ETH Board, 25 September 2015

Upon application of the President of ETH Zurich, Professor Lino Guzzella, and the President of EPFL, Professor Patrick Aebischer, at its meeting of 23/24 September 2015 the ETH Board appointed a total of 23 individuals as professors, took note of the resignation of eleven professors and thanked them for their services, and awarded the title of professor to four individuals.

Appointments at ETH Zurich

Professor Ioannis Anastasopoulos (*1976), currently Professor at the University of Dundee, Scotland, as Full Professor of Geotechnical Engineering. Ioannis Anastasopoulos is an internationally renowned scientist with extensive knowledge of numerical and physical modelling. In addition, he has industrial experience and innovative research ideas in the field of geotechnical earthquake engineering and offshore geotechnical engineering. He ideally complements the existing expertise in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering. Ioannis Anastasopoulos will help reinforce ETH Zurich's leading position in geotechnical engineering topics, such as the ability of buildings to withstand earthquakes.

Professor Yaakov Benenson (*1975), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, as Associate Professor of Synthetic Biology. Yaakov Benenson is one of the leading young scientists in the field of synthetic biology. This new science uses functional combinations of individual molecular components to develop artificial biological systems which allow new insights into diseases and innovative therapeutic approaches. Yaakov Benenson was the first person to build this kind of biomolecular computing device. By promoting him to Associate Professor, ETH Zurich and the Department of Biosystems in Basel are strengthening the position of synthetic biology as a strategic research focus.

Professor Benjamin Dillenburger (*1977), currently Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, as Assistant Professor of Digital Building Technologies. Benjamin Dillenburger has attracted international attention for his outstanding work in opening up new fields in construction. The theses he has formulated on the basis of digital design and fabrication processes call classical paradigms into question. 3D architectural printing is one of his key areas of research. Here, he focuses on investigating the specific performance and tectonic possibilities of high-resolution additive printing processes. Benjamin Dillenburger has the potential to make a significant contribution to the future of architectural production.

Dr Marco Hutter (*1985), currently Deputy Laboratory Director at ETH Zurich, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Robotic Systems. Marco Hutter has achieved global recognition for his pioneering work on mechanical walking. His focus is on innovative concepts of series elastic actuation systems, which enable quadrupedal robots to walk and run in an extremely efficient and dynamic manner. A drive module developed by his team will shortly be used in the industrial manufacture of walking excavators. Marco Hutter's appointment will further enhance ETH Zurich's leading position in robotics research and significantly strengthen two National Centres of Competence in Research – Digital Fabrication and Robotics.

Dr Christoph Keller (*1981), currently a post-doctoral student at Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA, as Assistant Professor of Mathematical Physics. Christoph Keller is an internationally acclaimed theoretical physicist. His work highly successfully combines physical intuition with methods from modern mathematics. He has gained particular recognition for his work on conformal field theories and their applications in string theory. In addition, he is a gifted teacher who is able to explain even the most complex content while inspiring students to discover more about his research interests. Christoph Keller's appointment at ETH Zurich is expected to reinforce the traditionally strong relationship between the Departments of mathematics and physics.

Dr Alexander Mathys (*1979), currently Head of Department at the German Institute of Food Technologies in Lower Saxony, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Sustainable Food Processing. Alexander Mathys is a well-regarded expert in thermal and non-thermal preservation technologies. His other research interests include the scalability of processes using approaches derived from micro-processing technology, alternative sources of protein from algae and insects, and using life cycle analyses to assess the sustainability of value chains. With the appointment of Alexander Mathys, ETH Zurich is adding the area of sustainable food processing to its existing strengths in food sciences and nutrition.

Professor Christoph Müller (*1978), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, as Associate Professor of Energy Science and Engineering. Christoph Müller is recognised as a young scientist with an international reputation. He works on research problems at the interface between the mechanical and chemical engineering sciences. His goal is to develop new energy conversion processes with massively reduced CO2 emissions. By appointing Christoph Müller as an Associate Professor, ETH Zurich is gaining an outstanding specialist who will make a significant contribution to its research competence in a subject of particular importance to the world's future energy supplies.

