Patrick Wäger becomes head of laboratory

There will be a new face at the helm of the Empa "Technology and Society" laboratory, with Patrick Wäger heading up the department from May 2016. He will thus replace the interim head of laboratory, Heinz Böni.

Patrick Wäger was born in Basel and, after spending his school years in Italy, France and Germany, studied organic, bio-organic and analytical chemistry at ETH Zurich. Having completed a doctorate in the field of environmental sciences, also at ETH Zurich, he was employed by Elektrowatt Engineering Ltd, where he worked as an environmental consultant. In 1993, he joined Empa for a Swiss National Science Foundation project relating to the disposal of filter dust from waste incineration plants. Since that time his research mainly addresses questions on how to close material cycles. Amongst others, he significantly contributed to establish a new research focus on the sustainable use of scarce metals such as indium or neodymium.

Wäger wants to build on the proven methodological skills of the department, for example in the areas of material flow modeling and life-cycle assessment, as well as on its excellent (inter-)national reputation. The main taks of the department will be the development of the scientific basis for gauging and assessing more precisely the possibilities and limitations of a transition towards a more sustainable, post-fossil society thanks to new materials and technologies like the ones developed at Empa. Having graduated from a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Sociology from the University of Zurich, he is especially interested in enhancing the collaboration with researchers from humanities and social sciences disciplines.


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