New appointmentsProfessor Bernd Bickel (*1982), currently Professor and Vice President for Technology Transfer at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria, and Senior Staff Research Scientist at Google in Zurich, as Full Professor of Computational Design in the Department of Architecture. Bernd Bickel conducts research into digital technologies with an emphasis on artificial intelligence and extended reality. He has a particular interest in computer graphics at the intersection between robotics, computer vision, machine learning, materials science and digital fabrication. The aim of his research is to create new and efficient ways of modelling, simulating and fabricating digital content. His work has won multiple prizes, including an Oscar (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Technical Achievement Award) in 2019 and an ERC Starting Grant in 2016.
Dr Cindy De Jonge (*1987), currently Group Leader at ETH Zurich, as Assistant Professor of Earth Ecosystem Dynamics in the Department of Earth Sciences. Cindy De Jonge’s research focuses on the development and application of microbial lipid signatures as molecular proxies for current and past environmental and climatic conditions. Her research approach is recognised by the international community and closes a key knowledge gap with regard to changes in soil systems. She was awarded an SNSF Starting Grant by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). The appointment of Cindy De Jonge strengthens not only the department but also ETH Zurich in respect of a pressing issue: the sustainability of soils and ecosystems.
Dr Caroline Dorn (*1984), currently Research Fellow at the University of Zurich, as Assistant Professor of Exoplanets in the Department of Physics. Caroline Dorn’s research concentrates on the composition and nature of planets outside our solar system. She was awarded an SNSF Starting Grant for her work. Her appointment presents an ideal way for the Department of Physics to strengthen intradepartmental connections between the research areas of geophysics, astrophysics, petrochemistry and exoplanetary research, and facilitates important interactions with the Department of Earth Sciences, the Centre for Origin and Prevalence of Life and the Physics Institute of the University of Zurich.
Dr Allard Duursma (*1986), currently Senior Researcher at ETH Zurich, as Assistant Professor of Conflict Management and International Relations in the Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences. Allard Duursma investigates the question of how mediation and peacekeeping can contribute to preventing or ending armed conflicts. He was awarded an SNSF Starting Grant for his research, which utilises both quantitative and case study methods. In making this appointment the department is strengthening its research on conflict management as well as reinforcing the connections between the disciplines of international relations and conflict research within the subject area.
Dr Alexander Harms (*1987), currently Junior Group Leader at the University of Basel, as Assistant Professor of Molecular Phage Biology in the Department of Health Sciences and Technology. Alexander Harms studies the molecular biology of bacteriophages. The principal aim of his research is to enable newly discovered processes to be used in biotechnological applications or to combat bacterial infections. He was awarded an SNSF Starting Grant. This appointment is an ideal opportunity for the department to strengthen research and teaching in the field of molecular biology. Interactions and synergies with the Department of Biology and Zurich University Hospital are also being planned.
Professor Mikaela Iacobelli (*1987), currently Adjunct Professor at ETH Zurich, as Associate Professor of Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics. Mikaela Iacobelli conducts research in the area of mathematical physics with the aim of using mathematical methods to solve physical problems. She is internationally acknowledged as an expert on the Vlasov-Poisson system. Mikaela Iacobelli’s publications have appeared in leading academic journals. She is a popular lecturer who is particularly dedicated to teaching and undertakes duties relating to academic self-government. Mikaela Iacobelli also serves on various committees and panels. In addition, she takes a very active part in the promotion, management and dissemination of science at various levels.
Dr Puneet Anantha Murthy (*1988), currently Postdoctoral Researcher and Lecturer at ETH Zurich, as Assistant Professor of Photonics in the Department of Physics. Puneet Anantha Murthy works in the field of solid state photonics, investigating a new class of two-dimensional materials. He made a significant contribution to developing a new method of capturing optically excited particles, known as excitons, at the smallest length scales in order to demonstrate their quantum mechanical behaviour. His next objective is to create a new class of quantum matter from light. He was awarded an SNSF Starting Grant for his research. In making this appointment, the Department of Physics is strengthening quantum research at ETH Zurich.
Dr Natalia Pikor (*1986), currently Group Leader at the Cantonal Hospital of St. Gallen, as Assistant Professor of Neuroimmunology in the Department of Biology. Natalia Pikor investigates immune responses in the central nervous system in relation to auto-immune diseases, malignant brain tumours and neurotropic viral infections, especially coronavirus infections. She received an SNSF Starting Grant for her research. By appointing Natalia Pikor, the department is strengthening basic research in the areas of neuroimmunology and tumour immunology, as well as virology. Her connection with the Cantonal Hospital of St. Gallen will enable research groups at ETH Zurich to build bridges with clinical research projects and patient cohorts.
PromotionsProfessor Paolo Arosio (*1983), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, as Associate Professor of Biochemical Engineering in the Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences. Paolo Arosio’s research is based on applying concepts and tools drawn from chemical engineering to investigate central questions in protein sciences. His innovative work has so far led to over 100 publications in international and prestigious peer-reviewed journals and has also won a number of awards, including an ERC Consolidator Grant in 2020. The appointment of Paolo Arosio as an associate professor will make a decisive contribution to strengthening the strategic action area of "Health and Medicine" at ETH Zurich, and potentially also the area of "Materials and Manufacturing".
Professor Katrien De Bock (*1980), currently Associate Professor at ETH Zurich, as Full Professor of Exercise and Health in the Department of Health Sciences and Technology. Katrien De Bock studies muscle physiology and the processes involved in adapting to physical training and immobilisation. She has made a significant contribution to solving current health problems in collaboration with the ETH institutions active in these areas, as well as with other partner institutions such as Schulthess Clinic. This committed teacher has an impressive list of publications to her name and her contributions to the field of research are in demand throughout the world. She has received numerous awards, including an ERC Starting Grant in 2017.
