At its meeting of 7/8 December 2022 and upon application of the President of ETH Zurich, Professor Joël Mesot, and the President of EPFL, Professor Martin Vetterli, the ETH Board appointed a total of 6 women and 7 men as professors and awarded the title of professor to one individual. It also took note of the resignations of 10 professors and thanked them for their services. In 2022, the ETH Board has made a total of 25 new appointments for women and 35 for men; the proportion of women among these new appointments amounts to 42%.
New appointments at ETH Zurich
Professor Emily S. Cross (*1979), currently Full Professor at Western Sydney University, Australia, as Full Professor of Cognitive and Social Neuroscience in the Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences. Emily S. Cross specialises in social and cognitive neuroscience. Her research focuses on observational learning in connection with action and perception in social contexts. She has an impressive list of publications in leading academic journals and has received numerous awards, including an ERC Starting Grant in 2016 and an ERC Proof of Concept Grant in 2022. This acclaimed researcher is constantly expanding her already wide collaborative network thanks to frequently being invited to events and serving on major committees.
Professor Claudia Mohr (*1982), currently Associate Professor at Stockholm University, Sweden, as Full Professor of Aerosol Chemistry in the Department of Environmental Systems Science. Claudia Mohr is an internationally recognised expert in the field of aerosol chemistry, covering the scientifically and socially topical themes of air quality, climate change and health. She specialises in the characterisation of the chemical composition of aerosol particles by means of advanced mass spectrometric techniques. Claudia Mohr has won multiple awards and has cultivated an extensive network. She is much in demand as a partner in EU projects and other international programmes. At the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), she will take over as head of the Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry (LAC), thus ideally strengthening the collaboration between ETH Zurich and PSI.
Dr Jacqueline Claudia Pauli (*1982), currently a member of the Executive Board of ZPF Ingenieure and Lecturer at ETH Zurich, as Full Professor of Structural Design in the Department of Architecture. Jacqueline Claudia Pauli’s research is concerned with the quest for highly efficient and practicable load-bearing structures based on resource optimisation processes. She makes use of a number of standardised ecological parameters, together with forward-looking production techniques such as additive manufacturing and robotic (pre-)fabrication. By appointing Jacqueline Claudia Pauli, ETH Zurich is again making a significant contribution to achieving a successful transition to ecological architecture and a sustainable construction culture.
Promotion at ETH Zurich
Professor Francesco Corman (*1982), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, as Associate Professor of Transport Systems in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering. Francesco Corman develops tools for analysing, modelling, forecasting and optimising public transport systems and logistics networks. He is a committed university lecturer, supervisor and mentor, as shown by his nomination for the Art of Leadership (ALEA) Award 2020. In addition, he makes a significant contribution to the research community by regularly serving as an expert referee for international conferences and academic journals. He is also very successful at procuring external funding, grants and research contracts.
New appointments at EPFL
Professor Andrea Cavallaro (*1971), currently Full Professor at Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom, as Full Professor of Electrical Engineering in the School of Engineering and Director of the Idiap Research Institute. Andrea Cavallaro works on machine learning for multi-modal perception and modelling, computer vision, audio processing and information privacy. He is an internationally recognised expert in signal processing, perception and machine learning. The appointment of Andrea Cavallaro will strengthen the research and teaching activities at EPFL on these topics, boost the academic links with Idiap and contribute to maintaining and reinforcing the leading role of EPFL and Idiap in data science and machine learning.
Dr Camille Goemans (*1989), currently Postdoctoral Researcher at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Life Sciences in the School of Life Sciences. Camille Goemans is active in the field of microbiome research, with particular reference to the development of antimicrobial resistance. She belongs to a new generation of microbiologists who combine advanced quantitative and experimental research technologies with approaches to data analysis that have a basis in computational biology. Camille Goemans is a promising researcher in this vital area of medicine. Her appointment opens the way to numerous collaborations and will further strengthen the School of Life Sciences and EPFL as a whole.
Dr Laura Grigori (*1972), currently Director of Research at the National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology (INRIA) in Paris, France, as Full Professor of Applied and Computational Mathematics in the School of Basic Sciences. Laura Grigori’s interdisciplinary research lies at the interface between numerical linear algebra, high-performance computing and their various applications. She is a global leader in the field of numerical algebra. At PSI she will head the Laboratory for Simulation and Modelling (LSM), thus taking a managerial role as well as acting as an important bridge between the two institutions.