Professor Onur Mutlu (*1978), currently Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA, as Full Professor of Computer Science. Onur Mutlu is one of the world's most promising scientists in the field of computer engineering and has gained an excellent reputation through his contributions to top conferences. He conducts research into the design of fast, scalable and energy-efficient computers, especially their memory architecture. His other research topics include biological computing and bio-inspired systems. Onur Mutlu's appointment strengthens the computer systems subject area at ETH Zurich. His work also has interesting cross-connections with topical research issues such as data centres, networks and operating systems.

Professor Gunnar Rätsch (*1973), currently Associate Professor at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, USA, as Full Professor of Biomedical Informatics. Gunnar Rätsch is an internationally renowned specialist in medical and bioinformatics. He develops highly advanced statistical processes to discover genes in genomic sequence data and use them to extract medical information. This knowledge is linked to large volumes of data from hospital archives, for example, thus helping to drive personalised medicine forward. By appointing Gunnar Rätsch, ETH Zurich is not only proactively strengthening research and teaching at the interface between information technology and medicine but also reinforcing the strategic area of big data.

 

Appointments at EPFL

Professor Claudia Binder (*1966), currently Full Professor at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, as Full Professor of Urban Ecology and Sustainable Living. Claudia Binder is an internationally acclaimed researcher who has developed an independent global approach to urban ecosystems. She integrates sociological topics, thus expanding urban spaces into socio-ecological systems. Her work is practice-based and involves political and other players in order to tackle current topics such as energy transition and urban consolidation. Claudia Binder's main research focus superbly complements the existing activities of EPFL. With her appointment, the Federal Institute is strengthening research into a topic which is of central importance to society.

Professor Edoardo Charbon (*1964), currently Full Professor at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, as Full Professor of Microtechnology. Edoardo Charbon is an internationally recognised leader in the field of photosensors, especially single-photon avalanche diodes. By combining applied physics with electrical engineering he has achieved groundbreaking successes in the production of photon counters for large-format sensors. His findings have resulted in important advances in areas such as medical imaging, particularly positron emission tomography. In addition to his academic excellence, Edoardo Charbon will contribute his experience in teaching and technology transfer to EPFL.

Professor Nicolai Cramer (*1977), currently Associate Professor at EPFL, as Full Professor of Organic Chemistry. Nicolai Cramer is a highly creative researcher. His outstanding scientific work in the field of asymmetric catalysis and organic synthesis has allowed him to gain a leading global position in his area of research in only a few years. He focuses on the development of catalytic processes to activate inert bonds and on their application in the synthesis of molecules. The appointment of Nicolai Cramer allows EPFL to reinforce both its international reach and the teaching of chemistry and chemical engineering to students.

Dr Corentin Fivet (*1985), currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Architecture and Design of Structures. Corentin Fivet has wide-ranging experience in the development and application of graphically supported planning software. This allows construction aspects to be incorporated into planning right from the start, while at the same time greatly reducing the material intensity of the constructions. Corentin Fivet will work closely with the professorship held by Paolo Tombesi (see below). These two appointments strengthen EPFL's activities in the fields of technology, construction and sustainable architecture at the Fribourg site.

Dr Romain Fleury (*1987), currently research assistant at the University of Texas, Austin, USA, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Romain Fleury is a promising young scientist. In his work so far, he has proved his ability to conduct research at the highest level. He is particularly interested in the field of linear non-reciprocal acoustics, in which he is well on the way to establishing himself as an international leader. He also researches electromagnetic metamaterials. These are artificially produced structures whose porosity to electrical and magnetic fields deviates from the usual values found in nature.

Professor Christian Heinis (*1975), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at EPFL, as Associate Professor of Bioorganic Chemistry. In recent years Christian Heinis has attracted considerable attention from international experts for his findings and he is regarded as being at the top of his field. He has in particular made a name for himself in the identification of bicyclic peptides and their application in biomedicine. Macrocyclic peptides are another of his areas of research. His results are of great value for the development of new drugs. EPFL's research and teaching are set to benefit from Christian Heinis and his innovative approaches. He will further enhance its international reputation and positioning.

Dr Wenzel Jakob (*1983), currently a post-doctoral student at ETH Zurich, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Communication Systems. Wenzel Jakob is a highly talented and versatile specialist in computer graphics. His main focus is on the accurate reproduction of images on screens, in relation to which he models the interaction between the physical material and light. His research findings have already led to significant technological advances and won him considerable recognition within the academic community. Wenzel Jakob's appointment will make it possible to capture far-reaching synergies with the work of the professors who are already doing research on visual computing at EPFL.

Dr Mikhail Kapralov (*1983), currently a post-doctoral student at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, New York, USA, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Communication Systems. Mikhail Kapralov is a brilliant theoretician in the field of algorithms. His research on sublinear algorithms has led to significant breakthroughs in the area of big data, where even the most efficient linear algorithms can no longer cope with and analyse the data volumes at reasonable cost. By appointing Mikhail Kapralov, EPFL is further strengthening the area of theoretical information technology, following recent appointments in the same general field.

Professor Dimitrios Lignos (*1979), currently Associate Professor at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, as Associate Professor of Structures and Materials. Dimitrios Lignos has made a name for himself internationally through large-scale experiments in the field of structural engineering. His results make it possible to calculate the fracture behaviour and breaking points of metallic structures under high-stress conditions. These discoveries have practical applications in the construction of high-rise tower blocks, for example. Dimitrios Lignos closely combines science and practice in a way which benefits EPFL. His conceptual orientation will permit wide-ranging synergies with other researchers at the Federal Institute.

Professor Semyon Malamud (*1980), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at EPFL, as Associate Professor of Finance. Semyon Malamud is an internationally acclaimed academic with high potential. Originally a mathematician, he became interested in the financial sciences and now conducts research on a wide range of topics, including macroeconomic equilibrium, game theory, the asymmetric dissemination of information, and dynamic models of corporate financing. Semyon Malamud's findings have been received with great interest by scholars and practitioners. His interdisciplinary approach will enrich research and teaching at EPFL.

Professor Aleksandra Radenovic (*1975), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at EPFL, as Associate Professor of Bioengineering. In recent years Aleksandra Radenovic has gained international recognition both for her research and her laboratory at EPFL in a highly competitive environment. Her area of research is the development of experimental techniques to observe biological molecules and cells using biosensors and optical imaging. She has achieved a number of highly regarded scientific breakthroughs in this field, including in DNA sequencing. The promotion of Aleksandra Radenovic enables EPFL to enhance its strong international position in bioengineering.

Dr Mahmut Selman Sakar (*1983), currently Senior Scientist at ETH Zurich, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Mahmut Selman Sakar has multidisciplinary skills in robotics, mechanical engineering and biology. In particular, he conducts research in the fields of materials science and microelectromechanics, using his findings to develop smart microrobots. These can be used for medical diagnosis and in minimally invasive medicine, for example. In Mahmut Selman Sakar, EPFL is appointing an ambitious scientist who will make a significant contribution to the Federal Institute's positioning in the forward-looking fields of biomechanics and biomedicine.

Dr Vasiliki Tileli (*1981), currently a Research Associate at University College, London, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Materials Science. Vasiliki Tileli is an internationally recognised specialist in microstructures. Her research delivers results which will enable further advances to be made in a variety of very topical fields. These include nanotechnology, energy conversion and storage, and the development of semiconductors using nanotechnology. With her combination of skills in electron microscopy and the materials sciences, Vasiliki Tileli is an ideal fit with the Interdisciplinary Centre for Electron Microscopy at EPFL and will enrich its activities.

Professor Paolo Tombesi (*1961), currently Professor at the University of Melbourne, Australia, as Full Professor of Construction and Architecture. Paolo Tombesi is an internationally renowned academic who focuses on the relationship between the intellectual dimension of architecture and socio-technical aspects of physical construction. He adopts a comprehensive approach which considers the relevant planning and implementation processes as well as all the construction elements. Paolo Tombesi will work closely with the professorship held by Corentin Fivet (see above). These two appointments strengthen EPFL's activities in the fields of technology, construction and sustainable architecture at the Fribourg site.

