Published: 27.09.13

Six new professors at ETH Zurich

Upon application of the President of ETH Zurich, Professor Ralph Eichler, at its meeting of 25/26 September 2013 the ETH Board appointed a total of six individuals as professors, took note of the resignations of five professors and thanked them for their service, and awarded the title of professor to one individual.

Media release
The ETH Board appointed new professors. (Image: ETH Zürich)
The ETH Board appointed new professors. (Image: ETH Zürich)

Professor Charalampos Anastasiou (*1974), currently Associate Professor at ETH Zurich, as Full Professor of Theoretical Particle Physics. Charalampos Anastasiou is a highly regarded particle physicist. In recent years he has focused on the theoretical description and interpretation of experimental data from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva, among other topics. He has made ground-breaking discoveries in relation to the long-sought Higgs boson and the characteristics of this elementary particle. Charalampos Anastasiou has recently launched new projects that go beyond the standard model of particle physics. These have enabled him to attract experienced modelling engineers to Zurich, thus continuing to enhance the international reputation of the Particle Physics Group at ETH Zurich. Dr Lucie Tajčmanová (*1978), currently Research Associate at ETH Zurich, as Assistant Professor of Metamorphic Petrology. In 2013 Lucie Tajčmanová was awarded an ERC Starting Grant for her research into how the mineralogy observed on the surface of a rock can be used to determine the conditions under which it was originally formed. The models hitherto used for this purpose are in need of improvement. Lucie Tajčmanová will therefore lead her own research group to conduct in-depth analysis on the interactions between metamorphosis and deformation of rocks in the lithosphere. She will perform a key bridging function between the geology and petrology groups at the Department of Earth Sciences.

Professor Jan Vermant (*1968), currently Full Professor at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, as Full Professor of Soft Materials. Jan Vermant's research interests focus on soft materials (e.g. gels, polymer melts and rubber) and their interfaces. He also conducts research into composites made of soft matter, as well as colloid systems and bacteria. By appointing Jan Vermant, ETH Zurich gains a top researcher with a global reputation in his field. His highly innovative research, which ranges from biology and chemistry through to physics, will further reinforce ETH Zurich's leading position in materials science.

Professor Hans Jakob Wörner (*1981), currently Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, as Associate Professor of Physical Chemistry. Hans Jakob Wörner is one of the world's best-known scientists in the field of time-resolved spectroscopy. His award-winning research combines theory and experimentation at the highest level and has revolutionised the measurement of the quantum dynamics of electrons. He has developed very important methods of investigating fast electron processes in chemistry, biology and materials science. By appointing Hans Jakob Wörner as Associate Professor, ETH Zurich keeps a talented scientist with a very promising area of research.

Professor Mehmet Fatih Yanik (*1977), currently Associate Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, USA, as Full Professor of Neurotechnology. Mehmet Fatih Yanik's research focuses on understanding and decoding complex neural systems. This world-famous scientist works with methods and processes from microfluidics, micromanipulation, fast optical microscopy, machine learning, quantum physics, biochemistry and genetics. Mehmet Fatih Yanik will bring this wide range of methods to his teaching at ETH Zurich and introduce his students to innovative laboratory concepts (e.g. DNA hybridisation, microfluidics and two-photon microscopy).

Appointment at ETH Zurich and EPFL

Professor Gabriel Aeppli (*1956), currently Quain Professor at University College, London, as Full Professor of Physics at the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology in Zurich and Lausanne. Gabriel Aeppli is a solid state physicist with extremely wide-ranging interests who has won several international awards for his work. He is particularly well known for his spectroscopy work on the magnetism of disordered systems and on high-temperature superconductors. In a very short time, he has made the London Centre for Nanotechnology a leading centre for science and technology. Gabriel Aeppli will become head of the Department of Synchrotron Radiation and Nanotechnology at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI). At the same time he will teach at ETH Zurich and at EPFL. This will also enable the two Federal Institutes of Technology to strengthen their ties with the PSI research institute.

Award of the title of Professor

Dr Hans Martin Schmid (*1959), Senior Scientist at the Institute for Astronomy of ETH Zurich, as Adjunct Professor of ETH Zurich. Hans Martin Schmid is an internationally acclaimed expert in the spectroscopic investigation of astronomical objects. For example, his work contributes to the discovery of new exoplanets.

Retirements/departures from ETH Zurich

Professor Gaston H. Gonnet (*1948), currently Full Professor of Computer Science, will retire with effect from 1 February 2014. Since being appointed to ETH Zurich in 1990, Gaston Gonnet has made valuable contributions in the field of scientific computation. Among other things, his work has enabled infrastructure resources and the processing power available to be used with increasing efficiency. Whenever possible, Gaston Gonnet has collaborated in grassroots projects, dealing with aspects such as system software and programming. This enabled him to develop a practical style of teaching drawing on his own experience. His good contacts in industry have also led to a number of companies being founded.

Professor Jürg Gutknecht (*1949), currently Full Professor of Computer Science, will retire with effect from 1 February 2014. Jürg Gutknecht's research focused on component-oriented software development and the standardisation of process and object-oriented modelling. Here, his work included developing and disseminating programme development tools known as Oberon, which won international acclaim for the Institute of Computer Systems. Jürg Gutknecht has been working at ETH Zurich since 1985, as a full professor since 2002. He contributed significantly to the establishment and development of the Computer Science Department and the Institute of Computer Systems, both of which he headed for many years.

Professor Ive Hermans (*1980), currently Assistant Professor of Heterogeneous Catalysis, is resigning from ETH Zurich with effect from 31 December 2013. He is leaving ETH Zurich in order to take up a post as Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, USA.

Professor Rolf Kappel (*1948), currently Full Professor of Problems of Developing Countries, will retire with effect from 1 February 2014. Rolf Kappel has been Full Professor of Problems of Developing Countries and Director of the Centre for Development and Cooperation at ETH Zurich since 1992. His main focus has been on economic and institutional reforms as well as environmental and resource policy in developing countries. He has also worked on the economic relations between industrialised and developing countries and on strategic issues in development policy. At the same time, Rolf Kappel has held a number of senior roles and served on important committees at ETH Zurich and at the Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences.

Professor Timothy J. Richmond (*1948), currently Full Professor of Crystallography of Biological Macromolecules, will retire with effect from 1 February 2014. Timothy Richmond was appointed Full Professor at ETH Zurich in 1987. He has been particularly interested in biological macromolecular complexes. He and his group have used a variety of biophysical and biochemical techniques to investigate topics including the organisation of DNA in chromosomes and the regulation of gene expression in higher organisms. During his career Timothy Richmond has been awarded a number of prestigious prizes; in 2006 he received the Marcel Benoist Prize in recognition of his work on the structure of the nucleosome at atomic resolution. He has served on a number of committees and has undertaken several senior roles at ETH Zurich.

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