Rene Doursat, Developer in Paris, France
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Rene Doursat

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Back-end Developer

Paris, France
Toptal Member Since
January 6, 2022

Rene is a senior full-stack developer with ten years of experience in startups dealing with business rules, eCommerce, bioinformatics, networking, and blockchain. He was also 20 years in academia as a researcher and professor of computer science. His expertise includes OO design, web APIs, Jakarta EE, Node.js, C++, and Solidity. A prolific programmer with strong analytical skills and a rigorous code style, Rene creates complex applications based on best practices such as design patterns.


Starchain Gazer
Analytical Thinking, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency
An NFT Marketplace Startup
Blockchain, Solidity, React, Web3.js, Smart Contracts, Ethereum, Truffle, DApps...
Manchester Metropolitan University
Java, Eclipse, POSIX, C, Analytical Thinking, Object-oriented Programming (OOP)




Preferred Environment

Linux, Windows, Eclipse, Visual Studio, Apache, GitHub, Ethereum, Solidity

The most amazing... I've created is a code generator that automatically synced GUI and text edits by parsing annotations I invented. It became a core part of Neuron Data.

Work Experience

Lead Scientist | Blockchain Developer

2022 - 2022
Starchain Gazer
  • Developed the company's flagship play-and-earn Web 3.0 game project, Time Breachers, built on blockchain technology to let players, who have invested efforts to gain skills and ranking, effectively own game assets that they can lend or sell anywhere.
  • Led the writing of a four-authored review-and-position paper, "A Data-driven and Principled Approach to Designing the Tokenomics of a New Blockchain-based Game (on SSRN open-access)," which has attracted a significant audience and positive reviews.
  • Built a proof-of-concept app in Node.js, including a RESTful API server, to test the back-end connection of the game to third-party blockchain frameworks.
Technologies: Analytical Thinking, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency

Full-stack Developer

2021 - 2021
An NFT Marketplace Startup
  • Designed and developed a prototype of the NFT marketplace platform on an Ethereum-based blockchain from scratch, involving 30 smart contracts written in Solidity on the back end and 50 web pages written in React and JavaScript on the front end.
  • Implemented several features on the back end, such as different user roles, including NFT "creator" and "investor," artwork descriptions and an artwork gallery, NFT wrapping, and NFT exchange based on public or peer-to-peer buy and sell orders.
  • Created a flow of web pages based on original React components and the Web3.js library on the front end to interact with these smart contracts.
Technologies: Blockchain, Solidity, React, Web3.js, Smart Contracts, Ethereum, Truffle, DApps, Remix IDE, OpenZeppelin, TypeScript, JavaScript, Cryptocurrency, Node.js, Full-stack, Crypto, Analytical Thinking, Non-fungible Tokens (NFT), Object-oriented Programming (OOP), Ethereum Smart Contracts, JSON, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency, ERC-20, ERC-1155, ERC-721

Full Professor | Tenured Position

2016 - 2019
Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Mentored colleagues on their research activities and publication plans as a deputy director of MMU's Center for Advanced Computational Science, a research lab of data science, machine intelligence, smart infrastructure, and human-centered computing.
  • Pursued my research in bio-inspired computing with three PhD students. Focused mainly on morphogenesis to design decentralized self-assembling systems with applications to swarm robotics, synthetic biology, and socio-technical networks.
  • Coauthored and won a €3.6 million EU Marie-Curie Action grant involving 11 partner universities in five countries, offering 15 PhD scholarships for selected international students to study image processing and simulation of multicellular development.
  • Taught classes on Java and operating systems. Sat on various university-level committees. Managed admissions to the department's doctoral school. Developed cross-campus and international collaborations. Organized workshops and summer schools.
Technologies: Java, Eclipse, POSIX, C, Analytical Thinking, Object-oriented Programming (OOP)

Guest Lecturer

2009 - 2015
Ecole Polytechnique (France)
  • Coauthored and won a €3.2 million EU Erasmus Mundus educational grant, a "Master's in Complex Systems Science," led by four universities from three countries: Ecole Polytechnique in France, Warwick in the UK, Chalmers, and Gothenburg in Sweden.
  • Designed the curriculum for this grant and managed admissions the first year.
  • Created an original course, "Complex Systems Made Simple by Agent Modeling," exploring cellular automata, pattern formation, swarm intelligence, and other phenomena with the NetLogo simulator. Students chose a term project and wrote code and a paper.
  • Co-organized a series of seminars, "Brain and Cognition," given by prominent scientists on the multiscale neural basis of cognition and computational neuroscience. Students reviewed and presented articles relevant to the speakers' topics.
Technologies: NetLogo, Analytical Thinking

