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Eight professors appointed at EPFL

© 2012 EPFL

© 2012 EPFL

At its meeting held in December, the Board of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology appointed eight professors at EPFL.

Christian Enz has been appointed Full Professor of Microengineering at the School of Engineering (STI)

Christian Enz, a prominent researcher and leader in his field, has acquired – during a scientific career spanning over 25 years – a thorough knowledge of both the microengineering industry and the Swiss university sector.
Christian Enz’s scientific interests and expertise reside in the areas of the design of low-power analog and radio-frequency integrated circuits and wireless sensor networks, and the modeling of semiconductor devices. His scientific contributions include the development of the EKV model – internationally acknowledged for the design and simulation of low-level and low-voltage integrated circuits – the development of new analytical models of noise for nanometric MOSFET, the design of low-power and low-voltage CMOS analog and radio-frequency integrated circuits for wireless communication, instrumentation and biomedical applications, as well as the design of low-voltage continuous-time filters.
This appointment is consistent with the long term goals for the development of the microengineering center in Neuchâtel and the construction of the Microcity building. Christian Enz will succeed M. de Rooij as the head of the IMT in January 2013.

Sophia Haussener has been appointed Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the School of Engineering (STI)

The research undertaken at EPFL by Sophia Haussener focuses on the investigation of efficient and sustainable processes in the conversion and storage of renewable energies (solar, wind power, biomass, hydropower and geothermic). They fit in perfectly with the prevailing policy of strengthening this field.
The methods she has developed are broadly applicable to the analysis of heat transfer in porous media through radiation, conduction and convection, as well as the precise determination of the properties of radiative transport, conduction and fluid flow of complex bi-phasic structures.
In view of the need to reinforce teaching at EPFL in the area of energy, Sophia Haussener will fulfill an important mission with the STI School. For example, she will contribute to the Bachelor and Master degree program in thermal science, energy conversion, sustainable energy technology and transport in porous media.

Jan Hesthaven has been appointed Full Professor of Applied Mathematics and Scientific Computing at the School of Basic Sciences (SB)
Jan Hesthaven’s activities are broadly centered on computational mathematics, but also address the development, analysis and application of numerical methods for solving partial differential equations using high-performance computing.
Jan Hesthaven has published two monographs, eight volumes as a publisher, and about 100 articles in leading scientific magazines. Between 2006 and 2010, he was associate director of the department of applied mathematics (Brown University), and since July 2010 has been vice-director of the newly created NSF national institute for computational research at Brown University. Jan Hesthaven will be nominated to a chair in the MATHICSE institute.

In the Fall of 2009, the management team at EPFL decided to create a new institute, called MATHICSE (Mathematical Institute of Computational Science and Engineering) within the School of Basic Sciences. The mission of MATHICSE is to promote, at the highest level, scientific research and mathematical and numerical modeling education, the development of algorithms and simulation, as well as their applications within the environment, life, society, sciences and engineering.

Xile Hu has been appointed Associate Professor of Inorganic and Coordination Chemistry at the School of Basic Sciences (SB)
Xile Hu’s main scientific centers of interests are the design and application of organometallic catalysts based on elements abundant in the earth. The products developed in his laboratory are evaluated according to two major priorities; namely, new chemical synthesis methods and the development of chemical processes for the efficient storage and conversion of energy.

Thus, the research projects performed in his laboratory are positioned at the interface of several scientific disciplines: organic and inorganic chemistry, materials science and electrochemistry. This interdisciplinary approach led him to design new nickel compounds in order to promote a wide range of carbon–carbon bond formation reactions and bio-inspired catalytic systems for the activation of small molecules.

Tobias Kippenberg has been appointed Full Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering, jointly at the School of Basic Sciences (SB) and at the School of Engineering (STI)
Tobias Kippenberg has made major contributions in the areas of quantum optomechanics, as well as in the cooling and practical use of optical microresonators.
Since his arrival at EPFL, Tobias Kippenberg has established an original and independent research program, in particular in the area of frequency combs and cavity optomechanics. He has become one of the driving forces in this totally innovative area which is rapidly expanding. Leading the competition at a global level in the cooling of mechanical oscillators, he has – in parallel – contributed to the establishment of studies that could well lead to new applications in laser technology, but also in optical telecommunications and atomic clocks. Tobias Kippenberg is the recipient of both an ERC starting grant in 2007 as well as an ERC advanced grant in 2012.

François Maréchal, Senior Scientist at the School of Engineering (STI), has been authorized to use the title of Adjunct Professor

François Maréchal’s research and development activities have been concentrated in the area of engineering of energy systems. He is particularly interested in furthering the understanding of process energetics, with the goal of helping engineers to design more performant and robust industrial processes and energy conversion systems. In this area, process integration and systems design are key elements in achieving a more efficient and sustainable use of energy in society.
He develops computer-aided methods that combine thermodynamic analysis, process modeling, and techniques for the integration and optimization of processes that are validated against real-world industrial examples. The resulting techniques are applied in three main areas: the rational use of water and energy in industrial processes, sustainable energy conversion and process design, as well as energy systems in urban areas.

Etienne Meylan has been appointed Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Life Sciences at the School of Life Sciences (SV)
Etienne Meylan’s research is concentrated on the mechanisms that cause lung cancer. More specifically, his work is focused on understanding the role played by NF-kB signaling paths in cancerous epithelial cells. Moreover, his investigations have the objective of determining the differences in the metabolism of glucose between cancerous and healthy cells.
For this reason, this research – which is very complementary to other areas being addressed at ISREC – is absolutely in line with the initiative to integrate cancer research at Lausanne, or within the framework of the creation of a translational cancer center involving EPFL, the Centre hospitalier universitaire vaudois (CHUV) and the University of Lausanne (UNIL).
The Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) moved to the EPFL campus in 2009, to be close to the School of Life Sciences.

Fabien Sorin has been appointed Tenure Track Assistant Professor of Materials Science at the School of Engineering (STI)

Fabien Sorin’s research is focused on the discovery of new fiber materials and processes that present a unique ability to tailor materials, structures and properties spanning the nanometer to kilometer length scales. In particular, he has derived scaling laws for these devices that point the way towards a transition to thin film architectures. He has also demonstrated that crystalline semiconductor devices can be realized from fibers that were drawn from an amorphous state, thus enabling dimensional control and high electronic performance.
He has already acquired significant experience at MIT in the development and teaching of courses in the materials processing, optical fibers, nanoelectronics and semiconductor physics. He has also been invited to contribute to teaching programs at the Orsay and Pierre and Marie Curie universities in France.

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