 

Award of the title of Professor

Dr Takashi Ishikawa (*1967), Lecturer at ETH Zurich and Group Leader at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), as Adjunct Professor at ETH Zurich. Takashi Ishikawa has made a significant contribution to the development of structural electron microscopy at ETH Zurich. He is a global leader in applying this technology to biological questions.

Dr Stefanie D. Krämer (*1964), Senior Lecturer and Senior Scientist at ETH Zurich, as Adjunct Professor at ETH Zurich. Stefanie Krämer contributes significantly to the teaching offered by the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Her scientific work is well regarded internationally.

Professor Christoph Vorburger (*1971), from October 2015 Group Leader at Eawag in Dübendorf, as Adjunct Professor at ETH Zurich. Christoph Vorburger is an internationally acclaimed evolutionary biologist and an outstanding university lecturer. His Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) assistant professorship at the Department of Environmental Systems Science at ETH Zurich expires at the end of September 2015.

Dr Bruno Oberle (*1955), Director of the Federal Office for the Environment, as Adjunct Professor at EPFL. In recent years Bruno Oberle has had a decisive impact on Switzerland's environmental policy through his wide-ranging knowledge and high degree of commitment, and has represented it internationally. Furthermore, he is the author of numerous academic articles and is a sought-after lecturer. Bruno Oberle will take up his position at the EPFL’s College of Management of Technology on
1 January 2016.

 

Departures from ETH Zurich

Professor Pius Baschera (*1950), currently Full Professor of Entrepreneurship, will retire at the end of January 2016. Since 1998 Pius Baschera has been a lecturer at ETH Zurich, alongside his successful business career as a mechanical engineer and business expert. In 2006 the ETH Board appointed him as a Full Professor. His post was  established along the lines ofa Professor of Practice with reduced working hours. ETH Zurich thus ensures a suitable mix of research and practical management. In his work as a lecturer, Pius Baschera focused on giving lectures on innovation management and practice-based case studies on strategy development and implementation. His lectures have been very popular.

Professor Bertram Batlogg (*1950), currently Full Professor of Physics of Condensed Matter, is to retire at the end of January 2016. Bertram Batlogg was appointed to ETH Zurich in the year 2000, following a successful international research career. His award-winning research activities, which have received recognition at the highest levels, are in the field of experimental solid-state physics with an emphasis on new materials and their electrical, magnetic and optical characteristics. He has been able to expand fundamental knowledge and make it usable for practical applications. For some years, Bertram Batlogg has also been working on questions relating to organic molecular crystals and organic semiconductors.

Professor Roman Boutellier (*1950), currently Full Professor of Innovation and Technology Management and Vice President Human Resources and Infrastructure, is to retire at the end of December 2015. Roman Boutellier is one of the few people in Switzerland to attain top positions both academically and in business. He has filled a variety of demanding positions in leading industrial firms and serves on the boards of directors of international companies to this day. His scientific career led him to the University of St. Gallen, where he was appointed as a Full Professor in 1993. In March 2004 the ETH Board appointed him as a Full Professor at ETH Zurich, while from 2005 onwards he was head of postgraduate management studies. At the beginning of October 2008 he was appointed to the Executive Board. Both as a professor and in his management role, Roman Boutellier has made a significant contribution to strengtheningETH Zurich in strategically important areas such as real estate, human resources and IT infrastructure, and in enhancing its standing as a leading international university. He left his mark in particular in the development of the university site in central Zurich, in the expansion of the Hönggerberg location and in the project to construct the new Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) in Lugano and launch the ETH Biosystems departmentin Basel.

