Eight new nominations

© 2011 EPFL Alain Herzog

© 2011 EPFL Alain Herzog

On Friday, July 8, 2011, the ETH board announced the nominations and internal promotions of eight professors, including a professor who has been appointed to the Bertarelli Foundation chair in EPFL’s Center for Neuroprosthetics.

Romuald Houdré has been promoted to Adjunct Professor in EPFL’s School of Basic Sciences. Recruited to EPFL in 1988 by Marc Ilegems, he has been studying the promising field of photonic crystals for the past decade, working autonomously and managing his own research group. During this period the group made important progress in the area of semiconductor microcavities. Their results have been showcased in an impressive number of publications in top peer-reviewed scientific journals. Houdré has filed four patents and has had a large number of invitations to speak at international conferences.

Jeffrey Jensen has been appointed Assistant Professor (tenure track) in Life Sciences in EPFL’s School of Life Sciences. His main area of research is molecular evolution. The genomic revolution is currently producing enormous quantities of data, a real gold mine to scientists working in many biomedical fields. Statistical and bioinformatics analyses of these data are opening up new innovative avenues for investigating molecular and physiological phenomena and individual susceptibility to certain diseases. Jensen has contributed widely to the development of mathematical concepts used to analyze the evolution of the genome in given populations. He has a particular interest in modeling the positive natural selection process and its consequences on mutations in the genome.

Olivier Martin has been appointed Full Professor in Optical Signal Processing in EPFL’s School of Engineering. His research stretches over many areas in the fields of nanophotonics (the study of the interaction of light with matter at the nanometer scale), and plasmonics (the study of the resonant interaction between electromagnetic radiation and free electrons at the interface between a metal and a dielectric material). His activities are focused around three axes: modeling, nanofabrication and optical characterization. Martin has been strengthening and unifying this community within EPFL in his role as Director of the Doctoral Program in Photonics, which he has held since 2005.

Silvestro Micera has been appointed Associate Professor in Bioengineering in the EPFL’s School of Life Sciences. He is a specialist in the motivity of the upper and lower limbs. At EPFL he will develop advanced technologies and novel algorithms for a new generation of interfaces with the central and peripheral nervous systems. He uses a systematic and interdisciplinary approach, calling upon collaborators in neurosciences, biomechanics, materials science and numerical modeling. He will have a joint appointment with the Interfaculty Institute of Bioengineering.

Jamie Paik has been appointed Assistant Professor (tenure track) in Mechanical Engineering in EPFL’s School of Engineering (STI). She will continue her research in the area of mechatronic design and production for medical robotics and bio-inspired robots. She is the co-author of four patents for surgical devices and her pivotal contribution in the development of a tool for laparoscopic surgery is evident from its name – JAiMY. Paik’s experience in designing extendable mechatronic systems is opening up new, promising possibilities for developing new technologies in the new National Research Center “NCCR Robotics.”

César Pulgarin, Senior Scientist, has been promoted to Adjunct Professor in EPFL’s School or Basic Sciences. He is a recognized expert in the area of chemistry of advanced oxidation processes such as photochemistry, ultrasound and their combination. He has significantly contribution to the understanding of how these processes operate on chemical and bacterial pollutants in the air and water. He is particularly interested in the issue of water treatment in developing countries. Pulgarin coordinates cooperative research between EPFL and Colombian institutions, which has led to many projects and helped a number of Colombian PhD students earn their doctoral degrees.

Donna Testerman, Research Associate, has been promoted to adjunct professor in EPFL’s School of Basic Sciences. She is a recognized expert in the area of group theory, in particular algebraic groups. She has made fundamental contributions to the study of the structure of the sub-groups of simple algebraic groups. She is first author or co-author of sixteen publications in top scientific journals, including three full issues of the Memoirs of the American Mathematical Society. Her invitations to conferences and summer schools, the publication of a book by the Cambridge University Press, and her many collaborations with research groups in Europe and the US all contribute to the reputation of the School of Basic Sciences in the area of pure mathematics.

Nominated as Associate Professor in Operations Management in EPFL’s College of the Management of Technology (CDM), Thomas Weber is internationally recognized as an expert in operations and information management. His research led to the development of a series of practical tools that are used in the business sector. The results obtained in parameterizing mechanisms, clearly outlined in a series of articles, led to changes in the way in which Google and Yahoo set their pricing and sold advertising. In another series of publications, Weber developed a method of relative equity analysis (relative fairness) of possible configurations for allocating resources. His method, which was adopted by American Express, facilitates negotiations with delinquent credit card holders.