At its meeting of 7/8 December 2022, the ETH Board was pleased to note that the proportion of women newly appointed to professorships has once again reached a high level. In 2022, this figure stood at 41.7%. The ETH Board bade farewell to Janet Hering, who during her many years’ service as Director of Eawag made a major contribution to turning Eawag into a globally recognised research institute. It also appointed Christian Wolfrum to the ETH Zurich Executive Board as Vice President for Research, and Lorenz Herrmann as the new Member of the Directorate at Empa. The ETH Board has awarded ETH Domain employees an inflation adjustment of 2.5% for 2023.
New professors include a high proportion of women once again
Upon application by the Presidents of ETH Zurich and EPFL, the ETH Board appointed 25 women and 35 men as new professors in 2022. The proportion of women came to 41.7%, which is one of the highest figures ever achieved. Over the past five years the percentage of women appointed has consistently been above 30%, which will gradually boost the proportion of female professors in the ETH Domain. The ETH Board regards increasing the proportion of women in leadership positions as an important issue. Achieving this presents a considerable challenge, especially at institutes of technology.
Farewell to Eawag Director Janet Hering
The ETH Board bade farewell to Professor Janet Hering, who has served as Director of Eawag since 2007 as well as being Full Professor of Environmental Biogeochemistry at ETH Zurich and Full Professor of Environmental Chemistry at EPFL. She is to retire at the end of December. As Director, Janet Hering made a major contribution to turning Eawag into a globally recognised research institute. In particular, she helped boost the number of articles published in scientific journals and improved the supervision of young researchers. Janet Hering has also paid special attention to fostering communication between the scientific community and the general public, as well as with public authorities. Her research interests cover techniques for making contaminated water drinkable, the biochemical behaviour of trace metals, and – increasingly – knowledge exchange at the interface of scientific research with society and government policy. She obtained a doctorate in Oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1988 and was Professor of Environmental Science and Technology at the University of California from 1991 to 1996 before moving to the California Institute of Technology in 1996. During her time as a professor and as Director, Janet Hering has been committed to improving diversity and increasing the representation of women on scientific executive committees and as professors.
Christian Wolfrum to join the Executive Board of ETH Zurich
Upon application by the President of ETH Zurich, Professor Joël Mesot, the ETH Board has appointed Professor Christian Wolfrum as the new Member of the Executive Board of ETH Zurich. He succeeds Professor Detlef Günther as Vice President for Research. Christian Wolfrum obtained his doctorate from the University of Münster (WWU) in the year 2000. ETH Zurich appointed him to the post of Assistant Professor for Obesity Research in 2008, and he became an Associate Professor in 2010 and then Full Professor of Translational Nutrition Biology in 2016. Alongside his research and teaching, he is very successful at translating his research results into practice. He will take up his new position on 1 January 2023. Detlef Günther is stepping down as Vice President at the end of 2022 so that he can once again devote himself entirely to teaching and research. The ETH Board wishes to thank him for his great dedication and especially for his role in promoting basic and interdisciplinary research, for strengthening cooperation with industry, and for his focus on ethics in research.
Lorenz Herrmann becomes new Member of the Directorate at Empa
Upon application by the Director of Empa, Professor Tanja Zimmermann, the ETH Board has appointed Dr Lorenz Herrmann as the new Member of the Directorate. Lorenz Herrmann has previously held a number of management positions at the technology company ABB. Since August 2022 he has been head of the Advanced Materials and Surfaces department at Empa, having succeeded Pierangelo Gröning, who is about to retire. Lorenz Herrmann’s many years in industry have given him substantial experience of managing a multinational team within a research organisation.
Salary decisions by the ETH Board for the employees of the ETH Domain
The ETH Board has conducted salary negotiations for 2023 with the social partners. In light of the inflation figures, the professors and employees of the ETH Domain will receive a cost-of-living increase of 2.5%. As in previous years, 1.2% of the corresponding wage bill will be available for individual pay awards based on experience and performance. An additional CHF 1 million will be invested in the professional development of employees in 2023.