19 new professors appointed

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At its last meeting, the ETH Board appointed a total of 19 new professors at the request of the President of ETH Zurich, Joël Mesot.

Dr Nicholas Bokulich (*1986), currently a postdoctoral researcher at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, USA, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Food Systems Biotechnology. Nicholas Bokulich’s research concentrates on complex microbial communities in human beings as well as in foods and the environment. He also focuses on the biotic and abiotic factors that influence the diversity and characteristics of these complex microbial ecosystems. Nicholas Bokulich uses the very latest bioinformatic analysis methods. His appointment strengthens ETH Zurich’s research in the field of complex microbial ecosystems. (Departmental Affiliation: D-HEST)

Professor Gion A. Caminada (*1957), currently Associate Professor at ETH Zurich, as Full Professor of Architecture and Design. Gion A. Caminada is known as an exceptional architect and teacher of design in Switzerland and internationally, and is a key figure in the Department of Architecture. Until very recently, he deliberately restricted his practical work to the narrower field of his native Graubünden. In only a few years, he succeeded in transforming the village of Vrin, with its 300 inhabitants, into a centre for forward-looking yet historically rooted Alpine architecture. Today, Gion A. Caminada is rightly considered to be the leading theoretician of Alpine construction. (Departmental Affiliation: D-ARCH)

Dr Annapaola de Cosa (*1984), currently Research Fellow at the University of Zurich, as Assistant Professor of Particle Physics. Annapaola de Cosa’s research focuses on analysing data recorded by the CMS experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC). She also helps operate a central component of this large-scale experiment - the pixel detector. The Swiss National Science Foundation awarded her an SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship for her research. By appointing Annapaola de Cosa, ETH Zurich is further increasing its involvement with the CMS experiment at CERN, particularly in relation to the search for dark matter. (Departmental Affiliation: D-PHYS)

Professor Christian Degen (*1976), currently Associate Professor at ETH Zurich, as Full Professor of Spin Physics. The aim of Christian Degen’s research is to combine magnetic resonance with atomic force microscopy in such a way as to reap the full benefits of both processes, so that three-dimensional images of individual viruses or large protein molecules, for example, can be achieved at very high resolution. In recent years Christian Degen has expanded his laboratory and conducted experiments in the field of quantum sensing. One important result was the ability to measure a single nuclear spin. He has already been awarded two ERC grants for his work. (Departmental Affiliation: D-PHYS)

Dr Kristy Deiner (*1979), currently Research Associate at the Museum of Natural History, London, United Kingdom, as Assistant Professor of Environmental DNA. The central objective of Kristy Deiner’s research is to understand the impact of species extinction on the functioning of ecosystems. She focuses mainly on freshwater habitats. Her groundbreaking research has demonstrated that rivers are carriers of biodiversity information in the form of environmental DNA. Kristy Deiner was recently awarded an ERC Starting Grant. She will use this to study aquatic environmental DNA in order to observe the overall biodiversity present in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. (Departmental Affiliation: D-USYS)

Professor Christian Franck (*1973), currently Associate Professor at ETH Zurich, as Full Professor of High Voltage Engineering. In recent years Christian Franck has built up an interdisciplinary team to devise technologies for high voltage transmission over long distances and medium-voltage distribution. He focuses in particular on the development of environmentally friendly insulation gas mixtures to replace the current standard sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) - an extremely potent greenhouse gas. Christian Franck’s work is of great relevance to society, given the need to transform the current energy systems. (Departmental Affiliation: D-ITET)

Dr Helmuth Gehart (*1984), currently postdoctoral researcher at the Hubrecht Institute, Utrecht, Netherlands, as Assistant Professor of Tumour and Stem Cell Dynamics. Helmuth Gehart’s scientific interests lie in the investigation of mechanisms, signalling pathways and molecules that regulate cell differentiation during organ development and tumour formation. Over the next few years he will be researching the heterogeneity and dynamics of clonal tumour populations and analysing how heterogeneous cell populations respond to therapies. He has received a number of awards for his results, including an ERC Proof of Concept Grant. (Departmental Affiliation: D-BIOL)

Professor Janneke Hille Ris Lambers (*1972), currently Full Professor at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA, as Full Professor of Plant Ecology. In her research, Janneke Hille Ris Lambers focuses on fundamental and applied questions in the area of plant community ecology. She is interested in exploring the processes underlying species coexistence, and in how to predict the effects of climate change on the distribution, dynamics and structure of plant communities. The appointment of Janneke Hille Ris Lambers enables ETH Zurich to strengthen its expertise in ecology and the understanding of biological diversity and ecosystem processes. (Departmental Affiliation: D-USYS)

Professor Carlo Menon (*1977), currently Full Professor at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada, as Full Professor of Biomedical and Mobile Health Technology. Carlo Menon’s research interests bring together the fields of biomedical technology, biosignal processing, robotics and smart materials. He and his group are developing inconspicuous wearable technologies for monitoring, supporting and treating older adults and persons with chronic diseases. Carlo Menon’s appointment enables ETH Zurich to strengthen the areas of medical and rehabilitation technology and the recently launched Rehab Initiative. (Departmental Affiliation: D-HEST)

