15 new professors appointed at the two Federal Institutes of Technology

Berne/Zurich, 17.05.2018 - At its meeting of 16/17 May 2018 and upon application of the President of ETH Zurich, Professor Lino Guzzella, and the President of EPFL, Professor Martin Vetterli, the ETH Board appointed a total of 15 professors. It also took note of the resignations of two professors and thanked them for their services.

Appointments at ETH Zurich

Dr Athina Anastasaki (*1988), currently Research Fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Polymeric Materials. Athina Anastasaki conducts research on polymer nanoparticles whose shape can be controlled for use in biomedical applications. Her work also focuses on biomimetic nanostructured materials which regulate the folding and unfolding of polymer chains. She uses sequence controls to synthesise polymers which resemble peptides and proteins. This enables her to synthesise complex polymer architectures in order to develop new and more effective antibiotics. By appointing Athina Anastasaki, the Department of Materials is strengthening its research and teaching in polymer chemistry.

Prof. Dr Tom Avermaete (*1971), currently Full Professor at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, as Full Professor of History and Theory of Urban Design. Tom Avermaete’s main research interest is in urban architecture in Western and non-Western contexts. He focuses on the changing roles, approaches and tools of architects and urban planners. In addition, he explores historical precedents such as design approaches, methods and instruments in order to create a basis for the science of design and to influence contemporary architectural thinking and practice. The appointment of Tom Avermaete enables the Department of Architecture to strengthen its research and teaching in the history of urban design in Europe and beyond.

François Charbonnet (*1972) und Patrick Heiz (*1973), currently Partners and Architects at “Made in”, Geneva, as Full Professors of Architecture and Design. As architects, François Charbonnet and Patrick Heiz are masters of their trade. They participate in fundamental debates and socio-political discourses and are willing to take risks and assume responsibility. Moreover, they are experienced lecturers who have already taught as guest lecturers at a number of universities. By appointing François Charbonnet and Patrick Heiz, the Department of Architecture at ETH Zurich has obtained the services of two outstanding exponents of the Swiss architecture scene who are at the height of their powers.

Dr Olga Fink (*1983), currently Group Leader at Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Winterthur, as Assistant Professor of Intelligent Maintenance Systems. Olga Fink develops data-driven, intelligent maintenance processes for energy and transportation systems. These enable error signatures to be learnt from condition monitoring data sources, error signatures to be transferred between different systems, and defective conditions to be predicted in advance. The appointment of Olga Fink, who holds an SNSF Professorship, enables the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering to strengthen research areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data, and to reinforce its relationships with other departments.

Prof. Dr Otmar Hilliges (*1979), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, as Associate Professor of Computer Science. Otmar Hilliges conducts research at the interface between human-machine interaction, machine vision and machine learning. He works on new kinds of algorithms which enable machines to interpret human activity. At ETH Zurich he has built up a strong research programme that is set to grow considerably thanks to the ERC Starting Grant awarded in 2017. Otmar Hilliges has established a new branch of research at ETH Zurich in the area of human-computer interaction. This fits in perfectly with the existing research of the Department of Computer Science and opens up opportunities for various collaborations.

Prof. Dr Elli Mosayebi (*1977), currently Professor at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, as Associate Professor of Architecture and Design. Elli Mosayebi forges a close connection between practice, research and teaching. The architecture firm Edelaar Mosayebi Inderbitzin Architekten, which she co-founded, places particular emphasis on urban design and residential construction, for which it has won numerous awards. In her research she explores European residential construction since 1945, looking at the forms of housing found in model dwellings and examining the conditions under which they came into being. Elli Mosayebi will be an outstanding and dynamic addition to the teaching staff of the Department of Architecture.

Prof. Dr Zoltan Nagy (*1980), currently Assistant Professor at the University of Texas, Austin, USA, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Intelligent Systems. Zoltan Nagy's research focuses on the energy efficiency of buildings in operation and aims at substantially reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. He also studies the efficient energy design and upgrading of existing buildings using new system solutions, the interactive involvement of the occupants and their behaviour, and the optimisation of the indoor climate by means of in situ monitoring. The appointment of Zoltan Nagy enables ETH Zurich to broaden its competencies in the area of energy efficiency in buildings – a field of key importance for the implementation of Switzerland's Energy Strategy 2050.

Dr Emma Wetter Slack (*1981), currently Senior Scientist at ETH Zurich, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Food Immunology. Emma Wetter Slack researches the interactions between intestinal flora and the host immune system. The use of innovative oral vaccines enabled her to discover a previously unknown mechanism by which antibodies in the intestine protect the host from bacteria. She now wants to make her findings applicable in clinical and veterinary practice as quickly as possible. By appointing Emma Wetter Slack, who was awarded the ETH Zurich Latsis Prize in 2017, the Department of Health Sciences and Technology is integrating the new discipline of immunology into the research area of food, nutrition and health.

