ETH Board, 05 July 2018

At its meeting of 5 July 2018 and upon application of the President of ETH Zurich, Professor Lino Guzzella, and the President of EPFL, Professor Martin Vetterli, the ETH Board appointed a total of 15 professors. It also took note of the resignations of one professor and thanked him for his services.

Appointments at ETH Zurich

Dr Sebastian Dötterl (*1982), currently Group Leader at the University of Augsburg, Germany, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Soil Resources. Sebastian Dötterl conducts research into the effects of disturbances on soil processes and investigates the control factors for greenhouse gas fluxes between soils and the atmosphere. His work includes experimental research in remote, data-poor areas, as well as mechanistic modelling to improve the transfer of knowledge from smaller to larger scales. The appointment of Sebastian Dötterl enables the Department of Environmental Systems Science to strengthen the links between understanding biological and geochemical processes and investigating pressing questions relating to global change.

Anne Holtrop (*1977), currently Visiting Professor at the Accademia di Architettura, Mendrisio, and owner of the architecture firm Studio Anne Holtrop, as Associate Professor of Architecture and Design. Anne Holtrop’s very first buildings won him an international reputation. Although his constructions are based primarily on conceptual ideas, he develops architectural themes with great precision and persistence. The buildings he has created in recent years arise from meticulous, fundamental materials research. The experimental approach used so successfully by Anne Holtrop in his work as a practising architect, and convincingly developed in his teaching, acts as a perfect link between key institutes of the Department of Architecture.

Dr Christian Holz (*1985), currently a researcher in private industry, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Computer Science. Christian Holz's research focuses on the development of innovative wearable and mobile devices and interactive experiences. He is particularly interested in measuring physiological signals from the human body, such as blood pressure measurements, which he observes continuously using lightweight sensors. This enables him to contribute to a better understanding of user input and intentions, and to new developments in mobile and personalised healthcare. The appointment of Christian Holz strengthens the Department of Computer Science’s research and teaching in the field of human-computer interaction.

Dr Taekwang Jang (*1983), currently a post-doctoral student at the University of Michigan, USA, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Analogue and Mixed Signal Interfaces. Taekwang Jang works on the design of analogue-digital circuits for miniaturised computer systems, with particular reference to the Internet of Things. He is especially interested in designing ultra-low power circuit components used in miniaturised computer systems with a very limited energy budget. By appointing Taekwang Jang, the Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering is strengthening its position in the field of circuit design and linking existing research activities in analogue and digital technology.

Professor David Kammer (*1985), currently Assistant Professor at Cornell University, Ithaca, USA, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Computational Mechanics of Materials. David Kammer conducts research into dynamic failure mechanisms at the interfaces of heterogeneous materials, drawing on the material and engineering sciences as well as physics. One area of particular focus is the prediction of extremely fast crack propagation. With the appointment of David Kammer, the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering is strengthening its competence in numerical modelling and achieving an ideal blend between basic research into building materials and practical applications.

Professor Daniel Razansky (*1974), currently Professor of Molecular Imaging Engineering at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, as Full Professor of Biomedical Imaging. Daniel Razansky’s research focuses on the development of innovative biomedical imaging procedures, including those based on optoacoustics, diffuse optics and ultrasound. These procedures make it possible to produce images with high spatial and temporal resolution of everything from organs to cells. Daniel Razansky has been awarded two ERC research grants and will hold dual professorships at ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich. His appointment makes a substantial contribution to the international reputation of both universities.

Professor Sai Reddy (*1980), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, as Associate Professor of Systems and Synthetic Immunology. Sai Reddy investigates the high-frequency DNA sequencing and bioinformatic analysis of adaptive immune repertoires. This work, which attracts worldwide attention, has enabled him to establish and decisively shape the new research area of systems immunology. His group recently invented the molecular amplification fingerprinting method, which offers almost complete error and bias correction for immune repertoire sequencing. Sai Reddy also shows a high commitment to teaching and is very popular with his students.

Professor Milica Topalović (*1971), currently Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, as Associate Professor of Architecture and Territorial Planning. Milica Topalović is one of the key exponents of the new and innovative research area known as the architecture of territory. Her exceptional way of approaching territorial transformation processes from the architectural perspective has enabled the Department of Architecture at ETH Zurich to position itself ahead of similar projects at other universities. She has developed a promising methodological approach that is capable of closing the gap between architecture and urban research. Milica Topalović is a dedicated teacher with an ability to help students progress in their studies.

