghz, multichannel programmable waveform generation; GUI-based networked development and operations.


  • Ph.D. (Engineering Sciences), Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College
  • M.Eng. (Electrical Engineering), Cornell University (funded through a Digital Equipment Corp. “GEEP” fellowship)
  • BSEE, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

AWARDS & PROFESSIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS: Multiple US patents for digital rights management and information security technologies; related patents pending. Consistent participation in international metadata, content identification and rights management standards efforts, most recently including W3C Government Linked Data (GLD) Working Group and W3C eGovernment (eGov) Interest Group; OAI Object Reuse and Exchange (OAI-ORE) Advisory Committee; DSpace Architectural Review Committee; and the Global Handle System Advisory Committee. Elected to board of directors of the Nat’l Information Standards Organization. Served on Industry Working Group for Digital Copyright Submissions for U.S. Copyright Office; OASIS Rights Language Technical Committee; and W3C DRM Program Committee. Invited senior instructor for the Web Science Summer Graduate School (Troy, NY) presented by the Web Science Research Initiative. Active member of the IEEE; charter Editorial Board member of IEEE Security and Privacy magazine.

US PATENTS: (as of October 2016) 9,479,483; 9,311,367; 8,386,520; 8,341,424; 7,904,504; 7,702,725; 7,647,642; 7,398,556; 7,103,773; 7,047,241; 6,807,534; 5,765,152



  1. John-

    Good to see you up and running.

    Let’s get together to chat. We have been trying to do that.

    Best regards,


  2. […] John S. Erickson, Ph.D. Posted by: John Erickson | October 28, 2010 […]

  3. […] John S. Erickson, Ph.D. […]

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