New appointments at ETH Zurich
Professor Rosa Barba (*1972), currently Professor at the University of Bremen, Germany, as Full Professor of Art in Space and Time in the Department of Architecture. Rosa Barba is concerned with the function of historical, artistic, technological and scientific documents and their transformation into artistic artefacts. Her work has been represented in international museum exhibitions for years. In addition to holding the professorship at Bremen and a visiting professorship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), she is regularly engaged as a visiting artist at international art colleges and as a guest lecturer. Her interdisciplinary and experimental approach will enrich the Department of Architecture.
Professor Yuansi Chen (*1990), currently Assistant Professor at Duke University, North Carolina, USA, as Associate Professor of Statistics in the Department of Mathematics. Yuansi Chen’s research covers a very wide range of topics in statistics, the foundations of data science, and mathematics. In 2020 he achieved a spectacular breakthrough in the area of geometry and analysis by proving an almost constant lower bound of the isoperimetric coefficient in the Kannan-Lovász-Simonovits (KLS) conjecture. Through the appointment of Yuansi Chen, ETH Zurich and the Department of Mathematics are gaining an exceptional member of staff and a gifted teacher, who embodies a perfect blend of enthusiasm, intuition and mathematical precision.
Dr Michelle Frei (*1991), currently Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of California, San Diego, USA, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Chemical Biology and Molecular Imaging in the Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences. Michelle Frei’s research lies in the interdisciplinary area between chemistry and biology. Her aim is to develop chemically inspired tools to make complex cellular processes such as signal transduction and metabolism visible by means of fluorescence microscopy, and then study them. She has been awarded a variety of prizes and fellowships. Her appointment will help strengthen the Department and foster important links within and between departments, particularly in cell biology and biophysics.
Dr Marie Schoelmerich (*1989), currently Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, USA, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Environmental Microbiology in the Department of Environmental Systems Science. Marie Schoelmerich’s research deals with biochemical and bioenergetic questions relating to anaerobic bacteria that use ancient metabolic pathways. The main research focus of her group at ETH Zurich will be on anaerobic microorganisms which play a key role in the CO2 and CH4 cycle. This appointment will ideally complement interdisciplinary research within the Department, as well as strengthening links with the Department of Biology, the Department of Health Sciences and Technology, and Eawag.
April Yi Wang (*1995), currently a doctoral student at the University of Michigan, USA, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Educational Technology in the Department of Computer Science. April Yi Wang’s research focuses on the investigation and further development of modern digital technologies, with particular reference to tools that enable and facilitate efficient cooperation between data scientists. She also uses methods based on artificial intelligence, thus working at the cutting edge at a time when increasingly complex processes are being digitalised and automated. The wide reach of April Yi Wang’s work will further enhance the profile of ETH Zurich as a scientific pioneer in digitalisation.
Promotions at ETH Zurich
Professor Daniel Farinotti (*1982), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich and Group Leader at WSL, as Associate Professor of Glaciology in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering. As part of his joint chair at ETH Zurich and WSL, Daniel Farinotti investigates the evolution of glaciers and the implications for water resources. His most important contributions include developing a method of computing ice thickness distribution in individual glaciers (known as the “Farinotti method” and used by the glaciology community). Daniel Farinotti’s expertise and worldwide reputation play a decisive part in ensuring ETH Zurich’s and WSL’s national and international role as leading institutions in the field of glaciology.
Professor Robert Finger (*1981), currently Associate Professor at ETH Zurich, as Full Professor of Agricultural Economics and Policy in the Department of Management, Technology and Economics. Robert Finger’s research lies at the interface between economics and agricultural science, and contributes to more resilient and sustainable agricultural and food systems. He has won numerous awards and enjoys an outstanding international reputation, which is reflected not only in his success at attracting research funding but also in the numerous invitations he receives to speak at conferences and serve on scientific bodies. In addition, Robert Finger has a strong commitment to public outreach and science communication.
Professor Guillaume Habert (*1977), currently Associate Professor at ETH Zurich, as Full Professor of Sustainable Construction in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering. Guillaume Habert’s research focuses on the sustainability of buildings and infrastructures. His aim is to implement sustainable construction practices using innovative building techniques and sustainable materials, based on a detailed analysis of the technical, economic and sociocultural situation. His research has already led to a spin-off as well as to software and a number of tools for use in the humanitarian sector. At ETH Zurich, this acclaimed researcher has also succeeded in building a successful research team and an extensive cooperation network.
Professor Mark Tibbitt (*1985), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, as Associate Professor of Macromolecular Engineering in the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering. Mark Tibbitt investigates the development and characterisation of macromolecular materials used among other things for solving clinical problems in areas such as medication provision, regenerative medicine and biomedical diagnostics. His academic output is outstanding and is published in peer-reviewed articles in the leading technical journals. In addition, he is a widely esteemed and dedicated lecturer who has won numerous awards, including the Golden Owl at ETH Zurich in 2019.
