ETH Board appoints new members of the EPFL Senior Management

Berne/Zurich, 14.11.2016 - Following the proposal of EPFL, the ETH Board has appointed five new members of the EPFL Senior Management. The ETH Board has also taken note of the resignation of three current EPFL Senior Management members effective end-2016. The EPFL's new Senior Management will take office as of 1 January 2017.

With the new EPFL President, Martin Vetterli, taking office on 1 January 2017, EPFL is reorganising its Senior Management. Following the proposal of the designated President of EPFL, Martin Vetterli, and in consultation  with the current President, Patrick Aebischer, the ETH Board at its meeting of 12 November 2016 appointed the candidates proposed by EPFL to the EPFL's Senior Management – namely, Pierre Vandergheynst, Andreas Mortensen, Marc Gruber, Etienne Marclay and Edouard Bugnion. The ETH Board also took note of the resignation of three current Senior Management members, Adrienne Corboud Fumagalli, Karl Aberer and Philippe Gillet, and thanked them for their significant commitment to EPFL and to the ETH Domain.The ETH Board is confident that the new EPFL Senior Management will seamlessly build on the successes of the current leadership team.

New Senior Management members

Professor Pierre Vandergheynst has been appointed Vice President Education. He holds a PhD in mathematical physics from the Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium. At the beginning of 2001, he was appointed Assistant Professor at EPFL. He has been Full Professor of Electrical Engineering and Electronics since 2014. In 2015, he was also named Vice Provost Education – a role in which Pierre Vandergheynst has made significant contributions to the Federal Institute’s development, notably under the EDEE doctoral programme and at the Collège des Humanités, where he put in place the first-year course on the topic of global challenges.

Professor Andreas Mortensen has been appointed Vice President Research. A construction engineer with a degree from the École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris, he completed a PhD in materials science at MIT, Cambridge, USA. This was followed by a ten-year career at MIT, where he held the successive titles of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Full Professor. In 1997, Andreas Mortensen was appointed Full Professor at the Department of Materials Science at EPFL, where he has headed the Laboratory for Mechanical Metallurgy until today. He also won recognition as Dean of the Doctoral School and Director of the Institute of Materials. In 2015, he was named Vice Provost Research.

Professor Marc Gruber has been appointed Vice President Innovation. He holds a PhD in management from the University of St. Gallen. He joined EPFL in 2005 as an Assistant Professor, holding the Chair of Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialisation. He was promoted to Full Professor in 2010. Posts prior to his appointment to EPFL included the position of Vice Director of the Institute of Innovation Research, Technology Management and Entrepreneurship at the Munich School of Management of the University of Munich. At the same university he was Founding Manager of the Entrepreneurship Center, which was established to motivate and help students and graduates to start up businesses.

Dr Etienne Marclay has been appointed Vice President Human Resources and Operations. He holds a PhD in physics from EPFL. On completion of a post-doctoral programme, he assumed various roles at consultancy and services companies before returning to EPFL in 2008. He initially served as Dean Adjunct of the Faculty of Engineering Sciences and Techniques, followed by appointments as Finance and Planning delegate and Deputy Secretary General for Planning and Logistics. He is currently acting Vice President Resources and Infrastructures. Etienne Marclay will also hold the newly created post of Vice President Finance ad interim. The designated President of EPFL, Professor Martin Vetterli, plans to merge finances, budget planning and controlling under this area of responsibility. The respective Vice President is to be appointed shortly.

Professor Edouard Bugnion has been appointed acting Vice President Information System. His main task will be to head the next development phase for central IT operations and information systems at EPFL. Edouard Bugnion holds a PhD from Stanford University, California, USA. In 2012, he was appointed to the teaching staff of the School of Computer and Communication Sciences at EPFL. Before joining EPFL, he spent 18 years in the USA, where he carried out research and co-founded two start-ups.

Members resigning from the Senior Management

Dr Adrienne Corboud Fumagalli, Vice President Innovation and Technology Transfer, will be handing over her duties to Professor Marc Gruber on 1 January 2017. She will subsequently be devoting herself above all to the Social Media Lab set up by her and to managing the technology spin-off Horizon. Over a period of eight years, Adrienne Corboud Fumagalli has been a key driver of successful innovation activities at EPFL. One of her core achievements is the development of the EPFL Innovation Park, for which she succeeded in enlisting the support of several companies of note. Over 2000 people currently work at the Innovation Park. Together with her team, she enabled numerous spin-offs, which she also helped to procure the necessary growth funding. A total of over one billion francs has been raised during her term of office.

Professor Karl Aberer, Vice President Information Systems, will be stepping down from this role at the end of 2016 and again devoting himself fully to teaching and research in his laboratory at the School of Computer and Communication Sciences. His specific focus is on data sciences. During his four-year term of office as Vice President, Karl Aberer has made important contributions to reorganising the EPFL information system, including the definition of strategic principles and the integration of new digital technologies into teaching and research activities.

Professor Philippe Gillet, Vice President Academic Affairs, will be leaving EPFL at the end of 2016 to take up the position of Chief Innovation Officer with SICPA, a global provider of security solutions for banknotes. He will retain an appointment as a professor at EPFL. In his role as Vice President, Philippe Gillet laid the foundations for the strong growth in student numbers at EPFL and initiated various projects key to the Federal Institute’s development, including the build-up of the EPFL outposts. He also received widespread acclaim as coordinator of the Human Brain Project.

Address for enquiries

Christoph Leuenberger
Deputy Head of Communication of the ETH Board
Häldeliweg 15, CH-8092 Zurich
+41 44 632 75 77


Board of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology

Last modification 03.10.2018

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