Personnel matters were among the issues addressed by the ETH Board at its meeting on 19/20 May. It appointed Professor Günther Dissertori as the new Rector of ETH Zurich, Professors Thomas J. Schmidt and Mike Seidel as members of the PSI Board of Directors and Cornelia Ritz Bossicard as the new Chair of the ETH Board’s Audit Committee. The ETH Board initiated proceedings for the appointment of the position of Director of Empa. It also acknowledged the 2020 activity report of the ETH Appeals Commission.
Professor Günther Dissertori to become new Rector of ETH Zurich
Upon application of the President of ETH Zurich, Professor Joël Mesot, the ETH Board has appointed Professor Günther Dissertori as the new Rector of ETH Zurich. He will succeed Professor Sarah Springman, who will step down on 31 January 2022 on reaching retirement age. In his capacity as Rector and Vice-President, Professor Dissertori will be responsible for teaching matters on the Executive Board of ETH Zurich.
Professor Günther Dissertori (*1969, Italian national) was appointed Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich in 2001 and named Full Professor at the Institute for Particle Physics in June 2007. Noted for his extraordinary commitment in the field of teaching, he has to date won four “Golden Owl” awards. This prize is bestowed annually by the ETH students association (VSETH) for excellence in teaching. Günther Dissertori also garnered the Credit Suisse Award for Best Teaching at the ETH Zurich in 2013. He possesses in-depth knowledge of the design and adaptation of courses of study. His diverse accolades and experience qualify him optimally for the roles of Rector and Vice-President for Teaching at ETH Zurich. Günther Dissertori’s research work focusses on the CMS experiment on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. He performed key tasks in the coordination of CMS collaboration between over 4,000 researchers in different scientific disciplines from 40 countries. Among other achievements, his group made an important contribution to proving experimentally the existence of the Higgs boson – the discovery of which earned François Englert and Peter Higgs the 2013 Nobel Prize for Physics. Professor Günther Dissertori will take up his post on 1 February 2022.
Two new members of the PSI Board of Directors
Upon application of Professor Christian Rüegg, Director of the Paul Scherrer Institute, Professors Thomas J. Schmidt and Mike Seidel have been appointed members of the PSI’s Board of Directors.
Professor Thomas J. Schmidt is a recognised expert in electrochemical energy storage and conversion. He is head of the Institute’s Research Division Energy & Environment. Having worked at the PSI since 2001, he was appointed Professor and Chair of Electrochemistry at ETH Zurich in 2011.
Professor Mike Seidel is a highly regarded expert in accelerator technologies with an excellent international network of contacts. In 2018, he was appointed ad interim head of the Large Research Facilities Division at the PSI. He was confirmed as head in 2020 and at the same time named Professor of Accelerator Physics at the EPFL.
Code of Conduct for Scientific Integrity
The ETH Board welcomes the new Code of Conduct for Scientific Integrity drawn up under the auspices of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences and in collaboration with swissuniversities, the SNSF and Innosuisse. The Code of Conduct for Scientific Integrity is to be made widely known to members of the ETH Domain. The ETH Board and the institutions of the ETH Domain will jointly adopt the principles of the Code of Conduct for the ETH Domain insofar as this has not already happened.
New Chair of Audit Committee, and appointment committee for Empa Director
The ETH Board named Cornelia Ritz Bossicard as new Chair of its Audit Committee. A finance and compliance expert, she has been appointed to the ETH Board this year to replace Beth Krasna, who has retired on grounds of age.
In office since 2009, Empa Director Gian-Luca Bona was recently re-appointed by the Federal Council for a further (abridged) term until the end of May 2022, when he reaches the age limit of 65. The office of Director will be publicly advertised. As is usually the case with such appointments made by the Federal Council, an appointment committee is to be set up. The national and international call for invitations is expected to take place in summer 2021.
2020 Activity Report of the ETH Appeals Commission
The ETH Appeals Commission is an internal appeals committee which decides on appeals against rulings made by the six institutions of the ETH Domain. The Activity Report is published on the ETH Board website.