Professor Uta Hassler (*1950), currently Full Professor of Historic Building Research and Conservation, will retire at the end of January 2016. Uta Hassler joined ETH Zurich in June 2005. She is one of Europe's leading figures in the preservation of historical monuments. In her work Uta Hassler has devoted herself to the entire spectrum of historic building research and monument conservation. She has placed particular emphasis on developing new methods of analysing the condition of buildings and gaining new perspectives on a sustainable management policy. With her interdisciplinary approach, Uta Hassler has further enhanced the profile of the Institute for Historic Building Research and Conservation and added forward-looking topics to the research activity of the Department of Architecture.

Professor Ottmar Holdenrieder (*1954), currently Full Professor of Forest Pathology and Dendrology, is to take early retirement at the end of August 2016. After holding various international posts, Ottmar Holdenrieder was appointed to ETH Zurich as an Associate Professor in 1990. He was promoted to Full Professor in October 1997. His research has focused on fungal diseases in forest trees, differential diagnosis of tree diseases and biodiversity in woody plants. Under Ottmar Holdenrieder, the subject area of forest pathology and dendrology has experienced rapid growth at ETH Zurich, gaining a leading international position in the field of forest mycology.

Professor Bertrand Meyer (*1950), currently Full Professor of Software Engineering, will retire at the end of January 2016. In October 2001 the ETH Board appointed Bertrand Meyer as a Full Professor at ETH Zurich. His work has covered various aspects of software engineering with a particular focus on methods, technologies, languages and tools for improving software quality. He has been outstandingly successful at making his research results applicable in practice. A software programme he developed is currently used by companies and government offices throughout the world. Furthermore, Bertrand Meyer has written a number of highly regarded books and academic articles on software engineering.

Professor Paul Smith (*1951), currently Full Professor of Polymer Technology, is to retire at the end of January 2016. Paul Smith was appointed to ETH Zurich in 1995 following a successful career in science and business. His areas of work have included electrically and optically active polymers, polymer phase behaviour, polymer systems with strong intermolecular interactions and polymer systems with metallic components. In addition, polymer processing has been given high priority within his very active research group. Paul Smith's research findings have attracted international attention and won a number of prizes.

Professor Walter Steurer (*1950), currently Full Professor of Crystallography, will retire at the end of January 2016. Walter Steurer has held joint professorships at ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich since autumn 1993. He is recognised as one of the world's leading experts on crystallography. His research interests include investigating the structure of aperiodic crystals and their phase transformations, the modelling of order/disorder phenomena, the measurement of thermoelastic tensors of single crystals, X-ray holography and higher-dimensional crystallography. In addition to his work in research and teaching, Walter Steurer has served as a head of institute and head of department.

 

Departures from EPFL

Professor Nico de Rooij (*1951), currently Full Professor of Microtechnology, is to retire at the end of January 2016. Nico de Rooij joined EPFL in 1989. He is an internationally acclaimed pioneer in the field of microtechnology and has contributed significantly to the development and manufacture not only of miniaturised sensors and actuators but also of microsystems. In addition, he has initiated major projects in Switzerland and Europe, such as for the European Space Agency (ESA). Nico de Rooij has held various management positions during his career, including at the University of Neuchâtel and the Swiss Centre for Electronics and Microtechnology. He has also assumed wide-ranging responsibilities at EPFL, where he served as a head of institute.

Professor Marc Parlange (*1962), currently Full Professor of Environmental Modelling, has resigned from EPFL with effect from mid-September 2015. He joined the Federal Institute in May 2004. Subsequently, he was appointed Dean at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. In recognition of his services, including as Dean of the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Marc Parlange is permitted to continue to use the title of EPFL Professor.

Professor Alfred Rufer (*1951), currently Full Professor of Power Electronics, is to retire at the end of February 2016. Alfred Rufer joined EPFL in 1993 as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Full Professor in 1998. His research interests have included electronic switches, energy production and storage, and the modelling and simulation of power electronic systems. Alfred Rufer's internationally acclaimed findings have been integrated into practical applications in the fields of renewable energies and optimising systems performance. He has been outstandingly successful at combining his research interests with meeting demand from industry for practical applications. Alfred Rufer has made a major contribution to EPFL through his commitment and dedication.

 

The ETH Board would like to thank the departing professors for their services to science, teaching and academic administration.