Federal Council, 14 December 2018

On 14 December the Federal Council appointed Prof. Gian-Luca Bona, Director of Empa, to the ETH Board. The Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology Act states that the four research institutes, the PSI, WSL, Empa and Eawag, must be represented on the ETH Board. This position will now be assumed by Prof. Bona, as PSI director Prof. Joël Mesot, who has represented the research institutes until now, was appointed president of the ETH Zurich in October, and so steps down as PSI director at the end of this year. A successor is now being sought for this post; Dr Thierry Strässle will assume the directorship ad interim from January 2019.

Prof. Dr Gian-Luca Bona (Photo: Empa)

Gian-Luca Bona has been Director of Empa (the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology) and Professor of Photonics at the federal institutes of technology in Zurich and Lausanne since September 2009. Under his leadership, Empa has become a leading research institute in materials and innovative technologies.

Prof. Bona studied physics at the ETH Zurich, obtaining his PhD in 1987. He then joined IBM, and was made head of research and development in magnetic tape storage solutions in Tuscon, USA from 2008 to 2009. Prof. Bona is also President of the Board of the Technopark Zurich and the Technopark Alliance, and a member of the Zurich Innovation Park board. He sits on the boards of the Comet Group, Bobst and the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) in Berlin, and on the scientific advisory committee at the Centre Suisse d’Électronique et de Microtechnique (CSEM).

Thierry Strässle has been head of Directorate Support at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) since December 2012. He studied physics at the ETH Zurich, and obtained his doctorate from this institution in 2002. Following post-doctorate studies at the Pierre et Marie Curie University in Paris, in 2005 he joined the PSI, where he was responsible for instruments in the Laboratory for Neutron Scattering. In 2010 Dr Strässle became scientific assistant to the director, and in 2011 was appointed head of the science service division, and as such was responsible for planning and developing the PSI’s scientific orientation. As head of Directorate Support he is responsible for operational management of the directorate, including strategy and planning, management of the steering system, security, integrity of research and communication.