Prof. Dr Laurent Stalder (*1970), currently Associate Professor at ETH Zurich, as Full Professor of Theory of Architecture. Laurent Stalder, who studied and obtained his doctorate at ETH Zurich, researches the history and theory of architecture from the 19th to the 21st centuries at the interface with the history of technology. He investigates topics such as the revolving door, building technology or glass as part of his exploration of modern architecture in relation to the history of modern technologies, rather than in terms of its formal contributions. His work constantly draws links between theoretical knowledge gained through research and current architectural practice. Laurent Stalder also provides major support for teaching and research at the Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture, of which he is currently the head.

Appointments at EPFL

Prof. Dr Yimon Aye (*1980), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at Cornell University, Ithaca, USA, as Associate Professor of Chemistry. Yimon Aye’s research focuses on electrophilic signals and the control of genome replication. Understanding the electrophilic signaling mechanisms that affect proteins allows the modulation of various biological processes, including cell ageing, cell decay, immune reactions and the protection of genetic material. Thanks to her innovative research programmes in the fields of organic chemistry, biological chemistry and life sciences, Yimon Aye’s laboratory at EPFL will play a global leading role in biological chemistry.

Prof. Dr Andreas Burg (*1975), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at EPFL, as Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Electronics. Andreas Burg conducts research on communi¬cation systems and develops secure microelectronic circuits to process digital signals using CMOS technology at the nano level. He is gaining considerable international recognition for the efficient implementation of algorithms for wireless communication and for new approaches which reduce costs and energy usage in circuits. With his innovative and interdisciplinary research, Andreas Burg is strengthening the field of electronics at EPFL as well as invigorating its teaching through his commitment and energy.

Dr Giovanni D’Angelo (*1979), currently Group Leader at the National Research Council, Naples, Italy, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Life Sciences. Giovanni D’Angelo is an expert in lipids, which play a key role in metabolism. His work on how proteins shuttle lipids from one membrane to another has had a major impact in this research domain. One of his research focuses lies in investigating glycosphingolipids; he has uncovered how a cell is able to maintain compartments with different lipid composition. Through appointing Giovanni D’Angelo, EPFL is strengthening its position in metabolism lipid research, an area which is growing in importance because of its relation to health risks.

Dr Philip Moll (*1984), currently Research Associate at EPFL, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Materials Science. Philip Moll’s research covers new inorganic materials and their potential applications. His main focus is on understanding new electronic phenomena of quantum materials on the metric scale. At EPFL, the SNSF professor will work on developing analysis techniques which will combine the discovery of new materials with their synthesis. Philip Moll, who was awarded an ERC Starting Grant in 2016, is giving the Institute of Materials new impetus and strengthening its position both in research and teaching.

Prof. Dr Vivek Subramanian (*1971), currently Full Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, USA, and Adjunct Professor at Sunchon National University, South Korea, as Full Professor of Microtechnology. Vivek Subramanian conducts research into the science and technology of additive manufacturing processes for the production of broadband electronics. He is also interested in microfabrication, where combining conventional microelectronics and advanced electromechanical systems has enabled him to develop new concepts that will significantly boost performance and efficiency in manufacturing. Vivek Subramanian’s international expertise and wide experience will strengthen and drive forward EPFL’s activities in the field of microfabrication.

Departures from EPFL

Prof. Dr. Bernard Dacorogna (*1953), currently Full Professor of Mathematics, will retire with effect from 1 March 2019. Bernard Dacorogna has worked at EPFL since 1981 and was appointed to his present post in 2003. Since then he has been head of teaching for the area of mathematical analysis and applications. The main focus of his research is on variational calculus and partial differential equations. His great expertise has led to him being invited to spend periods at the University of California, Berkeley, USA, as well as ETH Zurich and other renowned institutions. Bernard Dacorogna has served on numerous international committees, contributed to the international recognition of EPFL, and supported and encouraged young researchers with his creativity and great intellectual curiosity.

Prof. Dr. Hans Peter Herzig (*1953), currently Full Professor of Microtechnology, will retire with effect from 1 October 2018. Hans Peter Herzig was appointed to his present post in 2009. Since then he has led the Applied Optics Laboratory, which enjoys an excellent reputation thanks to ground-breaking contributions to micro-optics and nano-optics with numerous applications in lithography, microfluidics, and the design of detector circuits. As a pioneer in the field of micro-optics, he has led research projects with renowned industrial companies and institutions, and participated in many international cooperations. In addition, Hans Peter Herzig has served on international committees and taught generations of students.

The ETH Board would like to thank the departing professors for their services to science, teaching and academic administration.

Address for enquiries

Gian-Andri Casutt
Head of Communication of the ETH Board
Häldeliweg 15, CH-8092 Zurich
+41 44 632 20 03


Board of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology