Sifakis Nicolas
Sifakis Nicolas

Nicolas Sifakis is an Engineer (NTUA, 1986), with a MEng in Remote Sensing (UPCM-Paris), a MSc in Atmospheric Chemistry, a PhD from Paris Diderot University (1992), and postdoctoral research on the assessment of air-pollutant emissions and transport at the Joint Research Centre (JRC-Ispra).

Nicolas worked as a researcher at the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences in Paris (EHHES, 1987-1991). He then participated in the Task Force that set up the European Environment Agency (EEA-TF, 1991-1994), where he was assigned the coordination of the CLC key-component of the future EEA. He introduced the use of satellite-data in pan-European environmental reporting, and edited the “CORINE Land Cover Technical Guide”, the prime reference document for computer-assisted photointerpretation. In 1998, he was elected Assistant Researcher at the National Observatory of Athens (NOA), where he pursued his career to the rank of Director of Research. Nicolas has provided consultancy to the: EEA, EC’s Directorates of Research and of the Environment, Committee of the Regions, Hellenic Space Research and Technology Committee, Greek Ministry of Rural Development, and City of Athens. In 2001, for his groundbreaking research on air-pollution mapping using high spatial resolution, he was invited by NASA to participate in the interdisciplinary initiative on “Health and the Environment from Space” at the GSFC-Maryland. He was elected President of the Association of NOA’s Researchers (2008-2011). For his scientific achievements, he received the FULBRIGHT Senior Research Award, the ONASSIS Foundation research grant, the IAS Aeronautics & Space grant, a CIES Lecturer fund, a NATO fellowship, a French Space Agency CNES grant, and Honours by the Technical Chamber of Greece).

In 2012, Nicolas was seconded as a National Expert (SNE) at the European Research Council (ERC-Brussels), where he was elected VP of the CLENAD Liaison Committee of SNEs and president of the Greek section of CLENAD. He currently serves as a Scientific Officer at the ERC, coordinating the Earth system science panel.


Identification and 3D mapping of air-pollution using high spatial resolution satellite data.  Integrated information systems for urban air quality and health impact assessment. Real-time wildfire detection systems to assist crisis management using low-resolution satellite data. Assessing the UN’s SDG on nature conservation using remote sensing.