Four professors appointed

At its meeting of 21 and 22 September 2022 and upon application of Joël Mesot, President of ETH Zurich, the ETH Board appointed four professors and awarded the title of "Professor of Practice" once.

Dr Jordan Aaron (*1990), currently Scientist at WSL, as Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Engineering Geology in the Department of Earth Sciences. Jordan Aaron’s research is concerned with the basic mechanisms that control the deformation of geomaterials. He has a particular interest in major underground excavations and landslides. Jordan Aaron has won a number of awards for his research and teaching, including a Golden Owl 2019 from ETH Zurich. His appointment will strengthen the Department and help develop a strong programme of research and teaching. The chair of engineering geology is the only one of its kind in Switzerland, and acts as a focal point and interface for geological agencies and authorities

Professor Jonas Peters (*1984), currently Full Professor at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, as Full Professor of Statistics in the Department of Mathematics. Jonas Peters conducts research in the field of statistical causality at the intersection of statistics and machine learning. His outstanding research findings have been published in the top specialist journals and are having a significant impact that goes far beyond statistics. He has also made important contributions to interdisciplinary projects, where his findings have been of special relevance to earth system sciences and biomedicine. Jonas Peters is an acclaimed researcher who has won numerous awards and is a brilliant communicator, as well as being very committed to popular science.

Professor Alexander Mathys (*1979), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, as Associate Professor of Sustainable Food Processing in the Department of Health Sciences and Technology. Alexander Mathys is head of the Sustainable Food Processing Laboratory at ETH Zurich. The main aim of his research is to develop a more sustainable food system that will help achieve the sustainable development targets of the United Nations. His main interest lies in processing microalgae and insects into food and animal feed. He has an impressive list of publications to his name and has won several awards. Alexander Mathys is currently setting up a Future Food Laboratory at the Singapore-ETH Centre for Global Environmental Sustainability.

Professor Melanie Zeilinger (*1982), currently Tenure Track Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich, as Associate Professor of Intelligent Control Systems in the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering. Melanie Zeilinger’s research concerns model predictive control (MPC), with particular reference to the control of autonomous, security-critical systems. As a well-known researcher with an impressive list of publications to her name, she has received numerous awards and is regularly invited to speak at conferences. Through the appointment of Melanie Zeilinger, the Department is retaining an outstanding scientist and expert who has successfully built up an important and extensive network of national and international collaborations.

Dr Robert Perich (*1961), currently Vice President of ETH Zurich, as Professor of Practice at ETH Zurich. Robert Perich has been Vice President for Finance & Controlling since 1 October 2008. His duties include responsibility for the ETH-wide financial strategy, medium-term financial planning and risk management. He taught at the University of St. Gallen for many years. He has been a guest lecturer at the University of Zurich since 2016 and at ETH Zurich since 2017. The Department of Management, Technology and Economics intends to entrust Robert Perich with the direction of the Swiss School of Public Governance (SSPG) once he steps down as Vice President and takes voluntary partial retirement. He will also lead a small translational research group in the field of management of higher education institutions and non-profit organisations. He will take up the new roles at the start of April 2023 and will be awarded the title of Professor of Practice as of that date.

Professor Petros Koumoutsakos (*1963), formerly Full Professor of Computational Science in the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, left ETH Zurich at the end of August 2022. Petros Koumoutsakos is active in the fields of particle methods, machine learning, artificial intelligence, biomimetics and bio-inspired computing. His research has attracted a significant number of major awards. This internationally acclaimed, well-connected scientist has left ETH Zurich in order to pursue his career at Harvard University.

Professor Clara Sánchez Rodríguez (*1980), currently Assistant Professor of Plant Cell Biology in the Department of Biology, is to leave ETH Zurich at the end of January 2023. Clara Sánchez Rodríguez has carried out pioneering research in the fields of cell biology and plant-pathogen interactions. She has won numerous prizes and grants for her work and is now leaving ETH Zurich to take up a new post at the Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics (CBGO) in Madrid.


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