19 new professors appointed

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At its meeting of 11/12 December 2019 and upon application of the President of ETH Zurich, Professor Joël Mesot, the ETH Board appointed a total of 19 professors. Three scientists were awarded the title of professor.

Dr Daniel Ahmed (*1983), currently Senior Scientist at ETH Zurich, as Assistant Professor of Acoustic Robotics for Life Sciences and Healthcare. Daniel Ahmed’s research focuses on acoustics in micro/nanorobotic and microfluidic systems. His objective is to develop new technologies at the interface of biotechnology, biomedical engineering and medicine. In 2019 Daniel Ahmed was awarded an ERC Starting Grant to enable him to develop his promising approaches further. His appointment enables ETH Zurich to strengthen the links between the research fields of acoustics, robotics, fluid dynamics, lab-on-a-chip systems and mechanics. (Departmental Affiliation: D-MAVT)

Professor Andrea Alimonti (*1975), currently Full Professor at the Università di Padova, Italy, and at the Università della Svizzera italiana, Lugano, as Full Professor of Experimental Oncology and Translational Cancer Medicine. Andrea Alimonti’s research, for which he was awarded with two ERC Grants, concentrates on the molecular mechanisms of tumour formation. His focus is on the influence of the tumour environment, the interaction of the various cells in tumour tissue and the influence of the immune system. By appointing Andrea Alimonti to a dual professorship with the Università della Svizzera italiana, ETH Zurich is filling a gap in the field of oncology and thus creating a link between clinical and basic research. (D-HEST)

Professor Markus Bambach (*1976), currently Full Professor at the Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus-Senftenberg, Germany, as Full Professor of Advanced Manufacturing. Markus Bambach’s research strives to master new manufacturing technologies, from construction through to the end of the life cycle. To that end, he uses the seamless integration of data and processes based on information technologies. His research pays particular attention to additive production processes. With the appointment of Markus Bambach, ETH Zurich is strengthening the field of material, manufacturing and production technologies and promoting the transfer of knowledge and technology. (D-MAVT)

Professor Jürgen Biela (*1974), currently Associate Professor at ETH Zurich, as Full Professor of High Power Electronics. Jürgen Biela’s work covers a number of topics of great social relevance, including the development of novel system components for the distribution and storage of energy, the efficient integration of renewable sources of energy, and electromobility. A further focus is on high-precision solid state pulse modulators for use in accelerator systems. Jürgen Biela makes an important contribution to teaching and research at ETH Zurich. He has also developed a significant international network and is committed to the transfer of knowledge and technology. (D-ITET)

Professor Filippo Coletti (*1982), currently Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota, USA, as Full Professor of Experimental Fluid Dynamics. Filippo Coletti’s research focuses on experimental investigations into fundamental flow phenomena. His work has special relevance to environmental processes such as atmospheric precipitation and pollutant transport. Filippo Coletti also investigates biofluid mechanics problems that are important for respiration and the circulatory system. By appointing Filippo Coletti, ETH Zurich is strengthening the area of experimental fluid mechanics and linking fluid mechanics to other research fields such as energy technology and biotechnology. (D-MAVT)

Ryan Cotterell (*1988), currently a doctoral student and Lecturer at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Computer Science. Ryan Cotterell conducts research into human languages in order to gain scientific knowledge within the framework of linguistics, while also exploring the automated processing of human language for automated speech comprehension in the context of artificial intelligence. He is therefore active in a highly relevant, fast-growing area of research. The appointment of Ryan Cotterell enables the Department of Computer Science to strengthen its expertise in the field of machine learning and artificial intelligence, particularly in relation to speech comprehension applications. (D-INFK)

Professor Georg Holländer (*1957), currently Full Professor at the University of Basel and Director of the Botnar Research Center for Child Health (BRCCH) as well as Full Professor at Oxford University, United Kingdom, as Full Professor of Developmental Immunology. Georg Holländer has an excellent, internationally recognised scientific track record. He develops and combines concepts from molecular, cellular and organismic immunology. His research has a particular focus on thymus cells, which play a key role in immunological tolerance and defence. Georg Holländer will hold a dual professorship with the University of Basel. His international network and multidisciplinary approach will help him build important partnerships and boost the reputation of ETH Zurich. (D-BSSE)