Dr Manuel Guizar-Sicairos (*1980), currently Senior Scientist at PSI, as Associate Professor of Physics in the School of Basic Sciences. Manuel Guizar-Sicairos’ research investigates digital imaging for the next generation of X-ray sources, particularly for nanotomography. His work on the connectome is especially significant because it delivered the first X-ray images of mammalian synapses, for which he was recognised by the scientific community. The future research of this internationally acclaimed specialist could have a major impact on the neurosciences. At PSI, Manuel Guizar-Sicairos will be Group Leader for the mathematics and physics of imaging.
Dr Michael Herbst (*1990), currently Postdoctoral Researcher at RWTH Aachen University, Germany, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Mathematics and of Materials Science and Engineering, in the Schools of Basic Sciences and Engineering respectively. Michael Herbst works on the theory and modelling of the electronic structure of materials, at the interdisciplinary boundary of mathematics, computational materials science, and computer science. He develops efficient and reliable algorithms for the high-throughput screening of calculations for materials, a field in which he has already obtained significant results. The aim of the joint professorship at the two Schools is to develop a future-oriented research programme for both disciplines. Michael Herbst will have an important role to play in acting as a bridge between the Institutes of Mathematics and Materials.
Professor Sebastian Waszak (*1985), currently Group Leader at the University of Oslo, Norway, and Associate Adjunct Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, USA, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Life Sciences in the School of Life Sciences. Sebastian Waszak’s research is in the field of neuro-oncology, particularly brain tumours in children. He investigates the hereditary causes of cancer with the aim of making recommendations for genetic screening. As a bioinformatics specialist with an excellent knowledge of biology and the medical context, he makes use of computational research methods because the volume of clinical and experimental data is increasing so rapidly. The cancer research community at EPFL will benefit greatly from his extensive network of partnerships.
Dr Fides Zenk (*1990), currently Postdoctoral Researcher at ETH Zurich in Basel, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Life Sciences in the School of Life Sciences. Fides Zenk’s research is concerned with immunobiology and epigenetics, particularly transgenerational epigenetic inheritance and developing cerebral organoids with the assistance of new single-cell technologies. Her groundbreaking work on the epigenetic regulation of early embryonic development has made a significant contribution to scientific knowledge. Furthermore, this particular research area is not currently represented at EPFL, so Fides Zenk will be an ideal addition to the School. The appointment of this up-and-coming researcher will also facilitate new cooperations within EPFL’s multidisciplinary environment.
Promotions at EPFL
Professor Kumar Agrawal (*1984), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at EPFL, as Associate Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Sciences in the School of Basic Sciences (EPFL Valais Wallis). Kumar Agrawal works on the development of molecular separation systems for industrial product streams. This promising researcher is regarded as a leader in the field of membranes made of two-dimensional materials for filtering gases. A group of chemical engineers under his direction has developed a porous graphene filter which can extract carbon dioxide from the mix of gases emitted by industrial facilities. He and his team aim to expand the applications of nanoporous graphene membranes to include the separation of hydrocarbon mixtures.
Professor Li Tang (*1986), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at EPFL, as Associate Professor of Bioengineering in the School of Engineering. Li Tang conducts research into biomaterials and immunology, with a special focus on cancer research. He uses a multidisciplinary approach and attempts to combine metabolic, mechanical and chemical methods in order to drive forward the fight against cancer. Thanks to his creative research approach, he is regarded as a leading international expert on immunoengineering for the treatment of certain types of tumour. He has been awarded an ERC Starting Grant in 2018. Li Tang’s research activities and clinical collaborations, as well as his high-quality teaching, represent a key contribution to EPFL.
Award of the title of “Professor”
Dr Erich Fischer (*1978), currently Senior Scientist and Lecturer in the Department of Environmental Systems Science, as Adjunct Professor at ETH Zurich. Erich Fischer’s research on extreme climatic events combines physical science with studying the effects on ecological and human systems. He has won several awards for his work, including three SNSF grants and two Horizon 2020 grants. In addition he has co-organised a number of conferences and is regularly invited to lectures.
Retirements/departures from ETH Zurich
Professor Karsten M. Borgwardt (*1980), currently Full Professor of Data Mining in the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering, is leaving ETH Zurich at the end of January 2023. Karsten M. Borgwardt conducts research into efficient, computer-based retrieval from fast-growing datasets. This internationally recognised researcher has been awarded a number of prizes and grants. He is leaving ETH Zurich to take up a new post as Director of the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Munich.
Professor Eric Dufresne (*1974), currently Full Professor of Soft and Living Materials in the Department of Materials, will leave ETH Zurich at the end of June 2023. Eric Dufresne’s research investigates how to control and exploit the structure and dynamics of soft materials. These include most living tissues as well as materials that have been developed technologically. He uses findings from biological research to assist him in his specialist area. Eric Dufresne is leaving ETH Zurich in order to pursue his career at Cornell University, USA.