Dr Stefano Mintchev (*1986), currently a post-doctoral student at EPFL, as Assistant Professor of Environmental Robotics. Stefano Mintchev’s research focuses on understanding multimodal locomotion in robots, and helps with the development of robots whose mobility and functions make them similar to flying creatures. The Swiss National Science Foundation awarded him an SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship for his work. With the appointment of Stefano Mintchev, ETH Zurich is strengthening the links between robotics and the use of robotic systems in environmental research, particularly forest research. (Departmental Affiliation: D-USYS)

Dr Denise M. Mitrano (*1986), currently Research Associate at Eawag, Dübendorf, as Assistant Professor of Environmental Chemistry of Anthropogenic Materials. Denise M. Mitrano’s research explores the distribution and impacts of anthropogenic materials in technical and environmental systems. She is particularly interested in developing new analytical methods. Her research findings are improving our understanding of the risks of anthropogenic pollutants and helping develop the sustainable management of water and soil. She was awarded an SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship by the Swiss National Science Foundation for her work. (Departmental Affiliation: D-USYS)

Dr Gabriel Neurohr (*1983), currently postdoctoral researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, USA, as Assistant Professor of Cell Size in Cell Homoeostasis. In recent years Gabriel Neurohr has developed an innovative approach to understanding the cellular networks that control the volume of individual cells. He discovered that the concentration of cytoplasmic protein plays an important role as a cell size sensor. By appointing this outstanding scientist, ETH Zurich will be able to build on its leading global position in biological research. Gabriel Neurohr was awarded an SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowship by the Swiss National Science Foundation for his research. (Departmental Affiliation: D-BIOL)

Professor Nicolas Noiray (*1981), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, as Associate Professor of Combustion and Acoustics for Power & Propulsion Systems. Nicolas Noiray’s research explores fundamental and applied aspects of combustion. He has developed a new type of sequential combustion chamber which he uses to investigate the combustion systems of large gas turbines, with special emphasis on thermoacoustic instabilities and turbulent self-ignitable flows. Nicolas Noiray has received numerous awards, including an ERC Consolidator Grant. He already plays a pivotal role in teaching at ETH Zurich. (Departmental Affiliation: D-MAVT)

Professor Kaveh Razavi (*1987), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Secure Systems Engineering. Kaveh Razavi is particularly interested in the security of the interfaces between hardware and software, and in how this can be improved. Starting from the assumption that hardware is basically insecure, he pursues the goal of finding fundamentally secure ways of building computer systems. By appointing Kaveh Razavi, ETH Zurich is contributing to the further development of computer security - a topic of huge importance to society and industry. (Departmental Affiliation: D-ITET)

Professor Sereina Z. Riniker (*1985), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, as Associate Professor of Computational Chemistry. Sereina Z. Riniker’s research focuses on computer simulations of matter. Along with her research group, she develops and studies atomistic models to describe molecular interactions and calculate free-energy differences. She combines this work with chemoinformatic and data-driven approaches. The interplay between thematic breadth and academic depth is a notable feature of her work. Sereina Z. Riniker’s research has won a number of awards, including the Latsis Prize from ETH Zurich. (Departmental Affiliation: D-CHAB)

Professor Christian Rüegg (*1976), currently Full Professor at the University of Geneva and Member of the Board of Directors of the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Villigen, as Full Professor of Physics at ETH Zurich and EPFL. Christian Rüegg is an internationally acclaimed solid-state physicist. In 2019, the Federal Council appointed him as the new director of the PSI. He will take up this post on 1 April 2020. At the same time, the two Federal Institutes of Technology have each appointed him to a full professorship in recognition of his scientific achievements. Christian Rüegg’s work has a particular focus on quantum phenomena in magnetism. He has been awarded prestigious prizes. In addition, he has received an ERC Consolidator Grant. (Departmental Affiliation: D-PHYS)

Professor Rico Zenklusen (*1981), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Mathematics at ETH Zurich, as Associate Professor of Mathematics. Rico Zenklusen conducts research in the field of combinatorial optimisation. This lies at the interface between mathematics and information technology and explores fundamental questions regarding the efficient solution of complex mathematical problems. In addition to making theoretical discoveries, Rico Zenklusen has also succeeded in solving key practical problems for industry using new algorithmic techniques. In 2018 he was awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant for his scientific results. (Departmental Affiliation: D-MATH)

Dr Paolo Crivelli (*1976), currently Senior Scientist at ETH Zurich and Laboratory Head at CERN, as Adjunct Professor at ETH Zurich. Paolo Crivelli is an internationally acclaimed specialist in exotic atoms and dark matter. He investigates these by means of high-precision experiments. He was awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant for his research. (Departmental Affiliation: D-PHYS)

Dr Giacomo Scalari (*1972), currently Senior Scientist at ETH Zurich, as Adjunct Professor at ETH Zurich. Giacomo Scalari is an internationally recognised researcher in the field of terahertz photonics, with a focus on quantum cascade lasers and ultra strong light-matter interactions in the terahertz range. He was awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant for his research. (Departmental Affiliation: D-PHYS)

Editorial team