Eight professors at ETH Zurich appointed

12.12.2014 | News

By:  From the editors

Upon application of the President of ETH Zurich, Ralph Eichler, at its meeting of 10/11 December 2014 the ETH Board appointed eight individuals as professors, took note of the departure of one professor and thanked him for his services, and awarded the title of professor to one individual. The ETH Board also bade farewell to the President of ETH Zurich.  

The cupola of ETH Zürich (Photo: Josef Kuster)  
The ETH Board appointed a total of eight individuals as professors and bade farewell to the President of ETH Zurich, Ralph Eichler. (Photo: ETH Zürich / Josef Kuster)

Departure of the President of ETH Zurich

Professor Ralph Eichler (*1947), currently President of ETH Zurich and Full Professor of Experimental Physics, will retire at the end of December 2014 after a successful career in science and management. After completing his studies and doctorate at ETH Zurich, Ralph Eichler gained international experience at prestigious research institutions and universities.

After working as a scientist at ETH Zurich and as a project leader at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), he was appointed Associate Professor of Experimental Physics at ETH Zurich in 1988. In 1993 he was promoted to Full Professor, and in 1998 he became Deputy Director of the PSI, which he led as Director from 2002 to 2007. In 2007, the Federal Council appointed him as President of ETH Zurich.

Ralph Eichler is highly regarded in national and international scientific circles. The range of his achievements in science, science policy and management is testimony to his exceptional versatility, both in physics and in the service of the academic community and ETH Zurich.

Appointments at ETH Zurich

Professor Andreas Krause (*1978), currently Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, as Associate Professor of Computer Science. Andreas Krause is an outstanding young researcher in the fields of machine learning and artificial intelligence. In his work on adaptive systems, he develops models and algorithms that can optimise submodular merit functions efficiently and with provable approximation characteristics. These methods have demonstrated their worth in traffic planning as well as in medical diagnostics and other areas. Andreas Krause will further strengthen the bridges between machine learning and core informatics and related areas at ETH Zurich, as well as playing a key role in the Big Data initiative.

Dr Pablo M. Rivera Fuentes (*1984), currently Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, as Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry. Pablo Rivera Fuentes has broad-ranging knowledge of molecular imaging, organic synthesis and biological chemistry. His current focus is on visualising intracellular connections in order to acquire a better understanding of the interplay of the processes occurring in cells. The appointment of Pablo Rivera Fuentes strengthens and complements research in the area of organic chemistry and chemical biology at the Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences.

Dr Clara Sánchez Rodríguez (*1980), currently Postdoctoral Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam, Germany, as Assistant Professor of Plant Cell Biology. Clara Sánchez Rodríguez is a dedicated young scientist. She has already produced pioneering work and received international recognition for her research findings in the areas of cell biology and plant-pathogen interactions. At present she is researching the complex regulation of the synthesis and formation of the plant cell wall. Her future findings could prove crucial for resistance to pathogens and for the production of bioenergy. Through the appointment of Clara Sánchez Rodríguez, ETH Zurich is further reinforcing its leading international position in plant biology research.

Dr Tobias Schmidt (*1981), currently Senior Researcher at ETH Zurich and Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, USA, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Energy Politics. Tobias Schmidt has technical as well as economic expertise. He exploits this interdisciplinary background to research topics that include the influence of energy policy on technological change. His work makes use of quantitative and qualitative methods. Furthermore, on the basis of his scientific knowledge, Tobias Schmidt drafts policy recommendations for politicians and other decision-makers. His networks with leading universities and international institutions such as the United Nations also significantly enrich ETH Zurich.

Professor Olga Sorkine Hornung (*1981), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, as Associate Professor of Computer Science. Olga Sorkine attracted attention as a result of her essential research findings soon in her career and is recognised as one of the world's leading scientists in the fields of geometric modelling and digital geometry processing. Among other things, she is currently working on projects including computer design in relation to the forward-looking areas of digital fabrication and 3D printing. Thanks to her research topics, Olga Sorkine ideally complements the current focus of the Institute of Visual Computing and will further reinforce ETH Zurich's strengths in this area.

Professor Roman Stocker (*1975), currently Associate Professor with Tenure Track at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA, as Full Professor of Groundwater and Hydromechanics. Roman Stocker has excellent international contacts and is a recognised expert in environmental fluid mechanics. His interdisciplinary research focuses on the interface between hydromechanics and biological transport processes in the environment. He has obtained highly acclaimed insights by using an innovative combination of dynamic imaging and microfluidics. Roman Stocker will further strengthen ETH Zurich's leading international position in the field of physical processes in surface and groundwater.

Professor Andreas Wenger (*1964), currently Associate Professor at ETH Zurich, as Full Professor of International and Swiss Security Policy. Andreas Wenger is Director of the Center for Security Studies (CSS) at ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich. The main focus of his work includes aspects of transatlantic relations, US and Russian foreign and security policy, the European security architecture and the future shape of Swiss foreign and security policy. Andreas Wenger achieves excellent results in research and teaching. In 2014 he was awarded the «Golden Owl» for exceptional teaching performance, having received outstanding evaluations from his students.

Vanessa Wood (Photo: Tom Kawara)

Professor Vanessa Wood (*1983), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, as Associate Professor of Materials and Device Engineering. Vanessa Wood is an eminent, internationally acclaimed scientist. Her research group investigates topics including the development of solar cells from nanomaterials, new materials for storing energy in batteries and supercaps, the electrochemical characterisation of nanomaterials and x-ray tomography of porous battery electrodes. Thanks to her close network of contacts in the ETH Domain and her focus on matters relating to electronics and photonics, Vanessa Wood will enable further scientific breakthroughs to be made in key fields.

Award of the title of Professor

Dr Yoko Yamakoshi (*1965), Senior Scientist and Lecturer at ETH Zurich, as Adjunct Professor at ETH Zurich. Yoko Yamakoshi is an internationally acclaimed organic synthesis chemist who has achieved outstanding success with biological and medical applications. The high quality of her research has enabled her to attract excellent doctoral candidates, and she makes an important contribution to research and teaching at ETH Zurich.

Departure from ETH Zurich

Professor Michael Eichmair (*1983), currently Assistant Professor of Mathematics, is resigning from ETH Zurich with effect from the end of February 2015. Michael Eichmair is a leading young scientist in the field of geometrical analysis. His scientific work covers topics that include geometrical aspects of Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity.

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

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