Professor Jonathan Home (*1979), currently Associate Professor at ETH Zurich, as Full Professor of Experimental Quantum Information. Jonathan Home’s research explores the areas of quantum state engineering, simulation and information processing using trapped atomic ions. Applying the precise control offered by this technology, he investigates in particular the interactions between the quantum system and its environment. In only a few years, Jonathan Home has built up a laboratory that is already regarded as a world leader in the field of experimental ion trap quantum physics. In so doing, he has achieved high visibility in a very competitive field, thus also benefiting ETH Zurich. (D-PHYS)

Professor Andreas Moor (*1984), currently Assistant Professor at the University of Zurich, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Systems Physiology. Andreas Moor conducts research into how single cells collaborate within tissues to achieve their common physiological functions efficiently. His findings, which resulted in the award of an SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship in 2019, are bringing new insights in developmental biology, tissue organisation and oncology. This also contributes to a better understanding of diseases and will enable new therapeutic approaches to be developed. By appointing Andreas Moor, ETH Zurich is increasing its efforts to translate scientific results into clinical applications. (D-BSSE)

Professor Ursula Renold (*1961), currently Senior Scientist at the Swiss Economic Institute (KOF) at ETH Zurich, as Full Professor of Education Systems. During her many years’ service as Director of the Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology, Ursula Renold has made a substantial contribution to the expansion of the professional education system and the universities of applied sciences. The main focus of her research is on comparative education systems and analysing the institutional framework conditions for education systems. Drawing on her experience in translational research, she has contributed to the evaluation and development of education systems in a number of countries. At ETH Zurich, Ursula Renold will be responsible for developing a Center on the Economics and Management of Education and Training Systems.(D-MTEC)

Professor Giovanni Sansavini (*1981), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, as Associate Professor of Reliability and Risk Engineering. Giovanni Sansavini’s research explores risk evaluation, resilience and reliability in relation to complex, critical energy networks and infrastructures. His approach is not limited to the physical aspects of the networks, but also covers evaluating the performance of the operators. Giovanni Sansavini is one of the few scientists in the world who are researching critical infrastructures in the energy sector. His work strengthens the international reputation of ETH Zurich in a strategically important field. (D-MAVT)

Dr Sebastian Schemm (*1984), currently Senior Scientist at ETH Zurich, as Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Circulation. Sebastian Schemm’s research focuses on the dynamics of atmospheric flows. He is particularly interested in low pressure areas and fronts, how they relate to each another and their role in the climate system. This work, which lies at the interface between weather and climate, is of great importance for gaining a better understanding of the climate system, especially the way in which atmospheric processes interact over different time scales. In 2019 Sebastian Schemm received an ERC Starting Grant for his scientific work. His appointment will substantially increase ETH Zurich’s expertise in the field of atmospheric dynamics. (D-USYS)

Professor Maria Schönbächler (*1969), currently Associate Professor at ETH Zurich, as Full Professor of Isotope Geochemistry. Maria Schönbächler researches the origin and development of our solar system and planet Earth. She uses geochemical methods to investigate the processes that occurred before, during and after the Earth’s genesis. This includes the formation of the Earth and the solar system from the solar nebula, the Earth’s early evolutionary stages and the development of the first continents. Maria Schönbächler was awarded an ERC Starting Grant for her internationally acclaimed work. In addition to conducting her excellent research, she is highly committed to teaching, performing her departmental management duties and promoting equal opportunities at ETH Zurich. (D-ERDW)

Dr Thomas Schutzius (*1986), currently Senior Scientist at ETH Zurich, as Assistant Professor of Multiphase Thermofluidics and Surface Nanoengineering. Thomas Schutzius conducts research into thermofluidics, surface science and surface engineering, as well as energy conversion processes. His work is based on studying the control and exploitation of surface and volume transport processes at the micro and nano level. He uses his results to develop innovative materials that improve the efficiency of water treatment and energy generation processes. In 2019 Thomas Schutzius received an ERC Starting Grant for his scientific work. In appointing Thomas Schutzius, ETH Zurich will be able to strengthen multidisciplinary cooperation between a number of strategic areas. (D-MAVT)