Research Scientist | Director

2006 - 2011
Complex Systems Institute Paris
  • Worked as a director for two years of this multidisciplinary research center and network sponsored by the Paris region, CNRS, and 15 top-rank universities, with a mission to foster a scientific community around complex systems and self-organization.
  • Managed a budget of €1 million per year, supporting equipment, summer schools, and resident staff. Met monthly with a steering committee of 15 senior scientists. Reported to the executive board on the institute's activities to renew its mandate.
  • Conducted my own research for five years. Founded a new field of research, "Morphogenetic Engineering," which explores new ways of designing complex architectures that self-assemble from a swarm of agents.
  • Co-managed two EU grant projects, "Embryomics" and "BioEmergences," led by six partners, whose goal was the spatiotemporal reconstruction of biological development by image processing and agent-based simulation. Supervised a PhD student's thesis.
  • Co-edited books, wrote articles, and spoke at conferences.
Technologies: Java, MATLAB, LaTeX, Python, Analytical Thinking, Object-oriented Programming (OOP)

Research Assistant Professor

2004 - 2006
University of Nevada - Reno
  • Worked as a co-investigator on the "Neuromorphic Mesocircuits" project worth $800 thousand. It was funded by the Office of Naval Research at UNR's Brain Computation Lab, a unit applying large-scale spiking neural models to behavior-based robotics.
  • Contributed to developing and exploiting the lab's core technology called the NeoCortical Simulator (NCS), biologically-detailed software written in C++ and running on a massively parallel 220-CPU Beowulf cluster architecture.
  • Taught two to three classes per semester as a visiting faculty of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Organized and co-managed student projects. Assisted in supervising MSc and PhD work.
Technologies: C++, Analytical Thinking

Chief Engineer

2002 - 2004
Akheron Technologies
  • Co-developed the innovative network security technology of Akheron, a Palo Alto-based startup, which extended traditional firewall protection, including traffic analysis and filtering, to the application layer, such as instant messaging.
  • Designed and implemented a suite of Java applications to monitor, archive, and display instant messaging traffic based on a complex thread-pooled, multi-client architecture using the Cisco Jabber protocol. Wrote 40,000 original source lines of code.
  • Contributed to Akheron's proprietary high-bandwidth transparent vectoring technology specifications and prototype versions. Coauthored or assisted in writing four patent applications.
Technologies: TCP/IP, JabberD, Java, C, Jakarta EE, Java EE, JavaScript, Linux, Windows, C++, Jakarta Server Pages (JSP), Apache, PHP, MySQL, REST APIs, Analytical Thinking, Object-oriented Programming (OOP)

Senior Software Architect

2000 - 2001
BIOwulf Genomics
  • Co-developed the bioinformatics technology of BIOwulf, a Berkeley-based spinoff, using machine learning methods, especially support vector machines (SVMs), applied to genomic, proteomic, and medical data analysis.
  • Collaborated with prominent AI scientists to integrate math findings into IT. Designed and developed an application service provider, the discovery platform, to deliver productized SVM algorithms and streamline multiple data processing flows.
  • Coded the entire Jakarta EE system, including a back-end numerical computation server with the JNI over MATLAB, through which users uploaded data, math analysts deployed custom classifiers, and then users downloaded results. Coauthored the patent.
Technologies: Java EE, MATLAB, Machine Learning, Java Native Interface (JNI), Jakarta EE, Java, C, C++, Neural Networks, Apache, JavaScript, Linux, Windows, CSS, HTML, PHP, MySQL, REST APIs, Full-stack, Object-oriented Programming (OOP)

Senior Software Engineer | Architect

1999 - 2000
RedCart Solutions
  • Played a major role in designing and developing the universal shopping cart technology of RedCart, an eCommerce startup based in San Francisco, which enabled transactions across multiple online merchants via a single consumer web portal.
  • Created the automatic multi-checkout function on two coupled servers, a multi-tier, multi-threaded engine in Jakarta EE on the back end, and an HTTP bot in C automating the navigation of websites via wrappers run by an Apache proxy on the front end.
  • Invented an original macro script in C containing 120 bot navigation commands to streamline the massive development of custom wrapper code, one for each merchant, and trained groups of programmers in its use.
  • Helped supervise and provide technical leadership to the engineering team in collaboration with the CTO and VP of engineering. Led or contributed to code reviews for most of the system.
Technologies: Java EE, Jakarta Server Pages (JSP), Apache, HTTP, C, Jakarta EE, JavaScript, Back-end, Java, SQL, Linux, Windows, C++, Code Generators, TCP/IP, CSS, HTML, PHP, REST APIs, MySQL, Full-stack, Analytical Thinking, Object-oriented Programming (OOP)