Professor Jing Wang (*1979), currently Associate Professor at ETH Zurich and Group Leader at Empa, as Full Professor of Air Quality and Particle Technology in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering. Jing Wang’s broad-based research covers air quality monitoring and control, aerosol measurement and characterisation, the detection and treatment of biological pathogens, and pollution abatement. His international reputation is reflected in his impressive list of publications, with citation rates among the highest in this area of research. He is the owner of three patents and serves on several committees. His commitment to teaching is particularly worthy of note.
New appointment at EPFL
Sophie Delhay (*1974), currently Visiting Professor at EPFL and head of an architecture firm in Paris, as Associate Professor of Architecture in the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering. Sophie Delhay’s work interrogates the design and construction of social housing. Her practice places particular emphasis on the perspective of the residents, which she aligns with the ecological dimensions. A winner of numerous prestigious awards, she will in future explore broader sustainability issues in connection with recycling and adaptive re-use, new relationships between urban and rural areas, and the critical revision of the concept of living as a result of changing lifestyles.
Promotions at EPFL
Professor Jean-Philippe Brantut (*1983), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at EPFL, as Associate Professor of Physics in the School of Basic Sciences. Jean-Philippe Brantut’s research has a focus on cold atomic gases and quantum simulations using innovative experiments that he developed in his laboratory. This work has placed him at the forefront of research into the physics of ultracold atoms in optical cavities. He and his team discovered a novel material for interactions between light and matter. His research attracted an ERC Starting Grant in 2016 and an ERC Consolidator Grant in 2022. He is very successful at obtaining research funding and is a dedicated teacher.
Professor Corentin Fivet (*1985), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at EPFL, as Associate Professor of Architecture and Structural Design in the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering. Corentin Fivet develops computational methods and design processes for increasing the circularity of building structures. He heads the Structural Xploration Lab (SXL), which is part of the Smart Living Lab at the EPFL site in Fribourg. The laboratory, which excels in the fields of structural optimisation and the realisation of innovative large-scale demonstrators, has forged a solid international reputation under his leadership. Corentin Fivet has won numerous awards and is considered a pioneer in circular construction research.
Professor Fabio Nobile (*1974), currently Associate Professor at EPFL, as Full Professor of Mathematics in the School of Basic Sciences. Fabio Nobile’s research is concerned with numerical fluid dynamics, multilevel analyses using random coefficient models, and mathematical methods of uncertainty quantification. His achievements with the multilevel Monte Carlo method are regarded by the scientific community as a breakthrough and have opened up a whole new field of research. This internationally acclaimed researcher combines innovative and collaborative approaches at the interface with other disciplines in order to produce specific applications relevant in a number of different fields, particularly engineering. His appointment will boost EPFL’s reputation.
Professor Alexandre Persat (*1982), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at EPFL, as Associate Professor of Life Sciences in the School of Life Sciences. Alexandre Persat’s research focuses on mechanobiology, which plays a key role in understanding microbial infections in the natural environment. He is regarded as a pioneer in this field. At EPFL he has directed a very successful infection biology research programme which is of great importance not only for basic research into infectious diseases but also for applied research in the clinical area. Alexandre Persat is also a highly dedicated teacher. In addition, his multidisciplinary profile is reflected in the fact that he is a co-affiliate of both the Global Health Institute and the Institute of Bioengineering.
Award of the title of Professor
Professor Rudolf Mahrer (*1975), currently Associate Professor at the University of Lausanne, as Adjunct Professor in the College of Humanities at EPFL. Rudolf Mahrer works in the field of linguistics and has identified the material and technological conditioning of language as a previously underestimated factor of transformation in our linguistic behaviour. In addition to his professorship at the University of Lausanne, Rudolf Mahrer will head the Social and Human Sciences (SHS) programme at EPFL’s College of Humanities, and has been appointed as an adjunct professor in connection with this role.
Award of the title of “Professor of Practice”
Dr Andrea Dunbar (*1973), currently Department Leader at the Swiss Centre for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) in Neuchâtel, as Professor of Practice in the College of Management of Technology at EPFL. Andrea Dunbar leads R&D projects on machine learning under resource constraints and has a particular interest in IoT applications. She has experience in fundamental and applied research, and her missions at EPFL will include teaching at MS level, supervising Master’s projects in industry and accordingly forging links with industry partners.
Departure from ETH Zurich
Professor Ce Zhang (*1987), currently Associate Professor of Computer Science in the Department of Computer Science, left ETH Zurich at the end of June 2023. Ce Zhang’s research takes place at the interface between data science and systems, with the aim of developing more efficient, simpler and workable platforms for the data sciences. During his time at ETH Zurich he built up an internationally recognised research group. He has left ETH Zurich in order to take up a professorship at the University of Chicago, USA.
The ETH Board would like to thank the departing professor for his services to science, teaching and academic administration.