Dr Benedikt Soja (*1988), currently Post-doctoral researcher at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, USA, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Space Geodesy. Benedikt Soja’s research focuses on the high-precision determination of terrestrial reference frames. He is particularly interested in quasar interferometry and its interaction with other technologies in space geodesy, especially the increasingly important global satellite navigation systems. With the appointment of Benedikt Soja, ETH Zurich is founding Switzerland’s only dedicated professorship in the field of space geodesy, thus establishing its position at an early stage in a subject area of increasing global significance. (D-BAUG)

Professor Christoph Studer (*1979), currently Associate Professor at Cornell University, New York, USA, as Associate Professor of Integrated Information Processing. Christoph Studer’s award-winning research takes place at the interface between algorithm development, theoretical principles of signal processing, and communication technologies, as well as digital integrated circuit technology. Such an integrated approach is very rare and has won him international recognition for his research, including in the communication technology industry. By appointing Christoph Studer, ETH Zurich is reinforcing its leading role in the field of digital circuit technology and signal processing.

Professor Outi Supponen (*1990), currently Assistant Professor of Experimental Fluid Mechanics at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Experimental Microand Biofluidics. Outi Supponen’s research focuses on experimental investigations of fundamental flow phenomena. Her research findings are of importance to numerous applications in biomedicine, material science and cleaning technologies, as well as for hydraulic machinery. By appointing Outi Supponen, ETH Zurich is strengthening the experimental fluid mechanics subject area and its links with other research fields in thermodynamics, energy technology and biomedical engineering. (D-MAVT)

Professor Laurent Vanbever (*1985), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, as Associate Professor of Networked Systems. Laurent Vanbever works in the field of computer networks, investigating key topics in the area of network configuration and network security. His internationally acclaimed research covers theoretical and practical aspects of the programmability of networks, Internet routing and the optimisation of network performance. He also develops tools for identifying network attacks and analysing their effects, as well as enabling networks to protect themselves. In 2016 the students of ETH Zurich awarded Laurent Vanbever the Golden Owl for excellence in teaching. (D-ITET)

Dr Maksym Yarema (*1985), currently a post-doctoral student at ETH Zurich and Empa, as Assistant Professor of Nanoscale Memory Devices. Maksym Yarema specialises in developing methods for synthesising new semiconducting and metallic nanoparticles and integrating them into (opto)electronic and energy-related devices. His latest work focuses on phase-change memory devices made from nanoscale materials - a promising alternative to traditional silicon-based devices. He has received an ERC Starting Grant for this research. The appointment of Maksym Yarema enables ETH Zurich to expand its activities into new types of storage technologies and nanoelectronics. (D-ITET)

Dr Dominik Brunner (*1967), currently Research Group Leader at Empa and Lecturer at ETH Zurich, as Adjunct Professor at ETH Zurich. Dominik Brunner is a recognised specialist in air pollution. His innovative research in atmospheric chemistry focuses in particular on the origin, retention and transport of anthropogenic emissions in the atmosphere. (D-USYS)

Dr Peter Derlet (*1968), currently Senior Scientist at the Paul Scherrer Institute and Lecturer at ETH Zurich, as Adjunct Professor at ETH Zurich. Peter Derlet is an acclaimed researcher in the field of simulation and modelling of plasticity and structure in solid materials. His particular interest is nanocrystalline alloys and glasses. (D-MATL)

Dr Salvador Pané i Vidal (*1980), currently Senior Scientist and Lecturer at ETH Zurich, as Adjunct Professor at ETH Zurich. Salvador Pané i Vidal is an internationally recognised scientist who carries out important research and teaching at ETH Zurich. He has already been awarded two ERC grants, and is currently working on combining chemistry and electrochemistry with small-format robotics. (D-MAVT)

From the editors