Software Engineer

1995 - 1999
Neuron Data (Now Blaze Software)
  • Hired to work directly with the chief software architect of Neuron Data, a maker of high-end application development tools for Fortune 500 customers. Created major new features, core modules, and prototypes of products from scratch.
  • Created a C or C++ code generator that automatically synchronized GUI and text edits for Open Interface, a cross-platform development environment precursor of Visual Basic. Invented a set of annotations to insert in the code and wrote their manual.
  • Developed the inference engine of Advisor's first prototype, a business rules management tool. Coded lexical and syntactical parsers for an English-like script compiler and created the initial GUI, further improved by the whole engineering team.
Technologies: Expert Systems, Business Rules Engine, Code Generators, C++, Java, SQL, Windows, C, PostgreSQL, Back-end, Analytical Thinking, Object-oriented Programming (OOP)

Branched Structure Formation in a Decentralized Flock of Wheeled Robots

Swarm robotics studies how a large number of relatively simple robots can accomplish various functions collectively and dynamically. Modular robotics concentrates on the design of specialized connected parts to perform precise tasks, while other swarms exhibit more fluid flocking and group adaptation.

In this project, we focused on the process of morphogenesis per se, i.e., the programmable and reliable bottom-up emergence of shapes at a higher level of organization. We showed that simple abstract rules of behavior executed by each agent or their genotype, involving message passing, virtual link creation, and force-based motion, are sufficient to generate various reproducible and scalable multi-agent branched structures or phenotypes. On this basis, we proposed a model of collective robot dynamics based on morphogenetic engineering principles, in particular an algorithm of programmable network growth, and how it allowed a flock of self-propelled wheeled robots on the ground to coordinate and function together.

The model was implemented in simulation and demonstrated in physical experiments with Psi Swarm robots.

Self-organization of Emergency Response Based on Morphogenetic Networks
Focusing on the challenge of fostering the self-assembly of socio-technical networks, we presented the application of Morphogenetic Engineering principles in this domain to a 2D spatial case study involving a team of first responders. Our model and simulation illustrated how rescue team members could be guided via hand-held devices toward better coordination and positioning at appropriate locations, based on peer-to-peer communication and local landmarks in the environment, such as incidents or exits, without the need for a centralized control center. Using Raspberry Pi devices, we illustrated this scenario in various situations that required quick decision-making to control and manage. Our work suggested the possibility of novel forms of bottom-up self-organization among groups of users and machines, in contrast to top-down imposed hierarchies and policies.

Cell-based Computational Model of Biological Development

The study of multicellular development is grounded in two complementary domains: cell biomechanics, which examines how physical forces shape the embryo, and genetic regulation and molecular signaling, which concern how cells determine their states and behaviors. Integrating both sides into a unified framework is crucial to fully understand the self-organized dynamics of morphogenesis. In this project, we introduced MecaGen, an integrative modeling platform enabling the hypothesis-driven simulation of these dual processes via the coupling between mechanical and chemical variables. Our approach relied upon a minimal cell behavior ontology comprising mesenchymal and epithelial cells and their associated behaviors. MecaGen enabled the specification and control of complex collective movements in 3D space through a biologically relevant gene regulatory network and parameter space exploration. Three case studies investigating pattern formation, epithelial differentiation, and tissue tectonics in zebrafish early embryogenesis, the latter with quantitative comparison to live imaging data, demonstrated the validity and usefulness of our framework.
2009 - 2010

Habilitation Degree in Complex Systems

Sorbonne University - Paris, France

1987 - 1991

PhD in Computational Science and Neural Networks

Sorbonne University - Paris, France

1985 - 1987

Master's Degree in Theoretical Physics

École Normale Supérieure (ENS) - Paris, France

1982 - 1985

Bachelor's Degree (Preparation) in Mathematics and Physics

Lycée Louis-le-Grand - Paris, France


Blockchain Developer Certification



Node.js, Web3.js, POSIX, React, REST APIs, OpenZeppelin


Apache, MATLAB, Remix IDE, LaTeX, GitHub, JabberD


Jakarta Server Pages (JSP), Business Rules Engine, Truffle


Jakarta EE, Java EE, Linux, Windows, Blockchain, Ethereum, Eclipse


Java, C, C++, NetLogo, PHP, JavaScript, SQL, Solidity, CSS, HTML, TypeScript, Python, Fortran


Object-oriented Programming (OOP)




Neural Networks, HTTP, Back-end, Java Native Interface (JNI), Full-stack, Analytical Thinking, Expert Systems, Code Generators, Machine Learning, TCP/IP, Smart Contracts, Cryptocurrency, Crypto, Non-fungible Tokens (NFT), Ethereum Smart Contracts, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency, ERC-20, ERC-1155, ERC-721, DApps

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