Professor Annette Gigon (*1959), currently Full Professor of Architecture and Construction in the Department of Architecture, and Professor Mike Guyer (*1958), also currently Full Professor of Architecture and Construction, are to retire at the end of July 2023. Annette Gigon has worked in various architecture firms. She joined ETH Zurich as a visiting professor in 2001 and has been a full professor since 2012, sharing a joint professorship with Mike Guyer. Mike Guyer obtained practical experience in several architecture firms. He joined EPFL as a visiting lecturer in 2002, and ETH Zurich as a visiting lecturer in 2009. Annette Gigon and Mike Guyer founded the architecture firm Gigon Guyer Architects in 1989. During their long career they first attracted attention with their museum buildings, later expanding their portfolio to include residential and office buildings, such as Prime Tower in Zurich (completed 2011). They have received a number of prestigious awards for their work and have been represented at the Venice Biennale of Architecture on several occasions. The two professors are valued as dedicated teachers within the Department, where they have made important contributions to expanding Design as a research area.
Professor Christophe Lacroix (*1958), currently Full Professor of Food Biotechnology in the Department of Health Sciences and Technology, will retire at the end of July 2023. Christophe Lacroix joined ETH Zurich as a full professor in 2002. His research focuses on probiotic lactic acid bacteria. He founded the ETH spin-off PharmaBiome AG (2017), for which he received the Spark Award 2018 from ETH Zurich. During his career he has published over 330 peer-reviewed articles and obtained 15 patents. His expertise is also much appreciated internationally, as shown by his appointment to numerous evaluation committees for research programmes and bodies. In addition he is a popular lecturer.
Professor Thomas Van Boeckel (*1985), currently Assistant Professor of Health Geography and Policy in the Department of Environmental Systems Science, is to leave ETH Zurich at the end of December 2022. Thomas Van Boeckel’s research lies at the interface between science and policy and aims to accelerate an internationally coordinated response to the rapid increase in antibiotic resistance. He is leaving in order to pursue his career at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Professor Sara van de Geer (*1958), currently Full Professor of Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics, will retire at the end of July 2023. Sara van de Geer joined ETH Zurich as a full professor in 2005. Her main research area is mathematical statistics. She has conducted pioneering work on statistics for high-dimensional data. Sara van de Geer has won multiple awards and serves on various bodies, including the Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation, and has been a member and chair of ERC Advanced Grant panels on several occasions. She was the first female full professor in the Department of Mathematics and has made a lasting contribution to the strong position now held by statistics at ETH Zurich.
Professor Konrad Wegener (*1958), currently Full Professor of Production Technology and Machine Tools in the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, is to retire at the end of July 2023. Konrad Wegener joined ETH Zurich as a full professor in 2003. His research covers machine tools, production processes and process chains. He has published numerous articles in leading academic journals and holds 17 patents. Konrad Wegener enjoys an outstanding international reputation in both academia and industry, as demonstrated by his membership of a wide range of committees. During his long career at ETH Zurich he has not only supervised countless undergraduates and PhD students, but also, and more particularly, given an important boost to production technology and promoted Switzerland as a centre of industry.
Departures from EPFL
Professor Jean-Yves Le Boudec (*1958), currently Full Professor of Communication Systems in the School of Computer and Communication Sciences, is to retire at the end of July 2023. Jean-Yves Le Boudec joined EPFL as an associate professor in 1994. His research focuses on the architecture of communication systems and he is regarded as an expert in deterministic networking. Jean-Yves Le Boudec has won many awards and is a very popular lecturer, supervisor and mentor. He is also noted for his outstanding service to bodies within and outside EPFL, as well as in industry. His research results and tireless commitment have made a significant contribution to the School and to EPFL as a whole.
Professor Demetri Psaltis (*1953), currently Full Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Optics in the School of Engineering, will retire at the end of May 2023. Demetri Psaltis joined EPFL as a full professor in 2007. His research lies at the interface between optics and information systems, and he has developed many innovative optical methods for use in information processing. He has also carried out pioneering work in the field of holographic data storage and optical neural networks, and is regarded as one of the founders of optofluidics. This internationally acclaimed, multiple-award-winning researcher also played a key role in the development of EPFL’s satellite campuses in Neuchâtel and Geneva, and serves on a number of committees.
The ETH Board would like to thank the departing professors for their services to science, teaching and academic administration.