New professors appointed

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 Karsten M. Borgwardt

Karsten M. Borgwardt

The ETH Board appointed three new professors and awarded the title of Professor to five recipients upon application of ETH President Lino Guzzella

At its meeting of 8/9 March 2017, the ETH Board appointed three professors and awarded the title of Professor to five recipients upon application of ETH Zurich President Lino Guzzella. The Board also acknowledged the resignations of six professors, thanking them for their service.

Appointments at ETH Zurich



Karsten M. Borgwardt (*1980), currently Associate Professor at ETH Zurich, as Full Professor of Data Mining. Karsten Borgwardt is a highly renowned scientist who works on one of the key problems for the modern life sciences - efficient computer-based searches in fast-growing datasets. These search methods are important for tasks such as finding indications of the genetic causes of complex diseases from genome sequencing data, and developing new methods of diagnosis and treatment. He received an ERC Starting Grant in 2014. Karsten Borgwardt’s appointment as Full Professor further reinforces ETH Zurich’s strategic research focus on big data and personalised medicine.


Eleni Chatzi (*1981), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, as Associate Professor of Structural Mechanics. Eleni Chatzi’s award-winning research, for which she received an ERC Starting Grant in 2015, deals mainly with structural health monitoring and damage detection, identifying and regulating nonlinear structural systems, smart sensor technology, smart materials and structures, as well as structural dynamics and random vibrations. Eleni Chatzi and her work are therefore an ideal complement to the research activities of the Institute of Structural Engineering. By acting as a role model, she also makes the career of civil engineering more attractive to female students.


Christian Degen (*1976), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, as Associate Professor of Spin Physics. Christian Degen has received worldwide recognition for his research findings on weak magnetic signals in biological and inorganic systems. In 2013 he received an ERC Starting Grant. Christian Degen’s current objective at ETH Zurich is to combine magnetic resonance with atomic force microscopy. If the advantages of both processes are fully harnessed, it should be possible to produce three-dimensional high-resolution images of individual viruses, for example. Christian Degen’s research ideally complements the activities of other research groups working with novel quantum systems.

Award of the title of Professor



Dr. Claude Ederer (*1972), currently Senior Scientist and Lecturer at ETH Zurich, as Adjunct Professor at ETH Zurich. Claude Ederer is a globally recognised expert in the field of materials theory of ferroic systems. Before joining ETH Zurich in 2012, he worked at a number of renowned universities in the United States and Ireland.


Dr. Aude Gehrmann-De Ridder (*1970), currently Senior Scientist and Lecturer at ETH Zurich, as Adjunct Professor at ETH Zurich. Aude Gehrmann-De Ridder conducts research into particle physics and investigates the prediction and interpretation of events produced by large accelerator experiments (such as the Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva).


Dr. Vadim Geshkenbein (*1965), currently Senior Scientist and Senior Lecturer at ETH Zurich, as Adjunct Professor at ETH Zurich. Vadim Geshkenbein’s research focuses on statistical physics, superconductors and quantum systems. In 2001 his work in the field of vortex matter earned him the ETH Zurich Latsis Prize.


Dr. Robert Grass (*1979), currently Senior Scientist and Lecturer at ETH Zurich, as Adjunct Professor at ETH Zurich. Robert Grass conducts research embracing nanoparticles, surfaces and biochemistry. His current focus is the use of DNA as an information carrier for digital data storage.


Dr. Alexey Kuvshinov (*1958), currently Senior Scientist and Senior Lecturer at ETH Zurich, as Adjunct Professor at ETH Zurich. Alexey Kuvshinov is one of the world’s leading scientists in the field of electromagnetic induction. He played a major role in obtaining funding for, and leading, a whole series of studies for the European Space Agency (ESA).

Departures from ETH Zurich



Peter Edwards (*1948), currently Full Professor of Plant Ecology, is to retire at the beginning of August 2017. Peter Edwards was appointed as Professor of ETH Zurich in autumn 1993. His research concentrates on ecosystems and large-scale ecological processes. He is working on topics such as biodiversity in agricultural ecosystems and the effect of grazing cattle and horses on vegetation structure. Peter Edwards has made an exceptional contribution to the research community and to ETH Zurich. He has been a member of a number of organisations and bodies, and in 2012 he was awarded the Golden Owl for excellence in teaching. Since autumn 2013 he has been Director of the Singapore-ETH Centre for Global Environmental Sustainability.


Dirk Hebel (*1971), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Architecture and Building Construction, is leaving ETH Zurich at the end of March 2017. Dirk Hebel was appointed to his post in 2011 and has spent most of his time at the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore. He conducts research into alternative construction materials and technologies and has contributed significantly to the top-class reputation of ETH Zurich’s Department of Architecture. He will take up an appointment at another academic institution.


Kevan A.C. Martin (*1952), currently Full Professor of Systems Neurophysiology, is to retire at the beginning of August 2017. Kevan Martin has held a joint professorship of both ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich since 1995 and is Co-Director of the Institute of Neuroinformatics, which is jointly run by both institutions. He is an internationally recognised specialist in neuroinformatics and has made important contributions to this complex area of biology. Kevan Martin’s research focused on the tiny connections within the microstructure of the cerebral cortex, among other topics. His work culminated in a synthesis of anatomical, physiological, neurochemical and theoretical investigations and yielded an integrated concept of the way the cerebral cortex functions.


Paul Schönsleben (*1952), currently Full Professor of Industrial Engineering and Management, is to retire at the beginning of August 2017. Paul Schönsleben was appointed to ETH Zurich in 1991. His areas of research and teaching cover logistics, operations and supply chain management, global service management and service innovation. He also works on information management, total quality management (TQM) and process management. He has written a number of textbooks, some of which are still regarded as standard works today. Paul Schönsleben undertook management roles at ETH Zurich over many years and was heavily involved with the founding of the Department of Management, Technology and Economics.


Rainer Schulin (*1952), currently Full Professor of Soil Protection, is to retire at the beginning of August 2017. Rainer Schulin joined ETH Zurich in 1983, and has occupied his current post since October 1998. He developed the teaching of soil protection at ETH Zurich, where he established the new subject as an academic discipline that straddles engineering and natural sciences. Rainer Schulin’s research has made important contributions to the recording, analysis, prevention and monitoring of soil contamination by heavy metals and other pollutants. He has also worked on soil compaction and the remediation of contaminated soil.


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