Professor Barbara Treutlein (*1982), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at the Technical University of Munich and Research Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, as Associate Professor of Quantitative Developmental Biology. Barbara Treutlein’s research focuses on human developmental biology and the formation of various complex organs such as the liver and brain. Her work contributes to a better understanding of diseases, thus enabling new therapeutic approaches to be developed. Through appointing Barbara Treutlein, who was recently awarded an ERC Starting Grant, the Department of Biosystems is strengthening the links between the research fields of developmental biology, computational biology and engineering science.

Appointments at EPFL

Professor Fabrizio Carbone (*1976), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at EPFL, as Associate Professor of Physics. Fabrizio Carbone conducts research into the ultra-fast dynamics of highly correlated systems, particularly in relation to superconductivity and in systems based on carbons such as graphite, graphene and diamondoids. Having developed innovative procedures for imaging and ultra-fast spectroscopy, he is working at the forefront of research into the dynamic behaviour of low-dimensional materials. EPFL’s competence in solid state physics is strengthened by Fabrizio Carbone’s research, while its teaching also benefits from his dedication.

Professor Michele De Palma (*1973), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at EPFL, as Associate Professor of Life Sciences. Michele De Palma is one of the world’s leading researchers in the promising field of immuno-oncology and the tumour microenvironment, which carries great promises for the development of new cancer therapies. He investigates the microenvironment of cancerous growths in order to understand how the surrounding cells influence the development of a tumour. He recently discovered new strategies for combined therapies targeting immune cells and the microvascularization of tumours. Michele De Palma makes an ideal contribution to EPFL thanks to the outstanding quality of his scientific work and his great commitment to teaching.

Professor Béla Kapossy (*1965), currently Full Professor at the University of Lausanne, as Full Professor of Human and Social Sciences. Béla Kapossy’s academic work focuses on the history of ideas in politics and economics. He is interested in how political thought has developed in the modern era and in recent history, in the light of the growing pressure caused by economic competition between countries and associations of states. The appointment of Béla Kapossy will allow EPFL to continue to develop its high-quality human and social sciences teaching programme at the College of Humanities, and to make further advances in this very promising field.

Professor Silvestro Micera (*1972), currently Associate Professor at EPFL and Full Professor at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy, as Full Professor of Bioengineering. Silvestro Micera’s research combines engineering and neurosciences, and he enjoys worldwide recognition in the field of neuroprosthetics. He is developing implantable neural interfaces and robotic systems that can restore the limited sensorimotor functions of patients. Silvestro Micera, who works conjointly at EPFL and at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, strengthens EPFL’s position in both research and teaching in an area of great importance for medicine.

Professor Mathias Payer (*1981), currently Assistant Professor at Purdue University, West Lafayette, USA, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Informatics and Communication Systems. Mathias Payer’s research focus is on low-level mechanisms for systematically protecting computer systems from malicious attacks. The aim is not only to protect the information they contain, but also to ensure the integrity and functioning of the social, political, and economic systems that could not operate without information processing. He is well known and highly regarded for the development of these techniques and for protecting, isolating and containing these intrusions. With his commitment to research and teaching, Mathias Payer makes an important contribution to mastering the growing challenges that IT security now faces.

Dr Giulia Tagliabue (*1985), currently a post-doctoral student at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Giulia Tagliabue’s research crosses the boundaries between photonics, energy and thermal sciences. She investigates how light and matter interact, in particular, the process of harvesting and transforming light in the nanometer range. In the field of plasmonics, her work has led to the creation of ultra-thin, high-performance solar absorbers. Giulia Tagliabue’s innovative research enables EPFL to make further progress in the fields of environmentally-friendly energy generation and energy efficiency, and will also strengthen teaching in this area.

Departure from EPFL

Professor Dominique Perrault (*1953), currently Full Professor of Architecture, will retire with effect from 1 August 2018. Dominique Perrault was appointed to his present post in 2013. His buildings have led to him being regarded as a key figure in contemporary architecture. At EPFL he set up the Underground Architecture Laboratory (SUB) and introduced this little-regarded subject into his teaching as a tool for transforming and densifying the existing urban landscape. He also created research platforms for investigating architecture in a wider context and expanding the vocabulary of architecture. Thanks to his worldwide reputation, Dominique Perrault has acted as an ambassador for EPFL, and will continue to do so in the future.

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