Professor Andreas Fichtner (*1979), currently Associate Professor at ETH Zurich, as Full Professor of Seismology and Wave Physics in the Department of Earth Sciences. Andreas Fichtner is an applied and theoretical seismologist with a focus on seismic tomography and fibre-optic sensing. He is a global leader in his specialist area and has won prestigious prizes, including an ERC Starting Grant in 2016. Andreas Fichtner has been very successful at raising research funds, both from the academic world and from industry. He is also a co-founder of and scientific consultant for the ETH spin-off Mondaic AG. Since 2020 he has been Deputy Head of the Institute of Geophysics and since 2022 Director of Studies of the department.
Professor Petra Schmid (*1983), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, as Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour in the Department of Management, Technology and Economics. Petra Schmid’s research focuses on the effects of (experienced) social power. She provides new insights into the mechanisms that underlie the consequent effects, using a combination of mainly experimental methods from social psychology and measurement processes from the neurosciences. Her interdisciplinary approach injects much-needed hard facts into a discussion that is often conducted on the basis of anecdotes and observations. Petra Schmid’s achievements are evident from her numerous articles in academic journals, the high level of media interest she attracts and the many invitations she receives to important conferences.
Professor Hans Jakob Wörner (*1981), currently Associate Professor at ETH Zurich, as Full Professor of Physical Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences. Hans Jakob Wörner’s research has a focus on the ultra-fast spectroscopy of molecules with an attosecond time resolution and the development of new experimental methods to characterise the structure and dynamics of the valence shell of molecules. He is an internationally acclaimed scientist in the field of time-resolved spectroscopy and has received an impressive number of international awards, including an ERC Starting Grant in 2012 and an ERC Consolidator Grant in 2017.
Professor Ce Zhang (*1987), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, as Associate Professor of Computer Science in the Department of Computer Science. Ce Zhang conducts research at the interface between data science and systems, and works at the cutting edge of developments in IT following the transition to cloud-based systems. Several of the systems he has developed or is currently developing are already in full or partial use by industry. He has a long list of publications to his name and has also won multiple awards, including an ERC Starting Grant in 2021. Within the Department of Computer Science he is a committed teacher who builds bridges between the various research groups.
Award of the title of ProfessorDr Corsin Battaglia (*1977), currently Group Leader at Empa and Lecturer in the Departments of Materials Science and of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering at ETH Zurich, as Adjunct Professor at ETH Zurich. Corsin Battaglia’s research investigates the flow of charge in different battery materials and generates fundamental knowledge which improves the performance, stability, cost and sustainability of devices. He has an impressive list of publications, has won several awards and is the owner of one patent.
Dr Dorina Opris (*1974), currently Lecturer in the Department of Materials Science at ETH Zurich and Group Leader at Empa, as Adjunct Professor at ETH Zurich. Dorina Opris conducts research into the synthesis, characterisation, processing and application of stimuli-responsive dielectric elastomers. Her excellent reputation is demonstrated by the many invitations she receives to scientific events throughout the world and by her peer reviewing activities for reputable publishers, not to mention the award of an ERC Consolidator Grant in 2020.
Dr Stephan Pfister (*1980), currently Lecturer and Senior Associate in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering at ETH Zurich, as Adjunct Professor at ETH Zurich. Stephan Pfister’s main area of interest is the impact assessment of water consumption and land use in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) with applications in agriculture and power production. His research is acknowledged not only by the scientific community but also by political decision-makers, and is finding practical applications.
Dr Vincenzo Picotti (*1962), currently Senior Lecturer in the Department of Earth Sciences at ETH Zurich, as Adjunct Professor at ETH Zurich. Vincenzo Picotti’s research covers stratigraphy and tectonics. He is one of the most active lecturers in basic geology and is noted for organising wide-ranging geological field trips in challenging and unpredictable conditions. This combination of teaching and research skills is very rare. Vincenzo Picotti thus has a unique profile within the department.
Dr Barbara Solenthaler (*1978), currently Lecturer and Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Computer Science at ETH Zurich, as Adjunct Professor at ETH Zurich. Barbara Solenthaler develops algorithms and techniques for data-driven simulations and 3D modelling. She is an acknowledged expert in her field and serves on prominent committees. Her research is disseminated at prestigious conferences and in scientific journals.
DeparturesProfessor Yaakov Benenson (*1975), currently Associate Professor of Synthetic Biology in the Department of Biosystems, is to reduce his hours and will leave ETH Zurich at the end of March 2024. Yaakov Benenson develops and applies the tools and methods of biological computing and synthetic biology in the mammalian context. He will be leaving ETH Zurich in order to take up a management role at a start-up company.
Professor Theodoros Rekatsinas (*1987), Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Computer Science in the Department of Computer Science, left ETH Zurich at the end of January 2023. Theodoros Rekatsinas’ research interests lie in the areas of databases, machine learning, data processing and data science, and he combines his research with new methods derived from artificial intelligence and machine learning. He has left ETH Zurich to take up a position with Apple.
Professor Wendelin Werner (*1968), currently Full Professor of Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics, is to leave ETH Zurich at the end of May 2023. Wendelin Werner works in the field of probability theory and statistical physics. During his time at ETH Zurich, Wendelin Werner - winner of the Fields Medal - has made his mark as a distinguished scientist with an outstanding international reputation for research and teaching. His legacy will continue to boost the international visibility not only of the department but also of ETH Zurich and of Switzerland as a research centre. He is leaving ETH Zurich in order to take up a professorship at the University of Cambridge.